Fishing-bag feasts

The evolution of the fishing bag is a reassuringly slow process. The essential elements of the contemporary fly-fisher’s tackle would be – if not exactly identical – easily recognised and put to use by, say, an Edwardian of similar sporting ambitions. Of course, there have been technical, material innovations over the years but it’s always been a case of reel, line, leader and fly, and so it shall, one hopes, remain. The lunch we pack, give or take a Thermos, remains unchanged, too. A sandwich, a cold sausage, perhaps a piece of cheese or slice of pork pie. And apple, a pear and maybe a slice of gingerbread. Perhaps a hard-boiled egg. Simple, hearty and, as one reels in and prospects a likely bit of bank on which to rest, all the better for it. Whilst we wouldn’t say that it can be bettered, precisely, we would suggest that it can be – how can we put it – ‘fine tuned’? Nothing drastic. Nothing new-fangled or particularly fancy. In fact, we’d say that each of our recommendations that can be stashed away in one’s bag and forgotten about until needed are fully in keeping with the best traditions of simplicity and, of course, extremely good taste. Who wouldn’t be happy to find a small, indestructible tube of Coleman’s or Dijon mustard to accompany that sausage? What else (other than mustard) can elevate a pork pie or a hard-boiled egg from the temporal to the sublime as easily as a pinch from a small, slim tin of Maldon salt? Finally, if we’re to allow the vacuum flask its place, why not a squeeze of good old condensed milk to perk up one’s postprandial coffee? Here, then, is to the tightest of lines and the very best of riverbank lunching.