Lesson  Assemble your three-piece rod with the whippy split-cane end, brass ferrules, chrome and ceramic rings. Find your best reel (English Oak) turned on the lathe by your granddad. Select a 12 or 14 hook to bait with mawks, its sharp point threaded through their backs then exiting between the two brown dots dancing on their blunt ends. You’ll need split shot (nipped on the line with rubber-handled pliers) to weight the bright-tipped float you’ve made from cork and a swan’s quill. Now cast in and wait. Wait. Wait for the float’s bob and cock, the tug and dash towards the reeds. Let the line unspool as your float slides underwater. Prepare for a fight.  Anticipate when to make your snatch and slow wind in. Play the catch with your rod-end low. Keep a steady tension, reeling until your float is in air and, not far behind, a striped orange-finned beauty. You’ll watch it gasp in the landing net, mouth agape like the ‘O’ in psalms, witness inside, a cathedral’s vaulted ceiling – its bronze body jewelled in jungle greens, ribbonned like the weeds it has lurked in. Gold-ringed eyes reflecting Heaven. Water tiger, belly up, your pale iridescence glows with the wisdom of moonlight and oh, such helpless naked innocence. Pat Borthwick
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