Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 3 June 2015

I'll choose my words carefully

In spite of my blog profile introduction, it seems that complete strangers, guys with whom I've never met, know best how I should go about my life, how I blog and what wording I can, and can't, use. Weird - as I've never given a thought as to how they should conduct their lives?
Once again, I find myself defending the right to be an individual - arguing the corner for freedom of opinion/expression within the UK! Am I inciting racial hatred, religious or sexual orientation prejudice? No - just questioning the requirement for rules in a natural history context. I'll ask again - "How is this important?"


  1. Evening Dyl. I would take it as a compliment that there are people - strangers - out there who are stirred into action through the reading of your words. A blog with no comments and one that does not elicit reaction is sterile indeed. We all approach natural history in differing ways, and again I would celebrate that fact. None of us are wrong, none of us are right (unless that person is an egger or is blasting our raptors out of the sky!) I think that it is unusual for a naturalist such as yourself to be so self-contained, and this is what others may not appreciate. After all, 99% of us are following a vaguely similar template that the other 1% does not want to subscribe to. But, as you say, it is all of no real importance when you compare it to what else is going on in the world and our role in life to others. Kind regards, Steve

    1. Steve - it would appear that we have much in common. I know that you're back down to Dunge in the near future - send me a comment (I won't publish it!) of when it is happening and I will do my utmost to get down there. There's much we need to chat about - we might even find time to grab a pint? - Dyl

  2. Alas in a Democracy we all have the right to express our opinions whether considered ill-judged or not.......I doubt whether such an expressive blog as your's would exist in North Korea. Some fear what is unknown to them and the result of that can lead to questioning (shock horror) or (seriously) much worse: aggression, bullying etc....quite tragic how 'scared' some people are of other people's opinions! As Steve Gale mentioned it would be a sterile world indeed if a blog didn't get commented on.....As a rule, personally, I never tend to respond to such people (they no doubt lack confidence and need self assurance - they often can't handle criticism)......its folly to think that we do not judge / are judged for virtually all of our lives - we do because we are human and are defined by our actions accordingly..................

    I must say your photos from Wilstone looked fabulous! I had a walk around Wilstone today and was just in time to see a young angler land a near double figure tench off of Wilstone Pier! Around the time of your Wilstone photos I was fishing the odd Surrey Hammer Pond or two......blissful days! I caught a 3lb 10oz Perch from a small lake / Pond just under the Gatwick Flight path - I think in 1989....Lost the bloomin' picture! Anyhow, I plan on giving Wilstone a go this year but was wondering if you had any piscatorial advice on how to approach the water.......The last place I fished was Wintons Fishery for the Catfish! Wilstone, of course, is a very different proposition.........

    Great Blog!

    Take care,


    1. James - many thanks for your comments, they are most welcome in these turbulent times! Can I offer any advice about Wilstone Res? - I would be nothing more than a charlatan if I said anything other than no! My time was thirty years ago - the venue remains as enigmatic as ever it was, but I no longer have my finger on the pulse, so to speak. In the early 80's - Cyanide Strait was always the focal point during early season (16th June onwards) and it wasn't until Alan Wilson, went pioneering, that "the pier" became the centre of UK tench angling.
      My brother Simon took his best tench (9 lbs 6 oz) from the shallow section beyond the pier - there is still much about that fishery which remains a mystery to me. I don't know if Ken Brown and Tony Ward are still fishing Wilstone - if they are, then they are the guys you should be asking for advice.

      Tight lines and wet nets - Dylan

  3. I'm with you, Dylan... In my view, a blog should be mercilessly individual!!! If people can't handle that or prefer a more neutral tone, then they should google up the BBC news site... A blog is not a news item- it's a reflection and collection of its owner's thoughts- it does not have to play to a crowd and it doesn't have to be sanitised or politically correct unless the owner wants it to be.... With you too on the numbers game. The guiding principle for me in all of my countryside and outdoor activities is the romance of it all... Too much bean-counting can kill the 'instinct'... In fishing terms, catching a nice sized fish is good, and some seasons I have individual targets, but more often than not it's irrelevant to me. I just forget all about them and try to catch what is in front of me.... I think Fred J Taylor called it 'solving the problem'! A 5lb tench in one water might be just the same achievement as a 10lb tench in another. The current angling press seems to try to universally quantify all species. I don't know if this translates to the moth world, but I do feel that there is too much bloody obsession with facts and figures....

    1. Thanks for that Gareth - I'm not sure I would fit the bill of a romantic (you only have to speak to Bev!). My angling is dominated by self made challenges, I am searching for a particular species of a specific size - it doesn't detract from the fish that I catch along the way, but my goal is my focus and that what keeps me going. My patch watching and other natural history interests are very much a way of filling in time, a distraction from the ordinariness of my daily routine.
      I can equally enjoy a blank session on the river purely because I encountered a Grass Snake, watched a Kingfisher or a Mink hunting the water adjacent to my swim - not why I go fishing, but all these aspects of being outdoors which enrich my life.
      Running a moth trap, in my garden, is a very lazy pursuit - switch it on as it's getting dark, go to bed, and the switch it off in the morning when I get up. At some time during the day I examine the contents - very laid back. If I miss a few nights - so what?
      If you give Gadget a call, we could try to get together and have a pint and a chat - The Racing Greyhound is always worth a visit!
      All the best - Dyl