Far Bank

Is it pos­si­ble for coarse and game an­glers to cast side by side, as friends rDaaosth moeu rGrt amhraon­nre efta tc, tions? Most cer­tainly, says en­light­ened fish­eries prove ev­ery sea­son...

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

Coarse V Game an­glers?

FOR as long as I can re­mem­ber, the di­vi­sion be­tween dif­fer­ent types of an­gling has seemed a strange old busi­ness.

Per­haps it’s in­evitable when meth­ods di­verge as much as whip fish­ing and wrecking for cod, but we all re­main an­glers in one form or an­other. So why do so many of us iden­tify with just one camp, be it match, carp or lure fish­ing?

With the on­ward march of tech­nol­ogy it has never been easier to find in­for­ma­tion and en­try points to dif­fer­ent types of fish­ing. So why are rel­a­tively few of us true all-rounders?

While hu­mans re­main crea­tures of habit and so­cial group­ing, more of us are def­i­nitely cross­ing bound­aries now. But to be truly in­te­grated, dif­fer­ent an­gling styles have to meet up on the bank, not just on Face­book.

In­deed, what a shame we can­not do this more of­ten, be­cause this mix­ing process only adds to the plea­sure and un­der­stand­ing all of us get from fish­ing.

Re­cently I had the great plea­sure of fish­ing at Tims­bury on the Test. You might as­sume this was not the most in­clu­sive of rivers, but on a crisp au­tumn day, the var­i­ous schools of an­gling were present not as grudg­ing co-habi­tants, but like old friends chat­ting away and com­par­ing notes.

Ev­ery win­ter this fish­ery opens in a way that sadly too few stretches of chalk­stream do, al­low­ing ev­ery­thing from leg­ering for chub to nymph fish­ing for grayling. Within the same mile, ex-in­ter­na­tional game an­gler Gary Pear­son was cast­ing flies, while our own Des Tay­lor was tak­ing a look with bait gear and I was tack­ling up for pike. Far from be­ing a race to bag swims or de­bate whose ap­proach was best, I spent the day thor­oughly en­joy­ing the com­pany and lis­ten­ing with great in­ter­est to the dif­fer­ent an­glers. It fished hard on the day, but for a glo­ri­ous few hours you might have thought you had stum­bled upon a more progressive era of fish­ing, where all of us were friends, hap­pily cast­ing side by side.

If I had to sin­gle out some of the most stub­born fac­tors that pre­vent unity in fish­ing, costs and pri­vate ac­cess would be among the big­gest. The River Test is just one ex­am­ple. At £25 a day, Tims­bury is an af­ford­able treat, but many of the other stretches are to­tally out of reach to Joe Pub­lic at £200 a day and are fly-only most of the year. Is it any won­der we foster ei­ther re­sent­ment or snob­bery?

You can draw your own con­clu­sions here, but all I will say is that if fish­ing is to sur­vive and be healthy, we need to be more wel­com­ing and will­ing to share waters and ideas. Unity doesn’t have to mean uni­for­mity, and we are all richer for com­ing to­gether.

Coarse and fly an­glers meet as firm friends at Tims­bury.

A pretty grayling, equally en­joy­able whether you try bait or flies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.