I now have a car which will allow me to fish further afield than I would usually and visit some of those once a year waters a bit more often along with quick last minute sessions on my locals. When short on time it's easier to be motivated to nip up the river in a motor than on a bike. Of course when I have a whole day I'll still be cycling, all those cookies still need burning off.
Having a break from fishing really allowed me to think more about the way I fish, I've been fishing for 30 years and for pretty much my whole fishing the whole of that time I've fished catch and release. I've only ever killed fish for the table occasionally and usually when camping and food is a requirement. Having fished C&R for years it would be fair to say that I have injured many fish, being careful to minimise harm of course but from the moment the fish is hooked and the fight begins some harm is inevitable. Over recent months I have been giving this a lot of thought, I have thought and written about it in the past but mearly as that, thoughts and writings. Now I plan to take this into action and this is the major change in my fishing moving forward.
I don't eat farmed meat, I think that if more people were aware of the processes involved in producing meat fewer people would eat it. My interest in this was peaked by Salmon farming, something that many anglers take a keen interest in due to the damage it does to the environment and wild fish stocks. Salmon is one of the most damaging meats to produce and if more people new what actually goes into it I think the industry would be in a lot of trouble. Not eating farmed meat pretty much renders me vegetarian due to the lack of alternatives, living without meat also contributed to my thinking on leaving C&R behind. I'm not about to start evangelizing about animal cruelty or the virtues of vegetarianism, this is still a fishing blog at the end of the day.
My approach to fishing going forward is to make it more visual and less physical unless of course I'm hungry in which case it'll be hooks on. If I'm not fishing for dinner however I will be fishing hookless flies, I say fishing but is it really ?. It is at least very enjoyable, more like fishing simulation.