Like many anglers, I was introduced to fishing by my father. I've often wondered how people who didn't have that introduction 'found' our hobby. Most anglers I know started at a young age and angling isn't something you can pack a 6-year old off to 'get on with'.
With that in mind, I posted a little question on the Anglers' Net On Facebook page (click here). I asked:
At what age did you start fishing?
I was about 5 or 6 and was fortunate to have a father who was mad on fishing. I often wonder if I'd have 'found' fishing without him.
I have to say, I loved reading through the replies. Most, it would seem, followed the traditional path, but here are a few of the others that made me smile:
“My grandpa on the River Leven when I was 5”
“I was about 5 when I used to fish with my grandad until he moved away, just recently started fishing again on my own”
“I started in the 1985 when my son who was 5 asked for a fishing rod whilst we were at Acle on the Norfolk Broads so he could go fishing with my brother - that first night when he went to bed I carried on fishing been totally hooked since ...”
“My Uncle took me sea fishing at about 9yrs old ...”
“My Grandad first took me fishing off Blackpool's North pier at around 8yrs old...”
“I can't wait to get my granddaughter fishing or even showing her the places I went.”
There are more replies on the thread – take a look at our page some time – but what it does show is that it's not just the dads who we need to thank. Grandads make a good showing, along with uncles, friends and even their dads. The dad getting into fishing because of his son genuinely did make me chuckle out loud (I bet you're not the first, Graham, and certainly won't be the last!).
With more women seeming to enjoy angling these days, I wonder if we'll see a few different 'titles' appearing in that list over the next few years? Maybe you're a mum who's teaching their child to fish?
Seems to me that if you are destined to love fishing, fishing will find you somehow. And long may it stay that way.