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Gone Fishing

Published on June 8th, 2021

With fine weather forecast for some areas of the UK, put yourself in the waders of the characters shown within this selection of fine historic black and white photos around the theme of fishing. Step away from the current busy times and take a nostalgic glimpse back at life over the past 100 years. We hope you enjoy this selection of vintage photographs on the theme of fishing and angling from The Francis Frith Collection – cast a line and pull one in!

Photo: Ilkeston, Fishermen By The Bridge Inn, Cotmanhay c.1910.

A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.
Anonymous

Photo: Seaview, Boys Fishing In The Solent 1958.

An angler is a man who spends his rainy days sitting around on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won’t let him do it at home.
The Irish News

Photo: Eton, Fishing 1909.

The formal term for a collection of fishermen is an exaggeration of anglers.
Henry Beard, ‘An Angler’s Dictionary’, 1983

Photo: Grassington, Fishing 1926.

Fishermen and hypochondriacs have one thing in common – they don’t have to catch anything to be happy.
Robert Orben, born 1927, American magician and comedy writer

Photo: Marlow, River Thames c.1955.

No life is so happy and so pleasant as the life of the well-govern’d angler.
Izaak Walton (1593-1683), author of ‘The Compleat Angler’ (1653)

Photo: Saltash, Fishermen At Notter Weir 1906.

A trout is a fish mainly known by hearsay. It lives on anything not included in a fisherman’s equipment.
H I Phillips, c1925

Photo: Anderby Creek, Fishing In The Creek c.1955.

There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.
Roderick Haig-Brown, ‘Fisherman’s Spring’, 1951

Photo: Dolgellau, Boys Fishing On The Bridge 1913.

Lots of people committed crimes during the year who would not have done so if they had been fishing. The increase of crime is among those deprived of the regenerations that impregnate the mind and character of the fisherman.
Herbert Hoover (1864-1964), 31st President of the United States of America

Photo: Kingston Upon Thames, Fishing 1890.

Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement: but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.
Attributed to Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) in ‘Instructions to Young Sportsmen’ (1859)

Photo: Sproughton, Fishing By The Old Lock c.1955.

Fishing teaches concentration, patience, assiduity, keenness of observation, skill and physical endurance.
Walter M Gallichan, author of ‘The Happy Fisherman’, 1926

Photo: Pulborough, The River Arun, A Leisurely Afternoon c.1950.

There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.
Washington Irving (1783-1859), American author and historian

Photo: Llanelltyd, Salmon Fishing In The River Mawddach c.1955.

It was good fishing, a little too good. In angling, as in reading, suspense is a quality worth having.
John Graves, ‘Goodbye to a River’, 1960

Photo: Richmond, Fishing On The River Thames 1947.

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