Those of you who know me will be aware that I am, and always have been, a keen angler. At one time, it is all I would do. In my younger days (cough) every spare day, every spare hour, every spare moment would be spent fishing. Indeed, I would think nothing of spending an entire week fishing whenever vacation time was available.
Eventually, of course, life moves on, priorities change and all of a sudden fishing became less important but never the less has remained an essential part of my life. It's important because it brings you closer to nature and you see things that you would not otherwise see. It gives you time to think - many a master plan has been hatched on the banks of some lake or a river. Indeed, you often hear fishing described as "simply being there" and I believe that is just about what sums it up.
Catching fish is important too, not as much as it once was but, believe me, you still want to catch. As I've got older, though, I've reached a state of mind where I find myself knowing that, if the fish are feeding, then I will catch them. My rigs are efficient, I use a good bait and, provided I am in the right place, then the fish will do the rest.
Anyway, here's the last fish I caught and what an impressive beast it is - all 22lb 8oz of it. By carp standards it actually isn't that big but what a fight it put up. It was such a dogged slogging match that, if I had lost this fish, then I would have imagined it to have been much bigger than it actually was.
I caught this fish ( a common carp if you didn't know) just before first light this morning. After safely retaining the fish in deep water, I sat back and made myself a cup of tea and waited for the sun to come up so that I could take this picture. Early Summer mornings, by a lake in England with the birds singing to meet the rising sun - it just doesn't get any better than that (although first light in Alberta near Red Deer runs it close).
After the photographs she was safely returned to fight another day and I was grateful to her for sharing the dawn with me.