Received some kind and encouraging words from Dexter Petley (see “Letters From Arcadia”) yesterday. Got me thinking about where we are at.
A little over six months in and I think we are OK. If you look back to the early posts, as to how and why we started this, you see that we had some idea or notion as to what Caught By The River was gonna be, but it was pretty vague. We had spent so long (two years) thinking about it and discussing it, that it got a bit stressful. At that point, it was “fuck it, it’s going up”. We decided that it would surely develop it’s identity as things went along.
I think it is doing that. Through people, well, friends, giving us such positive feedback, we have seized opportunities and asked for contributions. We are lucky in as much a lot of these friends are writers, or at least, can put pen to paper and express themselves. Luckier still in that they are passionate people who believe in “passing it on”. That we would have to spend several lifetimes convincing them to come fishing only makes their contributions here even more relevant to the sites growth.
Going fishing, still, never fails to bring inspiration. I’ve had some good days out this year and fished with a lot of folk for the first time. There’s now a small gang of us, always trying for a day off work. Like kids on Christmas Eve for days before the trip. It’s funny. It’s a great way to spend time with people, forging friendships.
One of my favourite days on the river this year was with my closest friend Martin. He often talked of times, as a kid, on the Thames at Marlow, with his mate Pat. Catching Gudgeon and throwing stones. I caught the whiff of romance and convinced him to come with me one day. We went to the Thames at Wolvercote and it was beautiful. The river there is banked by meadows. That morning (after buying our bait at “The Maggots End” on the Blackbyrd Leys estate, the place the joyriders score their boilies before taking & torching), the meadow was under a thick, deep mist, as the Autumn chill kicked in beneath a clear, blue sky. The spires of Oxford were showing above the mist and the river ran through it. You see, to me, being there, taking that in, that’s “going” fishing. It’s, literally and metaphorically, being Caught By The River. I think Martin picked that up. I’m looking forward to our next trip.
(Martin's first Perch)
I’m loving “Letters From Arcadia”. I think that’s fantastic writing. Finding them in my in box each week is a treat. It’s a privilege to share in their friendship and an honour to feature them on the site. John & Dexter have also been incredibly supportive. Being far more experienced anglers and writers than Andrew or I, that has meant a lot. Long may they run.
We got some great stuff coming too. Please come back. We’re just searching for some peace & beauty and we want to pass it on……