Presentation on theme: "Reading rivers: everyday practice and environmental knowledge in freshwater angling Chris Bear Sally Eden Department of Geography, University of Hull."— Presentation transcript:
Reading rivers: everyday practice and environmental knowledge in freshwater angling Chris Bear Sally Eden Department of Geography, University of Hull
What is angling?
Taskscapes and the everyday Rivers as taskscapes –‘Every task takes its meaning from its position within an ensemble of tasks, performed in series or in parallel’ (Ingold, 2000) Beyond taskscapes –Understanding anglers as ‘being in the landscape…moving through it, in all the repeating yet various circumstances of everyday life’ (Cloke and Jones, 2000) –How do anglers piece together, and place themselves in, their surroundings? Questioning the everyday
Methodology semi-structured interviews and focus groups (22 anglers so far) all fish on and around the Rivers Swale and Esk in North Yorkshire participant observation
Beyond fish CRAIG …you go for two hours of enjoyment. It isn’t the be all and end all to catch a fish, you see. You don’t come away bitterly disappointed or anything. As I said, you’re only going to enjoy yourself for 2 hours. That’s the idea of it JAMES …I just enjoy, in my case, being on the riverbank JOE …down here, I like to see trout and salmon and that, but I like the river more than anything - not actually catching the fish to eat them, just like being near the river and watching and taking everything in.
Making meaning - reading the river JAMES …he said “there’s one up there” and I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see the fish at all. I said “where, where, where?!” And he said “it’s there, it’s there, it’s a yard out from the bank and 10 yards ahead of us” and I still couldn’t see it. He said “watch”! So he cast and his dry fly floated down and the fish took it and he brought it in. I was just absolutely gob smacked by the skill and I wanted to be able to do that. - STEVE …you see where the flows are, where the rocks are, where you could imagine the food being deposited, where the caterpillars are going to fall off a tree or whatever, where they're going to sit, where the sunlight's hitting the water, where they would like to be in the shade, depending on the temperature…
Making meaning - being in the landscape ‘…hunters cultivate an association with particular areas because, in hunting, the knowledge of these particularities becomes greater than the sum of the parts, and is a tangible factor in the successful hunt’ (Franklin 2001: 73) MIKE Well, on a fishing basis you’re telling him to look for slacks in the water, cover on the bank for the fish to hide under, such as overhanging trees and stuff like that. … And from there, you just help him progress slowly. I mean you can see there, I’m in a lot of cover there, aren’t I? Which is hiding me from the fish, and there’s cover on the other bank where I was fishing.
Making meaning - Parallel tasks INTERVIEWER How do you do it? I know it’s difficult to explain, but how do you learn to figure it all out? NORMAN It’s just like life, isn’t it? You just pick these things up. INTERVIEWER Just experience? NORMAN You talk to other people and they’ve done such and such a thing to catch fish and you think, “ah, well, I’ll try that next time” and then you try it and for whatever reason it works. And then you try something different and you pass your information on. DEREK you knew when you'd fished a length of river a long time, you knew what you had to do.
Heterogeneous taskscapes CRAIG …the one thing you always used to see, as soon as you were quiet, was water rats, you know, water voles. And you never see one nowadays at all, and that’s because of mink. Now the mink clean everything up. There’s very few ducklings and there’s no moorhens or coots or whatever you’d call them. They were really prolific round here at one time. And it’s mink that’s cleaned all them up. But they do say that otters clear mink off - chase them away. So you know, you’re far better having otters than have mink.
Conclusions - Piecing together surroundings through and beyond the taskscape: –‘in contrast to the fragmented nature of modern life, accounts of hunting describe a complete or whole activity’ (Franklin 2001: 73) –Meaning produced through an ensemble of tasks, taking place in series and in parallel –Relational knowledges Multiple tasks over time - repetition –An everyday practice? –Fraser: ‘if you see it every day you just appreciate it, don’t you? I take it for granted in all fairness. Because this is where we live and this is what we do - just take it all for granted.’ –But this doesn’t limit the everyday to being mundane –Different everydays