hen I was a young teenager, about 14, it seemed every bod and his dog went fishing. My Dad would set off early on a Sunday morning and head for mid-Wales and the River Lugg. Coincidently, not far from where we live now.
His love was game fishing as opposed to coarse fishing. The difference being that game fishing is trying to catch Salmon and Trout while coarse fishing is trying to catch anything from Barbel to Gudgeon. I know, I have no idea what they are either. He was always on to me to go with him, an exercise in bonding and eventually I succumbed and joined him on one occasion. I say one because I never went again. As a 14-year-old, there’s no way I was going to get out of bed at 4:00 am on a Sunday morning for anyone, including if the house was on fire.
What A Rigmarole
One of the reasons for recalling this episode is the fact that I hated every nanosecond of the fishing experience. Spending the day with my Dad was priceless, but I found the rigmarole of setting up the fishing rods, messing with worms, maggots and fly hooks so tedious. We arrived at 6:00 am and the sun was out but it was cool. From the off, my poor old Dad was trying to motivate my interest in all the intricacies of catching a Rainbow Trout. How they could be hiding under the tree on the opposite bank, what size fly to use, how to cast without surprising them and so on.
We Caught Nothing!
Perhaps I was a bad omen on the day as, by lunchtime, we had not caught one fish. My Dad kept trying different methods, none of which I understood and he kept saying, “We’ll get one in a minute, you wait and see.” Unfortunately, or fortunately, if you’re a Trout, he didn’t catch a single fish. No matter what he tried, the result was the same, nothing! This went on until around 2:00 pm when he decided enough was enough and we should pack up and go home. Secretly, I was happy to be on our way, but I could see he was disappointed. I helped pack the car and then we left for home.
As we drove out of the field, my Dad said, “I’ve just got to call into a shop in Presteigne.” I thought he must want some cigarettes or sweets, but to my surprise, we pulled up outside the local fishmongers. I stayed in the car while he popped inside. Five minutes later he came out with two Rainbow Trout fish in greaseproof paper. He stopped to show me and then placed them in the boot of the car. “I daren’t go home empty-handed, your mother will box my ears! Don’t you say a word to her when we get home.” I couldn’t believe it! Here was my hero and he was cheating.
End Of The Day
The 2-hour drive home was very quiet. I was still surprised, but I could see why he had done such a thing, to justify his day out fishing. Back home and sure enough, Dad told my Mom that we had both enjoyed the day and how pleased I was that we had managed to catch two fish. I remember nodding and smiling in agreement but saying nothing. Later on, as I made my way to bed, my Mom caught me on the landing and whispered in my ear, “Goodnight sweetheart, did your Father really catch those fish or did he stop at the shop and buy them?” I couldn’t believe my ears. She knew all along. Being diplomatic, I said he caught one and bought the other. She winked and I made my way to bed, I’d been up since 4:00 am.
If you’re interested in finding out more about game fishing, here’s a link.