‘…..and don’t panic!’ is a phrase that your fishing guide will advise when you hook into a Trophy fish just before the pandemonium erupts. The problem is that when someone tells you not to panic it usually means that there is  something to panic about.
The fact that we can’t fish in the foreseeable future is cause for some alarm and even after a solitary week in lockdown many are already bouncing off the walls, desperate to throw a line.
Fishing we might argue is an essential service or in my opinion a medical necessity, it’s a proven fact that time on the water reduces our stress levels and if not for your mental health, your wife or better half’s sanity could well be at stake. I would not make light of the necessary hygiene precautions, but hello, if allowed to fish, we’d actually be in the water, just add soap!
Social distancing is the only way to flatten the curve, on that I couldn’t agree more….so let me go fishing, there really isn’t a better way to isolate us anglers. Granted, we’d have to forego the celebratory beverage after each angling adventure, but I’m happy to raise a glass to a setting sun in the absence of good company and if forced to choose between the fish and my friends, there’s always WhatsApp.
Alright, so my case is not going to hold any water in a court of law or with any rational citizen, but as mentioned I’m going off my head not being able to fish. It’s my medication FFS, ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you that I suffer from a serious personality disorder that is directly linked to casting a fly and if I don’t get my weekly dose…….I am a grumpy miserable brat, if my Missus is to be believed.
‘So what to do?’ ‘Anything that can get you out of the list of household chores that has suddenly appeared!’
Hence here are a few suggestions on what we can do in preparation for the imminent prison break:
1. Sort out the tackle, it’s long overdue a good clean out and then make a list of what’s needed when your retail therapy time is allowed.
2. Polish up on your skills, so you can spend less time fiddling and more time fishing…
    a. knots and rigs, learn a new one!
    b. casting – set up a small accuracy range with some objects as targets.
    c. try to stay away from the swimming pool….your family won’t understand
    d. learn something new, no time like the present to start tying flies
3. Plan your next few fishing excursions, you don’t know when, but where and how logistically….the prices might even be cheaper when we venture out.
4. Sort out your old fishing photos….memories are as good inspiration as you’re ever going to find.
Then, when you can whip up a deadly rig, in under a minute, flick it with a beer in hand, hitting any moving target, relax and watch one of your favourite fishing programs.
If after all this you feel the urge to come out of your angling isolation and get on with the household chores, you really don’t have a fishing problem!
Look after your loved ones and keep everyone else in casting distance.