This blog was actually my answer to another blog penned by my friend Nigel 'Fennel' Hudson of Fennel's Priory http://www.fennelspriory.com/
I have always enjoyed Fennel's writing style and the fact that he tackles some rather difficult subjects which will often create a bit of a stir. The blog I was answering was one on what defines a traditional angler.
Is it the tackle they use, the clothes they wear, or their state of mind and angling ethics?
I stopped seeking approval for what feels right to me, many moons ago. If it feels right, if it feels comfortable and it brings along joy and that smug contented feeling whilst not harming others, then in my mind it is totally right.
Too many of our forefathers lost their lives in order for us all to have a choice in how we wish to run our lives. I know the tackle I prefer to use, but often choose other tools because they are far more suited to the job in hand and in many cases making a bite from a fish possible, rather than improbable and more importantly allow me to finish the job without putting the fish at harm.
I love using my Grandfathers old tools, the ones he worked with daily. But, if I need to drop a dead tree, I am not going to use a small hand saw just because my grandfather owned it. In fact I could see him now asking what on earth I was playing at when I have tools far better and safer for the job in hand.
I started fishing with a net as a kid because I enjoyed it, I progressed to a cane rod and wooden centrepin, which then lead to fibreglass rods and fixed spool reels and on and on. Each step was to heighten my enjoyment.
I reached a point where I don't think it wrong to say I was a competent angler and then found myself looking at tackle and methods to add an extra bit of fun on some waters. All of these things were to heighten my personal joy and pleasure I take from this pastime.
Most anglers find it odd as they can't categorise me at all these days. But, I fight against being categorised, angling is a lifestyle for me, (every penny I have ever earned since leaving school has been earned through angling) my lifestyle that I have naturally adapted for me, not one to appease others. My style isn't for all, but it is for me and I think that at the end of the day is the most important thing. Why compromise if there really is no need to, why be concerned about what others may think?
Remember our forefathers, those that many try and emulate. They used the best they could afford, they used all the technology that was available to them and they fought for their independence. We now have the luxury of choice. To emulate when we can because it makes us feel good, but also to do things in a more proficient manner if we so please. That doesn't have to mean suddenly running around like a headless chicken though. My mind remains the same regardless of what tools sit in front of me. I have my off limit areas where I don't go, but that is my personal choice.