As if it needed confirming, I just confirmed a quirk in my personality that didn’t need confirming – I hate sitting still.
This revelation came about because I injured my back pretty seriously the other day and the chiropractor who worked miracles on it in the past insisted that I give it three days of near total rest interspersed with grueling stretch routines in order to get things back in alignment. So, all day Friday, I lay there with the heating pad on high, grimacing and staring at the ceiling until a little timer would go off indicating that it was time for me to roll carefully off the bed and force myself into these awkward positions that eventually got everything back into the proper alignment and proved to the neighbors that I have an almost unlimited repertoire of “colorful metaphors” at my disposal.
Now lying in bed all day might be a dream come true to some, but it is torture to me. It is even more torturous if the sun is out. Despite the current popularity of vampires and werewolves and other so-called night people, daytime always has and always will be the right time for me.
Nevertheless, I followed the docs orders and heeded my wife’s threats and stayed put.
However, by day two, I figured out a way to position my computer so that I could check e-mail, work on some articles and even surf the net while maintaining the ever important flat back position.
It was one of my little “surfin’ safaris” that led me to discover a highly entertaining series of fishing videos on YouTube. I had typed in some different phrases centering on the word “fishing” and eventually stumbled upon Matt Hayes, Mick Brown and the Great Rod Race.
The clips appeared to be segments from a British series in which these two affable English blokes raced along the length and breadth of the UK, in a van reminiscent of the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, in an effort to catch (and release) some thirty-five different species of fish in under thirty days. The target species ranged from the diminutive Stickleback to massive Salmon to Eels to Carp. They employed cane poles, baitcasting rigs, spinning rods, sling shots, pounds of dog food, tons of tackle, some funky things called bivies and, of course, fly rods.
Along the way, we were introduced to the oddly charming, somewhat eccentric but thoroughly British way of angling.
All in all, I could think of a thousand different, less educational ways I could have squandered my down time. So, aside from distracting me from the annoying throb in the small of my back, these sort videos taught me a ton of technique and tricks to use on those difficult days and… helped my stay still.
Perhaps the biggest lesson though was the fact that the Brits are total “gearheads” when it comes to angling. I thought I had too much stuff! My equipment inventory looks like the bargain bin at a second-hand store compared to the plethora of gear employed by our angling brethren across the pond. Wow!
It’s been twenty years since I last went to England. At that time I was more interested in wandering the halls of the Natural History Museum, climbing the steps of St Pauls Cathedral and sampling Guinness from the tap than perusing the aisles of the local Bait and Tackle but priorities change and it now appears that some lengthy conversations with the Secretary of the District Angling Society while leaning on the counter of a village Tackle Shoppe might be a great way to really connect with the heart and soul of the Island.
Next time you are down for the count…or just snowed in and wishin’ you were fishin’, check out Matt & Mick and then be sure to bookmark a segment so that when the Visa statement arrives and the Sweetie complains about the amount of hard-earned spent on “silly fishin’ stuff” you’ll have something to use in your defense.
I love this addiction called urban fly fishin’.