Showers outnumbered the dry spells, a land of green progressively became one of gold, crimson and brown and large flocks of winged wonders materialised from out of nowhere. The angler, however, had a glint in his eye, something reminiscent of a young lad who’s just been given his first real fishing rod.
For it is this childlike enthusiasm we rediscover when we mature as anglers, when pressure eases and we can relive those boyhood days but through older, much wiser eyes. As a child we fished with a sense of urgency and eagerness, eager to learn, eager to catch but at the same time the hours moved much more slowly.
Our lives and our angling merge into what can only be described as a blur, with each one gathering pace more each day until we can’t tell which is which. Everything becomes about numbers, the mortgage, the overdraft, the weight of that mirror, the amount of bait, numbers. Seasons come and go without much notice being taken as we begin to wish life away, eager to get to the time when fishing becomes easy again.
The matured angler feels no competition, only the strong desire to enjoy. He longs for precious moments at his favourite places where every second spent doing what he loves is a second spent in the best possible way.
Breakfast will be prepared and consumed before setting off, lunch will be served when he is hungry and his tea will be on the table when he returns, there will be no time to keep an eye on, only his instincts pointing him in the right direction matter. The failure to catch doesn’t worry him in the slightest, for there will always be next time, and the time after that; it’s being there that matters the most.
At this season, above all others, he has time to reflect upon the year so far and make provisions for the harsh time ahead. The summer was productive; along with dreamy summer days spent alongside lily covered pools of emerald he caught tench, roach and, his favourite of all fishes, the crucian carp.
The sun upon his neck was something that brought warmth to his soul, now a scarf would have to suffice as biting winds arrive to mark the beginning of the cold spell, but he does not fret over such trivial things; an extra thick jumper and pair of gloves will remedy the situation quite comfortably.
New fishes to angle for excite him, the prospect of a marbled pike or a tiger striped perch will be enough to stoke the fire in his heart and see him through whatever the elements decide to throw at him.
Just to be close to nature and witness her marvellous changes is enough for the matured angler, to focus too much upon the catching of fish and miss all that goes on around him would be to do himself and Mother nature herself a great disservice.
Just one blink and you can miss the amazing, a look in the wrong direction and the wonderful goes begging. You can’t capture everything, but concentrate on the important things and you return after the day fulfilled whatever the outcome.