May 2012

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I cleaned out my fishing box this afternoon. It’s a large white Ikea-esque plastic job. I use it as a bin, chucking all potentially-needed gear into it before transfer into the boot of the car. It’s like a travelling fishing wardrobe. Waders, chest pack, spare spools, fly boxes, partially decayed bananas. I’ve found some fascinating biology in it over the years, at all stages from off-fresh to genetically-evolved beyond all comprehension.

Removing the large items from around the box I found a fine layer of various detritus and dust on the bottom. And there in one corner was an upwing spinner, decayed as far as to leave just a paper-thin body shell. Heaven knows during which season it came to find itself there. It might have been an olive upright, but I wasn’t sure. Feeling that warm and slightly intangible connection to the river one still feels when not actually there, I dug out the camera and photographed. I then picked it up, examined it closely, and gave it a gentle tap. It disintigrated into tiny pieces, joining the rest of the dust and detritus in the bottom of the box. I wondered how it had managed to stay in one piece for so long, hidden away from all the random junk that lives in there.

I couldn’t help consider how long it would take for the rest of the box’s contents to reach a similar state of decay, poised between form and dust. Let’s hope at least the shiny aluminium reel has a few years left.