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The fishing season begins...


I always think bouldering is a little like fly-fishing. I was at Dumby on a still January day as the River Leven flooded at high tide. A large seal wallowed in the slack water looking for salmon, sandwich terns screeching and plunging about his head. I was stood under a cave in bitingly-cold conditions,with an extended rod with a brush on the end attending to a chalk-caked hold.

Each attempt at the moves is like the cast of a fly line: it's got to be timed perfectly, with all strength in balance, waiting the optimum time between casts, and hopefully the line lands without a splash and the sequence goes smoothly. If not, it is all chaos and disruption and a large wake in the smooth waters of gravity, scaring off the big salmon of the send... I'm stretching the metaphor a little, but it's the same process of cast and cast again, trusting to the belief that everything will come together eventually in one perfect sequence. And like fishing, I could stand there for hours, absorbed in an obsession of tiny perfections. No better way to spend an afternoon and even if I didn't land a fish, I know the tide will come in again...

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