The Friday Rant - 21.10.11

Rumours. The rumour mill. "I heard that so and so did so and so to so and so" or with fishing, "I heard that so and so is only doing so and so because he is getting paid by so and so" etc. You know the score. I was at the excellent Tackle and Guns show last Sunday and went up to say hi to a thoroughly nice guy I know who like me works in fishing. OK, we aren't all nice, but he does happen to be. "Hi Henry, how are you ? When are you opening up your new tackle shop ? That's the rumour going around at the moment." What ? Please !! Henry Gilbey and his complete lack of patience opening a fishing tackle shop ? It took me a few minutes to convince this guy that no, I was not about to open up a tackle shop, and that no, I had no plans to !! Rumours..........

And then I start to feel a bit bad about this. I had offered Ben from The Art of Fishing a lift up to the show, and now I am thinking that perhaps he has heard this rumour and thinks that cagey idiot Henry is keeping his cards close to his chest and is not talking about his new shop on the long journey up from Cornwall (passports and all). See how rumours cause hassle ? So I make sure to find Ben at the show and tell him that no, I have absolutely no plans to start up a tackle shop and go into competition with him. Ben had not heard this daft rumour, but can you see how it made me feel bad even when I had nothing remotely to do with it ? How do these kinds of rumours start ? I always remember that I had been seen driving a Porsche around Torbay right after I made my first TV series !! Yeah, right. Firstly I don't like them, and secondly it was an Aston Martin and not a Porsche. Or perhaps an old white non-turbo diesel Ford Escort van with a fully carpeted back section and some dirty great speakers. I even got pulled over once late at night coming back from fishing and was asked where I was on so and so date when a murder took place - with my mate in the back pleading with the copper to let him out because I was trying to kill him !!

Almost like those jokes that so many people keep getting on their mobiles - where does this stuff originate ? Only earlier this year I was staggered at the amount of stuff going around about these new Century HPR lure rods, and this was way before they had even come close to hitting the market. Talk about wild rumours. At one point you could have been forgiven for thinking that the launch of the HPR rods was actually more akin to Area 51 being opened up. Have you heard that apparently they have little aliens running around in there ? Don't you love the word "apparently" ? It can do so much. I guess that I personally choose to look at something like the HPR rods and feel nothing but positive things. Respect because a UK company has decided to actually get into this exciting market and make some decent lure rods, and admiration because a few individuals have put a serious amount of work, thought and dedication into the process. And yes, of course, Century are paying me a lot of money to say that I was blown away by them because of course, yes, little old me saying I think they are pretty cool rods is going to sell millions and millions. The UK tackle industry is full of wealthy companies bucking current economic trends, with all this money just lying around to pay anglers to say nice things about their products. Didn't you know that ? Did you not know that it is actually impossible to be genuinely excited about fishing and all the good stuff that happens within it ? I heard that you know from so and so the other day.........

Perhaps rumours are so much easier to move around and grow with things like internet forums these days ? As much as I think that a good fishing forum for example can be excellent for the sharing of information and ideas and also for bringing anglers together, they can also be a minefield of rumour and sometimes even aggression at times - sadly. I have had to walk away from them and give up posting, and mainly because I can't trust myself not to wade in there sometimes and give it out exactly as I see it. But that reaction would only serve to make me as bad as the few idiots who seem to want to spread rumours and generally make our wonderful sport look petty, childish and downright "closed shop" to either non-anglers or potential anglers. I do not envy the people who are in charge of these forums, but they have my utmost respect for trying their best to "police" them. There is simply no accounting for idiots though. Fishing is fishing though, and it will always rise about the rumour mill because it's awesome. And did you hear that there is a new fishing tackle shop opening up next door to The Art of Fishing in St.Merryn ? What, you mean you didn't know that already ? Yep, it's going to be called "Buy or be thrown out Fishing Tackle", and I am going to be the new proprietor. Look out fishing tackle trade, I am coming. Put that one in the rumour pipe and smoke it. Sorry, got some man-flu and I need to let off some steam !!