The thinking behind all this is that the man must be more concerned about his appearance than he is about his business. I hope that this ‘fact’ is being noted down at our head office where Rob Harradine, our fishing.co.uk Projects Manager , is currently attired in the discarded remnants of a 70’s game-show host (a turquoise suit, I kid you not!). I, on the other hand, have to sneak in to the building when the doorman has his back turned - or get tossed out on my ear with another "I’ve bleedin’ well told you before - no tramps are allowed in here!" ringing in my ears.

I’m not fashionable you see. Like everything else, fashion today is a vital part of fishing, nobody can seriously deny that. A quick check around the lakes in my area shows that we have followers in great abundance of the Hutchinson bivvy, all equipped with matched carbons and Shimano baitrunner reels loaded with Fireline. Now, it just so happens that I too have some paired carbons, the exact same reel/line combination and even an elderly Hutchy bivvy somewhere (I think I loaned it to Jim?). Anyway, the point is that I don’t follow fashion. I have these items because they are excellent pieces of equipment which enhance my fish catching capability. The same excuse/argument would probably be used by everyone else with the same kit though, wouldn’t it? Hmm…

And then we have the anti-fashion anglers. You know the ones I mean, floppy hats, cane rods, centrepin reels, and wax jackets with the mandatory copy of Waterlog protruding from the pocket. The Yates-type crowd – all, even though much of it is tongue in cheek, a little holier-than-thou and ever-so-slightly elitist. These are the angling equivalent of the true establishment – a bit like those ladies who shop in Harrods, you know, with the Hermes scarves and strings of pearls. We are talking here of the British angling traditionalists - men who’s style declares them to be above all ‘that fashion nonsense’. Interesting that there are so many of them on the banks these days isn’t it? Of course my floppy hat and centre pin date back a great number of years, so surely you can’t consider me as aspiring to being one of ‘those’ guys? Mind you I wouldn’t complain if someone bought me one of those lovely old cane rods – but that’s because I appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the item. Most anglers wouldn’t of course. Or would they? Hmm…

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting one of those wonderful traditionalist characters. I had arranged to meet up with Martin James at Mark Williams home to collect something or other on a slight 50 mile detour to fish the Kennet with Big Jim. Now Mark is a leonine gentleman and a member of the coveted (note that word!) organisation formerly known as The Golden Scale Club, well known for it’s slightly eccentric membership. Mark lives in a beautiful thatched cottage in the Wiltshire countryside. Well, as Christine Keeler once said, "he would, wouldn’t he". The walls of his home are adorned with original paintings by none other than Mr Crabtree himself, Bernard Venables, and the place is heavenly, but I digress . Whilst Martin and Jim rabbited on about trying out marlin tactics for perch, or some such nonsense, Mark revealed to me that at a recent meeting of the aforementioned club it was proposed that the word "Club" be dropped from the title, as it was unnecessary. After presumably several pots of Earl Grey and the odd slice of plum cake or two, another member suggested that perhaps the words "Golden Scale" were slightly superfluous as well. More tea and the odd bun changed hands and the meeting of the club ended. Renamed "The".

God help them if they ever open a northern branch. It will probably be called T’. Not very fashionable I suppose, but it would look very nice as a tie pin. But then, to wear the tie-pin one would have to wear a tie, and if one wears a tie then… Oh. Doh…!

Geoff Maynard