I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. Again. Rather than get myself a Harley, tattoos and a ponytail (ha, fat chance) I’ve gone a bought some kit. First off I thought I’d treat myself to a new tackle bag. I first started fly fishing probably in something like 1992 with a lesson from the genial and knowledgeable Derek Stratton, who used to own the Thirsk Angling Centre. After a couple of hours’ casting practice on Cod Beck we went back to the shop and I bought a load of inexpensive kit, including this cheapo Shakespeare bag:
It’s done remarkably well for some 25 years but was getting somewhat ragged, with split seams and one replaced strap. I use the bag for ancillary stuff like flask, lunch and maybe wading jacket. Anyhow, after considering a Hardy brook bag – very nice but a bit pricey – I came across this from Wychwood and picked it up for £40 online:
It’s leather and canvas and I think it looks pretty smart. Have yet to christen it.
Next up was a landing net. I haven’t used a net for 20 years. I find them cumbersome and generally a nuisance and in virtually all cases I can happily land a fish without one. But now that I have started to take pictures of fish, things have become a bit more complicated. It’s tricky even to hold a small fish in one hand and snap with the other. Bigger fish (admittedly few) present even more of a problem. So I plumped for one of these new-fangled (to me) rubber-meshed nets with a magnetic holder. Amazon, £24. Suspiciously inexpensive so don’t know how long it will last:
Finally a real indulgence. Decided to get myself a nice new hat and plumped for a Tilley:
I can’t bring myself to say how much it cost. My wife might read this…