Firstly I think of myself as a naturalist and fisherman. It's strange how some people see fishing as a cruel sport, and anglers as torturous. Truth is most anglers love the fish they catch, and the environment around them. Anglers fight fearsly for clean rivers, the protection of birds, animals, and naturally the fish they catch.
Many people ask me if I put my catch back, really believing I kill fish. For the record, I've never purposely killed any coarse fish, and haven't taken any wild brown trout in over 30 years.
A few weeks ago while fishing on the Trent and flock of long-tail tits landed in a tree beside me. There must have been over a dozen, up that close you see all the amazing colours these little birds have. They are without doubt the most gregarious of the tits, as they seem always to be in flocks.
Long tail tits.
Crows always watch fisherman. They visit the swims each time the angler moves, just to see if he's left anything to eat. They have the keenest eye's of all birds, seeing even a part eaten apple core from a hundred yards away.
Magpies are said to be the fisher-mans friend. As well as a keen eye, these birds are mega inquisitive. Leave a silver disgorger on the bank and walk away, the birds are down on it in moments, just to see what it is.
I see kingfishers on almost every trip, funny as it's a bird many people have never seen, ever! So sad because this little bird is electric in every way, how it looks, flies and feeds. I'm one of those fortunate anglers having had a king-fisher land on his rod top, looking for a spot to fish from. A day like that is as good as any.
We should never forget our environment is shared with with others, we should enjoy there presence.