If there is one thing that I am really thankful for in fishing is the fact that I didn't waste my
I fished long and hard, hating the way that other things such as work got in the way of my main purpose in life.
Now, though, in old age I enjoy a more serene and happy and contemplative kind of angling.
I no longer wish to compete with other anglers trying to catch more or bigger fish.
I did my share of competition fishing in years gone by, and I even won some matches. But this no longer appeals to me, though I do not, of course, criticise those who do compete.
I was one of the founders of the specimen hunting brigade and loved to spend long hours by day and night, especially by night, seeking big fish with some modest success, but this too doesn't concern me any more.
I admire the best of today's big fish anglers, those who do not lie that is, because I have learned to be sceptical and suspicious.
Now I get a simply tremendous sense of peace and happiness out of sitting comfortably beside a quiet piece of water or out in a boat on a big water seeking fish that are big enough to put a bend in the rod and avoiding the tiddlers without striving for success with huge fish.
I meet up with like-minded anglers and enjoy a mixture of solitude mixed with periods of good companionship, and I would feel awfully frustrated if I had not fished hard and long for so many years to get the intensity out of my system.
After all, I caught my first fish almost 67 years ago.
And though I hate to be 'waterlicked' as we old timers called it, and do not fish hard on those days when trout are proving easy to catch, preferring to land just a limit bag and leave plenty for those anglers who come along after me, I do nevertheless enjoy giving cleaned, oven-ready trout away to friends and neighbours.
I have, in fact, given away well over 100 last year for instance.
This makes me really loathe those who poach and cheat to get trout to sell.