I didn't realise, when I wrote back in November, how apt comparing fishing with dating is. Nor could I have predicted that my return to actual dating would coincide with my first fishing trip of the season.
In preparing for anything there is the assessment of current kit. I was woefully unprepared for both ventures. I seem to only own three types of clothes, work clothes, wedding clothes and scruffy comfortable clothes. None of which have the kind of feminine allure needed for dating. A quick browse of my creel tells a similar story. Its winter relegation to the garden shed (hibernation I think I'll call it) meant that when I opened it I was welcomed by a flood of earwigs and silverfish. I would have liked to say I didn't shriek, however, I did and ran away, far away. I returned only after a bracing cigarette and soul strengthening cup of tea. When I eventually put a cautious hand inside I discovered tangled horrors of rotten tippet, spectacle wipes and what I believe might have once been a Scotch egg.
The only joy found in both of these scenarios is the opportunity for shopping. There is much pleasure found in replenshing the armoury. The racks of dresses, shelves of shoes, tippet and gleaming reels manage to feed my greed. My conscience satisfied or tricked into false comfort by weak arguments of necessity.
I returned to dating armed with red shoes and a hip skimming, cleavage enhancing top. I felt confident of my equipment yet a little anxious. I had the niggling thought, "What if I have forgotten how to do this?" I trusted in my clothes and shoes, convincing myself that I now have at least some of thejuicy appeal of a plump mayfly. The date went well. My initial trepidation disappeared as, like with casting, my body slowly began to remember it's natural rhythm. It began with a curry and ended with a kiss. I've been smiling all day.
I go fishing again on Monday. I'm remembering all the errors of the past season, thinking longingly of the ones that got away. I'm also steeling and coiling myself and my nerves in the comfort that only a new leader and freshly tied fly can bring, enough to let me dare to think: I'm ready and I'm gonna get you.