Despite the startling lack of activity on these pages in recent months...nay, years...I've actually been fishing more often since the pandemic struck than I have in the last 10 years. It's a funny business, writing about fishing, and it's easy to be more concerned with words on the page than hours on the bank. No more. My main outlet - Waterlog magazine - has switched from a quarterly to an annual - and there are no books on the horizon; unless I decide to collect my stories together and self-publish them.
But it's been joyful to get out on the rivers and lakes of Sussex since the first lockdown was eased and - among others - the Angling Trust made such a persuasive argument to the government that fishing was a sensible, responsible pursuit that is a life-saver for those of us who suffer from this particular affliction. So this season I've caught carp, rudd, perch, a few crucian carp, a rather lovely bream, some gudgeon, a few eels and one or two tiny chub. I've caught my biggest ever carp, last cast, my only bite of the day; and I've captured rudd after rudd from the swim pictured above, in all their glorious red-finned beauty.
Fishing eh? Bloody hell.
Rob Beattie is the author of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.