Saturday, 28 May 2011

Fishing is Class

I am in a hotel room overlooking the North Tyne and I have got no mobile phone signal. But the hotel has got wireless so I thought I would try another blog post from my phone. It's my birthday tommorow and my wife has treated me to a days fishing. I have fished since I was young and always found it a very working class pastime especially 'mackie bashing' on Blyth pier.
Tommorow will be a very different kettle of fish, fly fishing1, maybe for salmon but brown trout more likley. When I go fly fishing I feel a bit out of place it is a bit posh for me; My grandad was a gamekeeper rather than a landowner. The different types of fishing are becoming less class orientated, Traditionally the rich would fly fish, and take a ghillie with them to point them at the fish. Sea fishing or fishing on tidal stretch of river is free and was practiced by the working classes, the large industial cities in the north east, newcastle sunderland and middlesborough all have tidal streches of great rivers running through them, the Tyne, Wear and Tees respectivley. The class system in fishing is now less pronounced. You can buy a fly rod in Boyes for less than a tenner (if you're outside the north east then Boyes is a bit like the old woolworths) and you can pay £300 for a sea fishing rod that manufactures will claim will help you to cast miles.
When fishing it doesn't matter what 'caste' you belong to or how much money you have, everyone has the same chance to catch fish. Society has got some catching up to do. Your wealth should not effect your chances of recieving good healthcare, a univesity education or an internship.
1 J.R. Hartley 1994

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