passion for angling
passion for angling

‘Childhood Dreams’ – Passion for Angling

“Childhood Dreams,” an installment from the revered series “passion for angling,” left an indelible mark on countless anglers. I am certain that many were drawn into the world of fishing by its evocative and enchanting atmosphere. The film resonates with my own memories of childhood, seen through the innocent eyes of youth. Thankfully, I was granted the freedom to explore those early years fully—a gift for which my soul remains eternally grateful.

Growing up was a precious time. At the tender age of 3, my parents wisely relocated from bustling London to the tranquil edge of Dartmoor, where my brother and I were raised. Surrounded by lush green valleys and crystal-clear rivers, I developed a profound love for nature and a passion for angling. The arrival of fish and fishing in my life seemed destined. My father, the giver of this precious gift, forever altered my path. Fishing became his lifeline—a respite from obligations and stress—allowing the pure love within him to flow freely.

During my first year of secondary school, my father surprised me by declaring that I wouldn’t attend classes that day. His words were like an oasis in the desert of my school routine. I had little fondness for the patronizing halls of education, where I felt I paid my dues in bad karma. My schoolbooks bore witness to my longing for the lake, their pages filled with sketches of carp in weedy pools, rig diagrams, and bait recipes. My teachers often accused me of having my head in the clouds, but they failed to recognize that it was submerged in the lake, swimming among the weeds—a deep reverence for all things aquatic.

My father observed my affinity for water—a love he shared. His encouragement knew no bounds, even when items mysteriously vanished from his tackle box or my bait box miraculously filled while his remained empty. Through angling, we inhabited a space and time that transcended mere father and son. Fishing leveled the ground between us; we became equals, friends. I could ask him any question about life and its mysteries. My passion for angling was growing and creating a bond.

On June 16th, 1997, in my dad’s weathered Montego estate, we wound our way through the high country lanes. The day wore a cloak of gray and overcast skies. Towering oaks twisted as we descended toward the lake. Upon reaching the car park, my father halted the diesel engine. A sweet silence enveloped me, followed by the hiss of wind, bird songs, and the laughter of ducks. These soothing sounds touched the core of my being.

We filled out our day tickets at the entrance—a ritual ingrained in our fishing territory. Perhaps it symbolized a payment to the ferryman. As we walked, bags slung over our shoulders, rods in hand, bait and food secured, the straps dug into my shoulder, and my fingers grew numb. Yet an almost boundless wind filled my sails. With each breath, with each step, the beauty of the surroundings radiated.

The anticipation bubbled within me as I prepared to cast. Swiftly, I withdrew a rod from its sleeve and began fixing a reel. Rifling through my carryall, I discovered two new bite alarms perched atop my tackle, expertly affixed to my old buzz bars. A moment of confusion gripped me. I glanced at my father. His smile ran deep, his eyes gleaming with warmth. Returning my gaze to the bag, I absorbed the contents before me. It struck me how tirelessly my parents toiled to provide for us, and yet my father had gone out of his way to express his love through this unexpected gift. It was a gesture that touched me deeply, and my gratitude shone brightly in my eyes, evident to my father.

Fuelled by excitement, I hastened to cast. Settling in, I lobbed a bag of maggots towards an island, forty yards out. I sat there, entranced, observing the new additions to my angling setup. Time slipped away unnoticed, marked only by the fleeting visits of robins scavenging for maggots and the gentle patter of raindrops evolving into a steady shower. Suddenly, a gust of wind triggered one of my alarms, its brilliant green light piercing through the gloom. Was it a bite? Without hesitation, I dashed into the rain, seizing the rod. Tension pulsed through the line, building an eager anticipation within me. With each inch closer, the thrill mounted until the fish finally slipped into the net. I exhaled deeply, the intensity of the moment consuming me. There was nothing quite like it, especially in those early years, when every catch was a marvel to behold. Cradling the fish in my arms, I marveled at its intricate patterns and the sheer wonder of its existence in its aqueous realm.

As my gaze lifted from the water, I beheld the lush greenery surrounding me, the vibrant colors blending into a symphony of sights, scents, and sounds. In that moment, I felt more alive than ever before, embracing the beauty of life with an unwavering spirit. The journey home that evening was permeated with the scent of carp, my mind lost in reverie. My heart flowed like a tributary into the lake I held dear, a sentiment that persisted through my college years until I could explore new waters. The confines of academia could only contain my body, for my soul found freedom by the lake, whether in presence or in spirit, where it could soar like a carp in its liquid domain. This is my passion for angling.

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