A day spent with Mattie on the banks of river or on an idyllic old manor lake such as Old Bury Hill, is a day well spent. In fact I can't think of anything I'd rather do.
Mattie and I get the chance to talk for hours, interrupted only by the frequent landing of fish and Mattie's desire to feed the many water fowl around, such as Mallard ducks, Canadian geese, coots, moor-hens and swans.
Yesterday I woke up at 5:15 (earlier than on a normal working day) to get ready for the 30 mile drive to our favourite lake, Old Bury Hill. At 5:35 Mattie rang my mobile just to make sure I hadn't overslept. By 7:00 we were ready to start fishing.
|Old Bury Hill lake - Dorking, Surrey|
It wasn't long before Mattie got into the thick of the action - and went on to catch around 20 sizable fish (twice as many as I did). Mattie has obviously picked up his angling skills from...er...me!
From a dozen bream...
While on the subject of angling and just before anyone wishes to criticize the sport, I would like to remind you that fishing is NOT a cruel activity. Research shows, beyond all reasonable doubt, that fish do not suffer any adverse effects from being landed and released by sports anglers. There are many reports of the same fish being caught by different anglers on the same day, proving the fish have not suffered any trauma and resumed normal activity soon after being released. A fish's mouth is it's tool and strongest part of the body. The tiny pin prick caused by the hook is not detrimental to it's well being. If fish felt pain when hooked they would not pull against the hook and increase pressure. A bull or cow will follow whoever is pulling it by the rope attached to it's nose-ring - because it feels pain or discomfort if it doesn't. The very opposite of a hooked fish's reaction.
More importantly, angling allows us to fulfil the basic human instinct of hunter-gatherer. Just as a cat will hunt a mouse or bird, even when not hungry, the angler catches his quarry to hone his survival skills and satisfy his primal instinct to hunt. As the old saying goes "give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day - give him the rod and line and he will feed himself and his family from then on."
And no, I'm not trying to convince myself.