The Vintage Fishing Company Guides by D1F5IS


									The Vintage Fishing Company Guides

No. 1 - Vintage Angling


So you are thinking of giving vintage angling, or “vangling” a go?
Perhaps you are bored of the arms race type approach to tackle that
seems to prevail in the modern sport, with each year (because seasons
no longer exist) bringing a fresh swathe of must have rods, reels,
cucumber and beetroot flavoured boilies dipped in a humus and red
wine glug or somesuch. Or perhaps you have a fond memory of fishing
with an older relative and want to recapture some of the simple
pleasure of angling? Here are some suggestions (and they are only
that) from the VFC to help!

Embrace the Philosophy

Shake out your arms and breath in through your nose and out
through your mouth… (or:)

  1) Try not to worry about whether or not you catch fish. Go fishing
     to go fishing – if you happen to catch a fish or two then all the
     better. Spend time looking around you, enjoying being part of
     nature and able to breathe.

  2) Read one or two of the great angling writers to try and connect
     with them: try J. W. Martin, Norman Hill, Arthur Ransome or
     Chris Yates perhaps. These writers write about the joy of fishing
     and being by the river or lake without trying to convince you
     that a particular technique is going to bring instant results.

  3) Fish the same spots repeatedly, particularly on a river – get to
     know them like favourite friends, learn how the river/ pond
     changes and tune into it. Avoid hopping from one place to the
     next because you happen to blank one day – or because
     somewhere is supposedly “fishing well”.

  4) Follow the old close season. No – seriously – follow it. Even fish
     deserve a rest and a chance to breed (I know all the excuses
     about them not actually breeding in the closed season etc.). But
     even a fisherman can benefit from a rest – a little time away
     from the water to get brownie points at home and heighten
     anticipation. End it all with an Opening Day party and get
     together – a tradition that I much miss. The close season was
     only abolished so that commercial carp fisheries could carry on
     fleecing day ticket fishermen.
Where to fish (or where not!)

Ok – its true: you are more likely to catch fish in an over stocked
commercial pond than in a river or natural lake, and not all of us are
lucky enough to live near plentiful free natural fishing.

If you have a choice, though, go natural every time: you will often save
the cost of a day ticket and will have the joy of the unexpected: what
will take your bait next? In an hour spell on an open stretch of a
Norfolk river John Wilson managed to catch a mirror carp of 10.5lb, a
barbel of 12.7 lbs, a roach of 2.7lbs and a chub over 4lbs! And all on
breadflake, one of the cheapest baits there is.


   1) Decide how far you want to go and stick to it: are you going to
      fish vintage from hook point to rod butt or mix modern and
      vintage equipment? Some improvements really are that –
      modern lines for example are far easier to cast with and use
      than vintage lines (and easier to get hold of too!) Are you going
      to use tackle from a particular period perhaps? Or do you just
      want to try a cane rod with your modern reel? All will bring
      satisfaction – but set yourself your parameters early on.

   2) Keep it simple – fish haven’t got any smarter, but techniques
      seem to have got more complicated. Much of this is simply to
      give tackle shops something to sell to you! As Arthur Ransome
      once said:
   “The pleasures of fishing are chiefly to be found in rivers, lakes and
   tackle-shops and, of the three, the last are the least….”

   The simpler your tackle the less to go wrong, and the lighter you
   can travel. The lighter your kit, the more likely you are to move
   about – thereby not only increasing your chance of a fish but also
   getting to see more of your chosen venue.

   3) When fly fishing bear in mind the different action of cane rods,
      particularly older ones, and practise with your chosen line and
      reel before you get waterside: you’ll be surprised at how different
      it feels and reacts.

   4) If you are going the whole hog remember that you must use
      modern leads and weights and that vintage landing nets (with
      knotted mesh) should not be used (if you want to use your
      vintage net then get a modern mesh net to replace the original).
      In addition gaffs, tailers, pike gags and various other bits of old
      tackle such as crocodile harnesses are now frowned upon by the
      authorities in freshwater fishing (apparently nobody cares if sea
      fish carry on suffering!).
  5) Look after your tackle, but don’t be afraid to use it – if it breaks,
     it breaks: a rod or reel is made for fishing, not sticking behind
     glass. OK – if you have a rare first pattern Hardy brass perfect
     then you might want to consider leaving it at home, but you
     know what I mean.

  6) Don’t use a keepnet – your memory is the only place to keep a
     fish, the sooner it is swimming free again the less damage is
     likely to be caused.

  Optional Extras

  1) If you haven’t made your own tea bankside on an open fire or
     Kelly kettle then you haven’t lived. Check out Chris Yates’ guide
     to tea making on You Tube


  2) If you smoke then I can highly recommend a pipeful of your
     favourite (sorry – I assume that you knew I meant smoke a
     pipe!) leaf. If you smoke cigarettes then give a pipe a try on the
     bankside – much more efficacious at keeping away the midges
     and (slightly) better for you too!

  3) Do without a brolly – no matter what the weather! Trust in an
     oilskin coat, trusty fishing hat and scarf (to stop drips) and
     enjoy being in the rain – but make sure you have a hot crumpet
     and cup of tea on order when you get home. If its too awful to
     fish in just your coat then stay home, read a good fishing book
     and look wistfully out of the window….. the fish will still be
     there tomorrow (unfortunately, in Britain, so very likely will the
     rain be!).

  4) Support other anglers, even those less enlightened than you.
     When they mock you tackle and approach (and they will, shortly
     before driving their god forsaken bait boat over your carefully
     floated line) return a smile and a nod: for you have seen the
     light. More often than not ridicule will quickly give way to
     interested questions and trips down memory lane.

  5) Fish the seasons – tench in July, carp and bream in summer,
     perch, dace and barbel in autumn and pike and roach in winter
     perhaps (other combinations exist of course!). Get in tune with
     nature rather than fight against it by fishing for one species all
     year round (unless you’re a chubaholic, in which case good luck
     to you).
6) Keep a fishing log/ diary – but make it more than about the fish
   you catch. Sure its good to be able to reference techniques and
   so on that have worked previously in a spot (though fish, being
   fish, will refuse to play ball and swallow the same bait presented
   in the same way in the same conditions!) but why not note
   wildlife seen, people met or things seen? If you can bear it you
   could even expose your feelings!

                                                       Jim Hudson
                                      The Vintage Fishing Company

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