Romance? Or Realism?

Smitten! Having spoken to many fishing widows, it appears that it's common knowledge that there isn't a lot of romance in anglers' relationships. The average angler's idea of gallantry is to remove his waders and socks before getting into bed and there are those who keep them on, waders and all, so I've heard. It's not because they don't care. They simply don't have the time or mental space available.

The small slot in an angler's brain, set aside for romance, is already half full with worrying about where their next bait supply is going to come from. So, given a couple of passing references to tenderness towards womankind and they have instant overspill. They just can't cope with it although they don't seem to have the same trouble bestowing affection upon the specimens they catch.

Passion we get – and plenty of it when adverse weather conditions permit. If it's too foggy, windy, the lake's frozen over or the pubs aren't open, they have to find something else to do – but the art of romance seems to pass most anglers by and that's a bit of a shame. Romance takes less energy than passion – considerably more time, I grant you - but it can pay huge dividends for very little effort.

It doesn't take much to keep a woman happy. A phone call, now and again, from a waters' edge – there's always one angler with a mobile phone who will let you phone home in the interests of marital harmony – is all it takes to let your loved one know that you haven't erased her completely from your memory. You could buy a bar of dark chocolate from a garage, on the way to, or from, a fishing trip -dark chocolate has more romantic impact than a slab of Dairy Milk. Or a bunch of daffs from the ‘stop me and buy one' flower vendors who seem to be at the side of every main road. You could even try telling her that you still love her and that her place in your affections hasn't really been overtaken by a carp, chub or cod.

O.K. You couldn't possibly do anything as girlie as that. You'd feel a complete prat and suppose your mates found out? But do you realise the future benefits you could be investing in? Can you see the potential here?

Caressed!Your partner's reaction to your romantic gestures will probably be ‘Oh, Bless!' possibly ‘Silly sod…Oh, Bless' but you'll still get a result. Next time you want to go on a whole weekend, including Friday night, fishing trip with the lads, she'll remember. She will offer just the obligatory deep sigh and reproachful glance but you won't get the full scale war because she knows now, doesn't she, that you love her. The urges you have to throw things in, and then retrieve other things out of, even the smallest volume of water are totally beyond your control. They do not detract from your feelings toward her in any way.

Your gifts and/or utterances, by the way, might be better offered before you go fishing. If you give them on your return they'll look like a peace offering, thus reducing any romantic connotations by at least half.

A good percentage of the anglers who I come into contact with are divorced, separated or living in a relationship limbo. A little romance, now and again would go a long way to reducing the divorce rate.

Go on then. Don't just sit there. Get out to the all night garage.