I've just read a whole page of Editorial in this week's Angling Times and am gobsmacked. I realise that it's the 'done thing' on the internet to run the weekly magazines down, refer to them as 'comics' or 'rags' and generally state how we could all do a better job, but I've never subscribed to that. I've enjoyed my paper-fix since I was a kid.
If you haven't read a fishing magazine in a while, please get the 15th December, 2009 copy of Angling Times and turn to page 32.
It's probably the best piece of angling editorial I've ever seen in print.
I must confess that I skipped over it at first, as the title suggests it's about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I've got nothing against Hugh – quite the opposite, in fact – but I'd earmarked it for reading when I had a bit more time on my hands. And now I'm glad that I found that time.
The basic crux of the article is that angling is one of the most natural things in the world. We should stop apologising for catching fish and killing the ones we eat. We should stop blowing the handful of anti-anglers out of proportion, as they are so insignificant and 99.9% of the population either support angling or are indifferent to it. And we should realise that the biggest threats to angling probably come from within.
So much of it echoes what I've said over the years, it's like it's been written by a twin brother. Well, one who can put the case across a lot better than me, anyway!
I'm not going to waffle on about it here. If you can't buy a copy, borrow one. Failing that, go to WH Smith and pretend you're considering buying a copy. Anything.
The next time somebody refers to the weekly angling press as 'rags', we should all hold this article up in defence. I take my hat off to you, Steve.
P.S. Click here for Angling Times subscription offers. That way, you'll get to read these gems AND get a free gift!