Far Bank Lucky charms & lost things

Ever had a lucky charm that you couldn’t fish with­out? Dom Gar­nett won­ders if life will ever be the same now he’s lost his favourite hat...

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

WHAT on earth I have done with it is quite be­yond me.

The pre­vi­ous win­ter that hat was vir­tu­ally welded to my head on ev­ery fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion.

Well-pocked and well-loved, to put it po­litely, it wouldn’t have won any fash­ion awards. But it did more than keep my ears warm – it had a def­i­nite sen­ti­men­tal value, if not ac­tual mag­i­cal pow­ers.

Why we grow so emo­tion­ally at­tached to sim­ple ob­jects I can­not say. It seems il­log­i­cal, not to men­tion un­for­tu­nate, to some­one as ab­sent-minded and prone to los­ing things as I am.

An­glers fall into one of two cat­e­gories in this re­spect. Some of us have lit­tle or no af­fec­tion what­so­ever for old things. We will hap­pily up­grade our rods, reels and fish­ing wear for the lat­est model. Some of my clos­est fish­ing friends are just like this, baf­fled that any­one would want to stick with last decade’s rod or an an­cient cen­tre­pin reel.

But for the rest of us, our fish­ing para­pher­na­lia has a pe­cu­liar emo­tional hold. It re­minds us of youth or happy times on the wa­ter. We covet and col­lect it. Worse, we even be­lieve these things bring us luck.

Even as a nat­u­ral scep­tic, I can­not help but be sucked in by the emo­tion and su­per­sti­tion sur­round­ing per­sonal things. Their loss or break­age hurts me keenly, from the var­i­ous rods I’ve man­aged to smash to the wrist­watch I some­how lost while wad­ing a lo­cal stream. The damned thing is still prob­a­bly tick­ing away on the riverbed.

If you are the sort of an­gler who still owns their first-ever rod, you may un­der­stand my ir­ra­tional at­tach­ment to ob­jects. Mine was an early 1980s fi­bre­glass whip with a point­less but pretty yel­low criss-crossed de­sign at the butt end. It had some non­sense let­ter­ing like the word ‘Olympic’ or ‘Cham­pion’ on it, as if it could mag­i­cally trans­form me from a naïve seven-year-old to a kind of fish­ing god.

Per­haps not, but I was con­vinced it was some­how lucky. Years later it was al­most dragged to the car boot sale and sold, be­fore I sheep­ishly hid it, loath to let go.

So here I am, no longer seven but 37, look­ing for my lost hat and ru­mi­nat­ing... still be­stow­ing sen­ti­men­tal value, if not gen­uine mag­i­cal prop­er­ties, upon sim­ple ob­jects.

Sure, I could eas­ily buy an­other, al­most iden­ti­cal, hat. I will prob­a­bly do ex­actly that, once I’ve turned the house up­side down a sec­ond time and ad­mit­ted de­feat.

But I know it won’t be the same. Be­cause our trea­sured pos­ses­sions are more than mere things. They hold sto­ries and mem­o­ries. They have tri­umphs and fail­ures, pass­ing from youth to old age just like us. And in the case of that damned hat, they can seem to dic­tate our very fish­ing for­tunes.

“We be­lieve fish­ing para­pher­na­lia brings us luck”

Dated or oth­er­wise, old tackle has many tales to tell.

Hat trick – my lucky head­gear has served me well on so many trips.

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