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A quiet fishing trip - or perhaps not

You might have seen them sitting around Gobions Pond and wondered what's the attraction in spending the day alone drowning maggots and sipping tea. Well, there is more to it than meets the eye, as local angler Jet explains.
Fisherman on Gobions Pond
Fishing at Gobions Pond. Satisfying a "primitive hunting instinct"
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
For most anglers the attraction of fishing is to escape from the rigours of day to day life and get back to nature, even if it is just for a few hours.

There is also the added bonus of expectation: the anticipation of catching the fish of a lifetime, despite the odds being against it. This complication does, however, make the chance aspect of success even more compulsive.

Angling also satisfies a very primitive hunting instinct. We all still retain these instincts of our former survival needs. Angling tempers these urges by transposing the necessity to capture the quarry for food into an activity channelling these natural feelings, which are suppressed by modern life, into a pleasurable outcome.

As well as regressing to our basic self, there is the added benefit of being in a position to observe, in a contemplative way, the flora and fauna which the waterside offers.

As the seasons change, the bank side changes from the stark ravages of winter to the regeneration of spring. The first buds and shoots appear, followed by the abundance of summer growth and culminating in the spectacular colour changes of autumn.

The wildlife also changes during these seasons and the angler is ideally placed to observe nature in full. From the spawning of amphibians and the egg laying of birds to the new life which bursts forth. Just as it has happened from the start of time.

During these times the behaviour of the fish also changes. They awake from their winter stupor and start to feed in preparation for spawning. At this time they are best left alone, but when the early summer begins they start to feed. Fish activity increases with the temperature rise of the water and affords anglers the best chance of reward for their effort.

The angler is in a grandstand position to witness these changes, which sometimes escape the non-angler. Periods of inactivity allow for observation. The habits of the wildlife are revealed. Sometimes magic moments occur, such as when a kingfisher rests on your rod, or a robin hops to within inches for a tasty titbit from the bait box, or even a corner of a generous anglerís sandwich.

How may activities allow a person to witness sun rise and sun set, while still affording the time to watch it happen in totality, not just a brief moment?

Well, this is all part of angling, a contemplative personís pastime, where every visit is different in some way.

To the casual observer it all looks rather boring and the angler can give the impression of being a rather lonely, solitary individual, but beneath that green brolly often sits a happy, relaxed person. That person has seen more of the world around them than most and goes home a better person afterwards, refreshed to face whatever the next day gives.

Or of course he could just be escaping from the wife for a few hours.

© Jet - September, 2003

Other features by Jet
The private pleasure of flying    Part one    Part two    Part three    Part four

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