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!


Saturday 5 December 2015

A statement about modern angling?

One of the angling blogs that I follow is Bureboyblog.blogspot.co.uk - a nicely written variety of posts from North Norfolk and the surrounding areas, generally about angling, but not always. Looking at my "dashboard" this morning I saw that a new post has been made and quickly clicked the link to be rather bemused by a very short (tongue in cheek) caption which accompanies a splendid photo of said angler and four very nice pike taken from various venues in his part of the world.

The caption reads, and I've copied it directly, "nothing more depressing than the photo album of a single species angler."

22nd December 1986 - 23 lbs 5 oz
A single species angler? I don't believe I came into contact with such an individual when I first got into speccy hunting, way back at the very start of the 1980's? However the seeds were already being sown for the upsurge in demand, before the total domination, of carp angling within the UK. John Sidley might have been "The Eel Man" but he was also a bloody good pike angler, Fred Crouch was a Barbel nut, yet could turn his hand to Chub and Roach when the fancy took him. Even Kevin Maddocks, the guy whom I hold responsible for the whole carp fishing fiasco, turned to Catfish when he had nothing left to earn (prove) as a carp angling devotee.

Single species anglers; I might just as well write Carp Anglers, are a relatively modern development, a manifestation of instant gratification and the rise of  the commercial fishery. It is, therefore, the reason that the photo albums of these guys (and gals) are rather one dimensional. After all, there are only so many poses you can use to present a wet fish to the camera - photos very quickly become samey.
25 years later and I'm still using that same pose. I don't care how
arty - farty the photographer, there are a very finite number of
poses open to the average angler.
I suppose the question is really, why are the photographic collections assembled in the first place? From my own perspective, my angling journey, through all it's phases, is captured by these images and is there for my personal amusement and memories. Of course I use them to add interest to my blogging, as an indicator of my abilities and commitment and also to share with and, hopefully, entertain other like-minded souls who choose to look at this blog.
Would I wish to change anything? No, I don't believe I would.
Memories of a particular stage in my angling journey - Carp fishing in that exciting period 1983/84
As they were the target, is it any surprise that my photos reflected this?
I consider myself very fortunate to have avoided the snare of carp angling and been allowed to pursue my dreams in phases of single species efforts as the year's seasons progress. When setting my stall for a particular species, I focus all my efforts toward a successful conclusion before changing tack and seeking a challenge elsewhere. It is, therefore, no great surprise that my old albums contain lots of similar images of Catfish, Tench, Carp, Pike and Zander as each species was targeted.

My PB Barbel

One of over 100 seven pound Tench that I've taken from Wilstone.
Once again, I am sure that there is an awful lot of age related stuff allied to these thought processes. Modern anglers simply don't have access to the angling apprenticeship that was available to me as I was growing up, and that's as sad as it is true. Responsible parents are unlikely to allow their kids to wander off to the local rivers and canals, unsupervised, in these modern times?

May I end this drivel by stating my thanks to Bureboy for the spark that set the ball rolling - cheers!
My only other option was wild flowers - don't go there!!!


  1. I'm watching you Wrathall!!!!

    1. Sir, might I refer you to my comment to RicF below - Good Day?

  2. Dyl, nothing wrong with wild flowers and it doesn't involve lots of equipment, various baits, lots of expense, competing against people - just a pair of eyes and a good wild flower book -personally I find it very exciting.

  3. Great post Dyl. 100 Tench over 7lb's! out of Wilstone, crikey, epic number. I think I might have had less than 10, anywhere. Though I might add I did catch three over 8lb's one morning out of there one morning in 1985, which ignoring the rather large 'awkward fella', are still my biggest.
    I reckon I set the record though for the fastest 7lb Tench from 'hooking to landing'. That was on Stockers (poaching for Eels) Bunch of lobs under the rod top, 12lb line, size 2 hook. Twitchy bite which I hit and hauled into the net in one movement. Looked fat for an eel in the dark. Playing time, about 0.03 of one second.
    Only way I could find flowers exciting would be to own a special hunting sheep with which to attack them with.

    1. Rich, That shouldn't have read Wilstone, I should have written The Tring Complex! I took eight sevens out of Startops on my final Tring session in March 1993! My PB stands at 9lbs 2oz from the same swim as your "double" along Cyanide Strait and I also have a couple of eights (8.06 & 8.14). My best session was at Wilstone in September 1985 when I took 15 sevens in a four day stint - happy days!
      The wild flower references are in response to a fellow bloggers recent postings - Steve Gale is a very talented birder/all rounder and has been posting some good stuff. Being a complete heathen - my own slant on wild flowers is that God created them to stop my shoes getting dirty! - Take care - Dyl

  4. It's a pleasure Dylan. Can't see you following the straight and narrow anytime soon.

  5. Only just remembered (actually 3:30am) Dyl. Your brother Sye saw two of those 8's I had out of Wilstone. I fished the end where there's a channel into a big hole. At night the fish came on the shallows to the right (google map excellent).
    Anyway, Sye had been at 'Live Aid' the previous weekend and was buzzing. I felt a bit ashamed since as an obsessed angler I'd been blanking on Wilstone. Borrowing my camera, Sye took what were probably the best quality hand held pictures (Kodachrome 64) of the time of a brace of those Tench. Subsequently, one ended up on the cover of a fishing mag to which I'd typed some rambling rant.
    I guess that means as the photographer I still owe him £30.

    1. Rich - he's still got the bloody T-shirt! I wouldn't get too worried about photographer fees, the Wraftie's are doing OK just now. Most of my Tring photos were taken using Kodachrome 64 - hardly surprising as I was working for Kodak at that time - it was the best slide film available during that period. I used an Olympus OM 10, many of the other guys were using Canon AE1's - the results were always good enough for the mags of the day. I had quite a lot of images published in the NASA and CCG rags but also in David Hall's Coarse Fishing - cos he was a mate, not because my photos were any better than anyone elses!
      Great times - happy days - Dyl
      P.S. I will contact you via E-mail once I get some computer issues sorted out.