Saturday 18 March 2017

The Art of Angling

For the past couple of months I have been holed up in my shed, grappling with writing a journal article. I am pretty rubbish at writing such things basically because it is super boring. Formatting footnotes and writing wanky phrases that please reviewers like "the evidence presented here" "close examination of the text reveals" has managed to suck the joy out of any research. This confirms my choice to not apply to do a PhD. A wise move by a twenty-one year old.
I was checking a reference the other day when I came across The Art of Angling by R.Brookes, written in 1721 and published in 1789. You can download a version of it here.


The book goes through all sorts of weird and wonderful ways of catching all sorts of weird and wonderful fish. I found the endless pages of equipment needed for making artificial flies unnervingly familiar. The author spends two pages listing materials, then concludes, 'When the Angler is furnished with all these materials, he may make any sort of Artificial flies' before listing yet more pages of 'essential' equipment. My filing cabinet full of sorts of fly tying tat is testament to the universal truth that the fly dresser is never fully equipped.
Recent sunny days remind me that the trout season in England will be starting soon and the sooner that I finish with this wretched piece of writing, the sooner I can fish however, my mind can't stop wandering 'To verdant Banks of Crystal streams'.