Rippled waters of time
Even the most loyal readershave not seen every article. The first few columns were produced for trial issues, which were sent to advertising agencies and industry gurus while the paper ironed out technical difficulties. I would like to tell you what they were about, but those collectors' items were bashed out on an ancient computer called a Sirius, and you've probably got to travel that far to find a machine that can read those disks nowadays.
They weren't all my own work. A couple were written by my wife while I was exploring untrodden areas in the Himalayan foothills. We'll draw a veil over the treacherous opinions about anglers that appeared in those articles, but those who wrote congratulating her are still banned from reading the paper.
At first, this column was fortnightly. I was then asked to write weekly. "I'm not sure I will have enough material," I protested. What you're seeing is the result. Still, as I look back through old articles, it's obvious this column has achieved certain things. Probably the most momentous was the revelation about where an angling enthusiast hides maggots in a family fridge. My advice: "Always check under the lettuce in the salad cabinet," uncovered lots of boxes with small wriggling things inside, and earned eternal gratitude from mothers of small boys and wives of larger boys.
The follow-up on freezers proved educational and has since been incorporated into household advice books. Ten years ago how many wives would have thought their partners sneaky enough to put frozen peeler crabs in a box marked Emergency Dog Food: Frozen Tripe? Thousands of parents have been able to judge the quality of a swain courting their daughter from my test paper for suitors. Typical question: Your fiancee falls into a fast-flowing river just as you hook a huge salmon. What do you do? (The correct answer is, of course, land the salmon. She can swim, and there's a shallow spot about half a mile downstream where she can easily wade ashore.)
In a quest to give readers information about never-fished areas, I have journeyed to exotic climes such as Arunachal Pradesh and Ecuador, fished through holes in the Finnish ice and been swept down a wild river in Maine. The fact that I never actually caught anything worthwhile on any of these expeditions is incidental. Thanks to my missionary zeal, anyone travelling to these countries now knows exactly what not to do.
I have had to counter charges of failing to address the key issues that have beset angling over the past decade: increased abstraction, pollution, high seas netting of salmon and sand-eels, fish farming, a government authority that cares more about collecting licence income than looking after fishing. Even good things like initiatives for youngsters, TV programmes like A Passion for Angling and the trend of releasing fish such as salmon and trout have gained only passing mentions. But you can get those in other papers. Where else would you have learnt about Neil Wilson, the man who wanted to be a fish and who suffocated in his green body suit? That's the stuff of posterity.
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
England manager Roy Hodgson attacks Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham over tours
Video: Emotional David Beckham leaves the pitch for 'the last time'
Another nail-biting finish for unlucky Tottenham as Arsenal look to secure Champions League place on last day
Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS2 teacher needed to do PPA ...