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WET DREAMS AND HOME STREAMS — When reality is better than your wildest dreams
By Andrew Mather


“Fishing is a collection of instants: moments when it either comes together with amazing perfection or goes horribly wrong.” — John Gierach. WET dreams — fishing related, in case you were wondering! The strange thoughts I cannot get out of my head as I try to go to sleep trouble me. Enormous fish that have gotten off before I can land them; dirty tricks that fish play out; bent hooks and snapped tippet entwined with flashes of silver or butter yellow flanks as the fish turn on the surface.
My mind plays these scenes over and over with the same outcome: fish on and then ultimately off.

My thoughts shift to what the action of a fly would look like underwater to a fish. I’ve turned full circle — I’ve become the hunted.
The recurring flashbacks have become more frequent the older I get; perhaps it’s a sign of old age or an overactive mind, I don’t know for sure. I’m told older folk need less sleep, but then so do those with ADHD, such as myself. Does this mean I’ll be haunted forever by visions of these fish, long gone in the mists of time, once so vibrant and alive? The browns with their speckled spots, the rainbows’ silver flanks and the yellows all in gold, now faded forever except for a few stolen photographs, but undoubtably living on in future generations of their offspring. Day dreams — the stuff which gets one through the daily monotony of work, unless you are one of those fortunate retirees who can choose what to do every day. The rest of us mere mortals work on our bucket lists, realising that most trips are unaffordable.

If you are anything like me, planning the next trip is always an exciting but harrowing experience. It’s best described as a process of getting away without pissing off your closest fishing mates who might feel left out as time or space rules them out, and retaining some semblance of matrimonial harmony. Then there’s the juggle to find enough accommodation for all while trying to pick a place that might fish well despite the vagaries of the weather.

Whatsapp groups for trips suddenly take on a life of their own as the lads talk tackle, flies, travel plans and other unmentionable things. Managing changing plans and cancellations becomes more intense as the time approaches. I’d say more time is spent planning than actually fishing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Home streams beckon me and the pull to go fishing this season has been strong; stronger last year than it has been for many a year.

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