Saturday, 22 September 2012


Reading, something we anglers tend to look to when we fail to get waterside for whatever reason. To pick up our favourite angling literature and peruse leisurely is the next best thing to being there, and with such authors as BB, Richard Walker, Chris Yates and Nigel “Fennel” Hudson, we can be transported to a world of sparkling water, lush green surroundings and angling the way it should be done. Even if you are lucky enough to go fishing, there is little better than to while away a summer’s afternoon with your reel on check and a good book in your hand. There, with the sounds of the water, the birds singing, the leaves in the breeze and, if you’re lucky, the screeching of that clutch, you are able to relate to each wonderful passage first hand with the sun on your face and contentment in your heart.

There are many places one can read. My favourite place is leaning back against a big ancient tree. Some say that these trees, as well as making excellent resting places, are very wise. My view on this is simple, they have quite obviously been reading over the shoulders of anglers for centuries, no wonder they know stuff. With this in mind I like to lean against as many trees as possible, to kind of spread the word, educate as many trees as I can so that they too can pass it on. Trees do talk to each-other you know!

Unfortunately my fishing time has been cut short, there isn’t as much time as there used to be, and won’t be for a little while. But I have found a place I can read, undisturbed and very comfortably. A while back we (the wife and I) purchased a rocking chair and matching stool. The sole purpose for this was for the nursery, to rock the baby to sleep on nights when she is unsettled and to feed her. The chair was a revelation, best thing we have bought so far, but I've started to find myself sitting in it a little more than I should be, and have now claimed a stake in the sitting privileges. Here is where I have recently read some of my favourite passages in the various books on my shelf; inspirational things that make me smile at times when I need a little cheering up, looking after a newborn can be quite testing at times. But in times of trouble I turn to the likes of BB, Yates and, more recently, Nigel “Fennel” Hudson.

Nigel's take on the world has been nothing short of inspirational for me, someone who has been to the place I'm at right now. We live in a world that moves way too quickly, everyone in a rush, no time to stop and look at things properly. And these things apply strongly to angling; modern angling is about numbers and following trends. Fishing with a more traditional mindset allows the anglers eyes to widen, to start once again to see things; after all, it hasn’t been this way forever. When we picked up that first rod it was all so new, the magic and mystery were intact and every new adventure was just that, an epic journey. As things become familiar we tend to try to speed up processes, patience begins to wane and instant results are expected. The surrounding needn't be there at all, it’s becomes all about the capture, and the true essence of angling disappears into thin air.

Nigel strongly believes in a slower pace, to be in less of a hurry and to enjoy every second as we once did all those years ago. Through his writings he has helped many an angler realise that, I for one spend my time on the bank slightly differently and am pleased to say that each and every minute spent at pools and rivers has been much better for it, with the eyes open it's a remarkable experience. The latest in the series of Fennel’s Journals is the much awaited Traditional Edition. I am currently half way through this edition and love it to bits, one I shall read a few times both in the rocking chair and on the banks once I resume my own adventures. In this edition the author write about the values of angling in a traditional way. Being a gentleman angler, respecting those around you, taking time to explore the world and taking those values into everyday life. There are stories of Golden Scale Club gatherings, views on the sadness felt by the removal of the traditional closed season, happy moments involving the finer things in life. There really is something for everyone in this issue. It goes some way to explain why we traditionalists do the things we do, not that we need to explain ourselves, but some might question why we do the things we do. It goes further than buying a vintage rod and reel and going fishing, that’s just a small part of the bigger picture.

Check out Nigel’s website, The Priory, for info on how to receive these wonderful Journals of his, you’ll be glad you did......


  1. Nice one SK, I hope you get a few undisturbed hours each day in that rather comfy looking chair ;-)

  2. Thanks Dave, I'm working on it pal....

    And it looks like I'll actually be going fishing this coming Sunday. Perch fishing with my Dad, can't wait!!