A message resonates around the confines of my skull, the message of ambiance having realised just what it was I was searching for without realising I was ever looking in the first place. Peace and tranquillity are something I never found, or knew existed within angling; the procession of the evolution of angling swept me along feet first. New tactics, thoughts and feelings were only inspired by glossy monthly publications that lured me in by way of what was usually a large carp being held up by a miserable looking angler. I wanted to be that miserable looking angler believe it or not.
Then along came ‘Fennel’s Priory’. A website I spent hours interrogating and with each and every click came another revelation, the answers to the questions I’d been looking to ask were there all along. It all started to make sense; there before me were the guidelines of how to enjoy. To search your imagination, use your creativeness and apply that to all you do is to live a life that is fulfilled and complete. That, in turn, has led me to the conclusion that to angle for oneself is to angle without boundaries and with open eyes.
The discovery of ‘The Journals’ meant that I could plot the journey Fennel had been on and how he got to the state of mind he is at now, then to use that template with my own journey and search my inner self: what did I want, where did I want to go, how best to achieve it? Stop-Unplug-Escape-Enjoy. These are the messages that sum it all up perfectly. Take time to remove yourself from the now and go wherever it is that is in your heart to go. There are no limits, it can be far and wide, or on your very doorstep, for it is where your mind is that really matters. Fennel and I have now become good friends, close friends who share the same passion for a slower pace of life. And for that I am thankful.
How do I see angling now? We all have our ideals, those pipe dreams we have on hazy summer days whilst waiting for the line tied to our big toe to twitch, of neglected, lost in time pools that may or may not contain monsters. We can while away many a moonlit night dreaming of the unknown, the promised land where we might actually get the chance to come face to face with our every imagination, but the reality is that these corners of the universe we hope to find are very few and far between and are quite often only for the privileged few.
My own need to catch, or angle for, big fish has subsided more and more with every stride I take towards reaching a state of mind that dictates so much more than numbers. Just being alongside the pools and rivers this beautiful country has to offer is enough, why ask for more. But there will always be something there, however deeply locked away it may seem, that triggers overwhelming excitement at even the slightest inkling that I stand in the presence of giants. Until that day I’ll be more than happy whiling away whatever hours I can muster angling for memories, not fish.
So angle without the expectation of a bumper crop, but to embrace all that the day has to offer is to angle in the true spirit of Isaak, the one we all look to for inspiration. The oyster in all of this is your own imagination, for inside waiting to be discovered is a hidden magic only you can discover.