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What makes a good day’s sport?

What makes a good day’s sport?

It can be difficult to judge the precise mix of factors that make for a good day’s sport, but we tend to know it when we experience it, says Alasdair Mitchell

There are some similarities between driven pheasant shooting and put-and-take trout fishing. Each is based on a certain amount of artifice; the birds or fish are reared and then released into a managed environment, to be secured by skill as part of a sporting endeavour. However, the basic ingredients do not always give the same results. Shoots vary widely, and so do fisheries. I recently experienced this for myself.

Most years, I get a day or two of trout fishing in southern England with my old friend Martin. I like going south in the spring. Seeing trees and hedges in leaf two weeks ahead of my home locality, you can almost believe that you have gained some extra time above ground.

Delightful surprise

The first day, we were at a small fishery in Hampshire. Consisting of a smattering of fairly small pools and a useful stretch of a River Test tributary, it proved to be a delightful surprise, being secluded and tranquil. Our few fellow anglers were relaxed and friendly. At one point, I noticed a water vole calmly going about its business at my feet. It emerged…

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