An anglers greatest asset is luck. We can learn the subtleties of the water beside which we sit. We can teach ourselves the patterns of the current, the vagaries of fish and the impact of weather and light levels. We can put ourselves into the perfect position to catch but still we must rely up luck to play a generous hand.
IT is often the little, seemingly insignificant moments. The hook flicking a twig and not embedding. The kingfisher darting left and not directly above the fish you hope to fool. The hope no-one has already trodden this path or spooked the shoal.
A good angler knows how best to cultivate his luck – to lightly feather his line, to grin at the kingfisher’s approach and to fish in conditions when others might not.
There are other lessons too – perhaps most memorably penned by HT Sheringham and proven at Redmire Pool during A Passion for Angling.
To the novice I would say: “Cultivate your luck. Prop it up with omens and signs of good purport. Watch for magpies on your path. Form the habit of avoiding old women who squint. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Touch wood with the forefinger of your right hand whenever you are not doing anything else. Be on friendly terms with a black cat. Turn your money under the new moon. Walk round ladders. Don’t start on a Friday. Stir the materials for Christmas pudding and wish. Perform all other such rites as you know or hear of. These things are important in carp-fishing.