Even though we are living in the twenty first century anglers still tend to form into tribes. You can be a fly angler, or a coarse angler, perhaps a carp angler. Once that is established you might want to further pigeon-hole yourself as maybe a specimen hunter or an urban angler. Well that’s fine, but personally I think you become a better angler by trying new things and throwing ideas from various disciplines into the melting pot.
This year I plan to put my money where my mouth is and embark on some new ventures into forms of fishing that are somewhat out of my comfort zone. I don’t plan to become expert at any one of them, but each will bring a new dimension to my fishing and I am sure be damn good fun! It is surprising actually what is out there once you start looking. My local rivers still have a pretty good run of salmon, so with a migratory rod licence purchased I plan to try and catch myself a ‘silver tourist’ by design this year, instead of by accident when trotting or pike fishing.
I would also like to catch a few more big brown trout from the reservoirs. Now that most operate a ‘catch and release policy’ this is something that really interests me, as these big predatory trout really are enigmatic creatures. Most fly anglers never even see a big brownie, although the venues they fish contain some, so it must mean that their tactics, so refined at catching ‘normal’ trout are not suitable for these top-predators.
I have already started on my quest for new skills and knowledge by investing in some pike fly fishing equipment and having a few days at Chew Valley Lake. The results haven’t exactly set the world alight, but it would actually be a disappointment to catch a big fish too long. The apprenticeship is just as enjoyable as the hoped-for eventual success.
My less than purist approach will upset some, but is designed to take a pragmatic view, based upon how the fish actually behave.
I have also booked a couple of sea fishing trips to parts of the British Isles that I have never visited before, which will make for interesting trips in their own right, even if the fish do not play ball. If they do then we could be in for a real treat without having to travel to the other side of the world.
It will certainly be an interesting journey, one that will run alongside my normal specimen season, plus feature-related trips up and down the country. If nothing else it is going to be a busy year!