It was an hour into the trip - more of a quick raid really - that I realised I'd been fishing with someone called Sam before. I took my nephew Sam fishing a few years back and we both froze to death on the shores of a bleak Sussex day ticket water while all around us caught fish. It was a difficult day to explain.
Regular readers will recall my conundrum - how to balance a powerful desire to go fishing with an equally strong conviction that the close season should be observed, even if it doesn't exist on still waters any more. I'm happy to report that, thanks to a fly fishing friend I was able to wet a line with a clear conscience.
The fact that I am once again officially licensed up makes it difficult to resist going fishing. I haven't wet a line since January and I'm now very twitchy about the whole thing. Ian sent me a link to a video about where he lives in British Columbia and although there was a bit too much fish porn for me, it's got the synapses in my brain that look after angling a-firing.
Finally after - literally - years of trying, I've had a proper paid-for article accepted by Waterlog, the world's most peculiar fishing magazine. Should you be inclined to seek it out, it's in the Spring 2006 edition, somewhere near the back, and it's called Ray and the Needle.
Or at least the season. I know that many anglers don't observe the close season anymore, that they think it's an anachronism. I'm not sure how it came about. I remember the first year Ray and I joined a local club it was still common practice on still waters and there was a fantastic sense of anticipation as anglers gathered together for the first cast of a new season. (We didn't know the etiquette back then and drove too close to the water, got shouted at).