Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

It always amazes me how many people or indeed anglers don’t ask questions, and therefore don’t keep on learning and improving

If there is one thing my wife and I try to instill into our two girls - apart from having good manners of course - it’s to ask if they don’t know. What’s the point of bumbling through life but not asking questions? Surely life is about wanting to learn and understand more and more interesting stuff? Yapping away is easy, but how many people do you come across who can talk the hind legs off a donkey yet never ask any questions? My girls are who they are, but I am not going to have two children who aren’t interested in the world around them, and to me there are direct parallels with fishing here…………..

Do you actually watch people and how they behave, or do you breeze on through regardless? I reckon at 44 I know myself pretty well by now, and I know that I ask a lot of questions - but how can I not? How can I spend time around anglers from all over the world and not ask lots of questions? How ignorant would it be to sit there and not want to learn about all kinds of fishing, as well as understanding more about what makes various anglers tick? Surely we become better anglers because we strive to learn, indeed there seems to be a direct correlation between anglers who are struggling and anglers who simply don’t ask questions.

I simply can’t abide ignorance and I can’t stand it when somebody waffles on at me about themselves and their own experiences but never asks a single question back. You know the type of person or indeed angler I am talking about here - they’ll tell you how it is or it isn’t, but they can’t recognise that it’s they themselves who could do with asking some questions so that they can improve their own fishing. So they don’t get better and so on.

I guess it’s human nature. Some of us strive to keep on learning new stuff, and some of us don’t. It has always amazed me when I go on some of my photography trips and you’re spending time around professional fishing guides who are the ones spending the time on the water and for the most part are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced - yet I see some clients who might have paid serious fortunes to do this fishing essentially putting no questions to these guides. Pay your money, turn up, do your fishing thing, and go home - but how could anybody not want to learn as much as they can when they are in this kind of environment? Surely that is part and parcel of the overall experience?

I have always loved spending time around anglers, indeed I would put this part of my job up there as perhaps the biggest thrill in some respects. I meet all kinds of anglers from all walks of life and with all kinds of skill levels, but in truth it’s too many times when I stand there and wonder why on earth more anglers don’t ask more questions, or to put it another way - why they don’t try to learn more and become better and more rounded anglers. I don’t mean go pumping good anglers for their best locations, rather I am on about actually talking back and forth, and not just I did this and I did that and I am such a frigging hero but I plainly have no interest in what you do sort of thing. Surely fishing mirrors life, or is it the other way round?