I'm nearer 40 than 30, I have a couple of kids, a wife and a dog. I pay my taxes and my mortgage every month. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and drugs have simply never been my thing. I drive a really exciting silver Ford Focus estate (but it's got a wicked stezza) and I never swear in front of my girls. I would lay down my life for my family. We live in a nice house in a great part of the world.
But I do fishing. I do fishing to the point that I had no choice some years ago now but to go hell for leather and try to make my working life revolve around the sport. There was nothing else that I could consider doing. I spend my working life around fishermen and fishing. I spend three or four months each year away from my family and home, either photographing or filming. I don't like leaving my wife and girls, but we do what we do, and we get on with it. You might think that from time to time I reach my limit and feel that I might have had enough of fishing and being around fishing and need to take a break away........
Yeah, right !! As if. I don't fish nearly as much as I used to, but I get to be around it all the time. Occasionally when I don't pick up a rod for a bit, I then begin to wonder if I do actually love fishing as much as I used to. A bit of doubt begins to creep in now and then. I suppose it's perfectly normal, but it can freak me out a bit.
But then I start to sleep really badly and wake up at stupid o'clock because I am so ridiculously overexcited about heading over to Ireland next Wednesday to fish for bass. OK, so my cameras are always with me, and if the fishing goes off then photos are my priority (but then I love photography as much as I love fishing), but I know that all is right with my fishing obsession when I still feel like this about going fishing. Bearing in mind that I have been lucky enough to have seen some of the finest fishing on this earth in the last few months (Bolivia, Mongolia, Iceland), yet knowing that I have a week in Ireland with my mates to look forward to makes me feel like a child on Christmas Day all over again. I suppose we are what we are, and at heart I am always going to be a UK sea angler. Whatever I do and wherever I am lucky enough to go for my work, for my own personal fishing I still just want to go and fish for bass with my mates. And when it's a trip over to Ireland, then I just can't see how things can get any better.
Should I be this excited, or am I slightly strange ? I am one of three brothers, and the youngest one of us has never fished in his life. He simply does not get it at all. He told me that last weekend he saw a some bass fishing programme of mine on the box for the first time and said that I had been drinking too much coffee !! But he is not an angler. He doesn't get how exciting going fishing can be. What you see with me is always what you get, and I guess that from time to time I just "click" with my fishing, and it fires me up big time. OK, so I do drink a lot of coffee in the mornings, but I also know that I will essentially be on a complete and utter adrenaline high for our whole week over in Ireland. I'll walk , wade and clamber as many miles as it takes to do what we do. Whatever the weather does, however the fish behave or do not, it's all about what does it for you. And going bass fishing with a bunch of good friends in the country I love more than any other on this earth is what does it for me. Life's a pretty simple thing at the end of the day, at least that is what I believe, and going fishing is about as good as it gets.