Sunday, 11 March 2012


I have long been an admirer of Rudyard Kipling's poem IF. I apologize for my wanton desecration to his masterpiece and plead boredom and frustration as my accomplices in this heinous crime of adapting it to Angling. I am sure as well as making 'exceedingly good cakes', Kipling possessed a sense of humour too.

IF you can net your fish when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can cast accurately when all men mock you, but make allowance for their casting too;
If you can bait and not be tired by waiting, Or being blown about, don't fish in crowds,
Or being still, don't give way to shouting, And yet don't look too garish, nor walk too loud:
If you can fish - and not make fish your master; If you can blank - and not make fish your aim;
If you can fish with split cane and carbon fibre and love those two materials just the same;
If you can bear to see the line you've reeled in twisted by eels to make a slime for hands,
Or watch the tackle you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out funds,
If you can make one heap of all your tackle and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And crack off, and start again at the beginning and never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can cast your float and hook and sinker to fish your swim long after they are gone,
And so fish on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to you: 'Fish on!'
If you can fish in snags and keep your sinker, Or fish with legends - nor lose the common touch,
If neither heat nor bitter cold can stop you, If all men want to fish with you, but none too much;
If you can stand the unforgiving crosswind with sixty yards of distance cast,
Yours is the river and every fish that's in it, And - which is more - you're
an angler, at last!

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