I was sorry to hear about the flood of sewage, caused by heavy rain last weekend, reportedly killing around 20.000 fish between Kew and the Albert Bridge. When the tide’s out, I’ve occasionally seen the odd angler bravely wading out into the River Thames – a tradition that must stretch back to time immemorial. According to a local fishing club, The Wandle Piscators, even Nelson fished the Wandle (a tributary of the Thames), with his good arm, until his death at Trafalgar.
I can see the appeal of fishing in the event of being marooned on a desert island - but why do people, especially men, become so obsessed with this curiously uneventful pastime? I decided to have a go myself – in an attempt to discover the allure of the strange sport… though being a fair-weather sort, I opted for a deep sea fishing trip in the sunny Caribbean. Not such a great idea if it’s not sunny, but STORMY.
Bravely overcoming my strong desire to bug out, I spent several hours inhaling stomach churning diesel fumes and foul fishy aromas, as the boat pitched at crazy angles. The vessel was equipped with all manner of curious fishing paraphernalia, which the captain and his mate put to use with professional nonchalance, even when the boat was at 45 degrees in a squall.
Despite feeling a little queasy, I was determined to maintain my sartorial elegance throughout - but, boy was I glad when I saw the beach rapidly zooming towards us, as the boat accelerated back to shore at breakneck speed. And we actually brought in a reasonably decent catch - including a 25 pound Wahoo - a very tasty trophy.
By the way, if your Dad’s a keen fisherman, then look no further than these fabulous vintage fly fishing cufflinks from ShopCurious, which would make the perfect Father’s Day present.
Anyway, there was I thinking that a more sedate form of fishy activity, like a trip to see Selfridges Project Ocean, might be a little less dangerous than deep sea fishing – but my curiosity to capture these strange chaps on film caused me to fall off the end of the escalator:
PS If your Dad’s into something other than fishing, check out my special selection of unusual gifts for Dabbling Dads.