With the season ended I find myself exiled to the local commercial pools and wondering what the next year on the rivers will bring. This strange half life has pushed me towards Discovery Shed and the regular stream of fishing programmes that inhabit the channel. The fact that the channel exists is a reason of great joy, the fact many people are excluded from watching, due to Sky's subscription fees makes me feel a little sad.
When I grew up Passion for Angling (my favourite) and Go Fishing was on the box, kids in low income households such as mine, could watch bearded men such as Wilson and Yates catch fish and be inspired to go down to their local pond. But those days seems gone, the BBC and Channel 4 do not seem to be interested in wildlife unless it involves something cute and furry (hello Meercats, Otters and Beavers) or a trip around the world with crazy CGI.
The one last hope seems to be Quest TV (and Sky), hidden on free view, with the ever present Matt Hayes (great angler and presenter, but lacks a beard) backed up by his partner in crime Mick Brown (thankfully keeping beards alive in 21st century angling TV).
The show has a high level of awareness amongst kids on the local ponds and helps open their eyes to a world of angling that does not revolve around carp. The production values may not be as great as Passion for Angling or Catching the Impossible (thanks to Hugh Miles excellent work) but the show inspires kids to fish. Is it the greatest fishing programme of all time? Probably not, but I can not think of a show that is seen by more people and therefore has a greater impact.
Maybe the BBC should give Matt & Mick a bit of money, a good production team and the license to make their ideal fishing programme. What do you think?