Gone fishing

Perhaps the oldest of expressions synonymous with escape from the mundane trivia of modern life and rarely used in a literal sense, it is also wonderfully simple. And that's the thing. Whether it's fishing or biking or paddling, it's all becoming so complicated. The kit, the access, the cost...and that's just for those on the outside. 
Inside, the industry itself is tying itself in knots. Brands vying to tell a unique story and strike a chord, to build affinity and loyalty while simultaneously striving to drive growth beyond their core market and harness the power of national press. Distributors trying to grow those same brands to support retailers discounting the same kit because those manufacturing it do so in quantities that exceed demand. And then there's the health agenda - whatever the sport, the outdoor lifestyle has been seized upon as a panacea to the state of the nation's health. And it's coffers. Which it may well be.
Still, I wonder what Derek Hersey would have made of all that. A man who lived for the vast walls of Yosemite, who cut his teeth on the grit and limestone crags of The Peak and followed his passion with a single-minded purity of spirit. Who soloed big wall routes back to back in a pair of tatty shorts, any one of which might be considered the highlight of a climbing career by any number of climbers today with a rack worth more than I suspect Hersey spent on food and drink in a typical year - reputed incidentally to consist largely of fry-ups and Newcastle Brown ale.
I digress. The thing is, most of us are guilty of it, sea-kayakers perhaps the worst - with room to carry almost any luxury - but the greater the choice, the more kit, gadgets and essential odds and ends, the more complex it becomes and the further we move from what the old shop keepers' sign once encapsulated. 
I was thinking about this the other day, because for the first time in years, I went fishing. And because it was the first time in so many years, having retrieved rod, reel and a tin of flies from the attic, it was beautifully simple. No extra kit - there wasn't any to take. And it wasn't missed. 
Just a day by the water at the foot of the fells I have known since childhood. And a fish for the pot.
So if it's not too late I will make a resolution for the year ahead. Keep it simple. Possibly good advice too for those brands mentioned earlier - be a specialist, keep it simple, do what you're good at. 
Anyway, no more kit. The sea, the hills and certainly the fish, wont care. Although a new spray deck may be required this summer, the tent (one of) definitely needs new poles, and a dropper post for the bike would be nice. And I've promised Isla a visit to the riding centre. Just for a look...surely nothing more than a hat required there?

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