The fishing season started a few Saturdays back. The day before it began I wrote this, but haven’t had time to post it till now.

The first day of the season, a day charged with expectation and significance. Particularly for me as the beginning of my first full season since angling reclaimed me last year. In my youth I fished almost exclusively on stillwaters, since my return it has been almost entirely on rivers. But it seemed appropriate somehow, important even, that this special day should be marked by a visit, a pilgrimage even, to the monastic ponds where I started to learn the craft.

Undoubtedly nostalgia was playing a part in this decision, but it was largely because I love these little ponds hidden in the woods. Important too to take with me some talisman, from that near, but distant, past. No longer do I have the old bush hat that I used to wear, but I do have a badge of the kind that adorned it. The rod of my youth is long gone, but I have acquired a surrogate and I still have my first reel.

Also an ancient reel case with faded gold lettering, the zipper sporting a shire-horse keyring. The latter was a gift from my very young sister the same Christmas as my first set of tackle. Puzzled, but enchanted by what to a four year old constituted a good present, I could think only to marry it to the reel case. A good luck charm if ever there was one.

But this is to be a day as much about the future as the past and I’m not that befuddled with sentiment that I’m not taking along a better set of tackle. It will be interesting to see whether I catch more or less, better or worse, than I did all that time ago. But then all this trip is not about anything as tedious as numbers, it’s about something more important than that.

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