I’ve had two (admittedly, half-hearted) stabs at this sport, and though I enjoyed my brief flirtation with fishing, it is a hobby that never really stuck.
My first try came when I was a boy. It was one of those long, summer holidays where ideas as to what to do were becoming thin on the ground. Friends of mine Danny and Paul (known locally as ‘the twins,’) lived in a house that backed onto a large lake which was the fishing venue of choice for the town’s fishermen. They suggested that I ought to give it a try.
So, having purchased (or borrowed,) a rod and tackle box from a friend, I set off one sunny afternoon with the intention of giving fishing a damn good go. After all, how hard could it be? You bait your line, dip it in the water and wait. And, wait. And wait.
I had not bothered purchasing a license. I had no idea whether I would take to the sport, so decided that I’d fish renegade style, and run the risk of falling afoul of the fish police. Even with the small hint of added danger, fishing just did not grab my attention. It soon became apparent that I had little in the way of patience, a virtue very much required if one is to dedicate themselves to said sport. After an hour I withdrew my line, noting that the piece of corn remained on my hook, packed up and returned home. The experience had been underwhelming, to say the least.
“Try maggots next time,” suggested one of the twins, arguing that the reason I had not caught anything be because I had used the wrong bait. The twins had all of the gear, real top quality stuff. Danny would spend hours at the waters edge, watching the neon tip of his float bob and dip with the movement of the water. Figuring they knew their onions, I gave maggots a try.
This proved difficult, as I will not touch maggots. Not now, not then, not ever. I had a stinking plastic tub full of the writhing little bastards, and I was damn well going to try to use them to catch a fish. I needed, at least, one; then I could say I gave it a try, but it was not for me. Danny soon grew tired of me calling him over to bait my hook.
It was not like I kept losing my bait on purpose. I’d cast, and the maggot would fly off the hook or get tangled in reeds. It was the winds fault or Danny’s baiting. Either way, it had nothing to do with my casting (or lack of) ability.
Eventually, I did catch a fish. I cannot remember what type, other than it was small and had spines that ran along the length of its back. Again, I needed Danny to take the fish off the end of the hook. I will not touch fish. Not now, not then, not ever. That alone told me enough to suggest fishing was not the hobby for me that summer.
The highlight of the experience? Danny owned a large rubber catapult that we used to fire the contents of my maggot box, across the surface of the lake. It was great watching those squirmy feckers fly through the air. It was almost as though I could hear their tiny, pitched cries of panic fade into the distance. If you ask me; they had it coming.
The second time I tried my hand at fishing, I was much older. I still wouldn’t touch the bait or the fish, (my long suffering girlfriend did all of that for me.) This time, I was in Scotland, staying on the banks of Loch Lochy.
It was early evening, and a large group of fish had gathered in the shadows cast by the trees which lined the edge of the loch. I stood and watched as they leaped from the water, unaware of my presence.
My casting had improved somewhat by now, and I cast line after line of their number, and within seconds, I would have a bite. I pulled twenty-seven fish from the loch that night in quick succession.
I knew I’d never experience a fishing spell quite that fruitful ever again, so, I decided to do what all good Poker players should do, and I quit while I was ahead.
For more information about Dan and his work visit http://www.fatherdarkness.co.uk