The fishing journal is something most of us keep at some stage during our fishing life. It starts with the feeling that there would be some importance in the record, just for personal interest or that it would become a family heirloom in time.
In my case, it involved detailed information meticulously recorded of every outing or trip into the mountains, the weather, the friends, the fish and the experiences. It even had sketches, photographs, old fishing permits from places I’d been to, fly patterns, knots I’d learnt from others and more.
But, it doesn’t always last and at some stage you question the need and purpose, well I did. As a result the discipline needed to keep it going wanes and entries become less frequent until the journal is put away with the intention of getting back to it when time permits. Of course, that seldom happens and instead, now your Facebook page, website, or blog become the avenue to record, maybe not everything, but the occasional item of interest or a short story of an eventful fishing trip. In some respects the ‘digital journal’, good or bad, does have the advantage of being able to instantly share with others your experiences, rather than a journal that gathers dust in the corner of the bookcase and that you page through occasionally. However, I must say that when I pulled my old journal out today, it was a nostalgic walk down memory lane. I relived the fishing outings, some over thirty years ago, stand out moments, the fishing buddies, some who are no longer with us, and the places visited. There was something heart warming about it, refreshing and just plain down to earth – no frills.
There was even a period when I first started tying my own flies that I had a kept record of each new fly tied. Somehow I thought that I’d discover a pattern that no one had yet tied and that would catapult me to some kind of fame in the fly fishing world. It never happened of course, but I still have the record of what I like to call my vintage flies, a few of which still find a place in my fly box.
And, it’s all written down in his journal –
“………… those fleeting moments, like the flash of the setting sun on the flanks of a leaping rainbow, or the gentle mist which parts momentarily to yield a view of sunlight on the mountainside before closing up again.”