Sometimes you decide to go fishing and everything just feels right.
As you put your tackle in the car you notice that the air is pleasingly mild – too warm and the fish will be dour, similarly if it is too cold – somewhere in between is usually best.
As you drive to the lake you notice the roadside trees are swaying a little – just enough breeze to ensure there will be a ripple on the water to stir your quarry into action.
On arrival, there is not another soul around. You hurriedly pull on your boots, throw your bag over your shoulder and grab your rod. Crossing the field towards the water’s edge you notice a couple of fish move in the distance.
You stand on the bank and assess your options. The water has good clarity, but with just a tinge of colour to leave something to the imagination.
Another fish moves. Your confidence couldn’t be higher. You nervously thread up your rod and prepare for your first cast.
Social media has been linked to higher levels of envy, anxiety and depression in many sectors of society. I could imagine that anglers are no exception to this rule.
Based on my own feed of images and information on Instagram and Youtube, one could be forgiven for thinking that the catch of a lifetime should be a weekly occurrence for any decent angler or, at least, it only requires the purchase of one more piece of ‘essential kit’.
Too much time spent scrolling through your friends’ fishing pictures can result in the setting of unrealistic expectations for one’s own trips. Moreover, the desire to capture the perfect ‘trophy shot’ of your own to share, can distract from the multitude of other (perhaps more important) reasons why we go fishing.
Fishing has been described as ‘an excuse for being there’ – close to nature, in touch with the seasons, with time to contemplate and gain or regain perspective. In other words, there’s more to fishing than catching fish.
Certainly fishing alone is better than not fishing at all, but for many anglers (myself included) sharing time on the banks with friends or family is infinitely more enjoyable. As Christopher McCandless concludes in one of my favourite films ‘Into the Wild’, “happiness is only real when shared“.
Following on from recent posts about my first trips to Finland, I thought I would give a rundown on the most productive lures from last year’s trip.
Whilst for the second year in a row I failed to get beyond the jacks (small pike), what they lacked in size they certainly made up for in number and on light tackle provided great sport on a variety of methods and baits. Several pike and perch fell to float-fished live and dead baits, but most were taken on artificial lures – from surface poppers and frogs, to deep diving plugs and big spoons.
I wrote recently about my first trip to Finland with Rock and Lake in 2016, a lot of fish were caught in beautiful surroundings and a truly wonderful family holiday was had. Whilst I failed to connect with any of the larger pike that Lake Puula is reputed to hold, it had been my first experience boat fishing big waters for predators and I loved every minute of it. A return trip was promptly booked for summer 2017.