John I am 54 and probably not that far away from you in years..
If you are going to quote "rose tinted glasses" then in your harking back to the past you have done exactly that
Fishing now is not about what has gone before but what we can do now to ensure we sustain and if possible grow the sport.
You are seeing everything from your perspective and have not given any consideration to what those coming into the sport want.
They might not want the same as you and have the struggles most of us endured in the past..
They want something that they can enjoy from the very start and with that if they so choose broaden their experience..
And yes I did mention age because in physical years we are probably close but in the realisation of what those coming into fishing need and want we are decades apart.
Your 16 years out Lee, I turned 70 earlier this year, so your still a young'un, by comparison.
Of course I'm posting from my perspective, and experience Lee, I said as much in my opening post on this thread. I said to Neil that as he had explained why he likes these fisheries, and why he fishes them, I would explain why I don't. I've also said I can see a place for the commercial type fisheries, but they're not for me, and that commercials per se are not a problem for me, it's the knock on effect that has impacted on my, and other, (often younger than me), anglers choices. I don't intend or expect my words to influence anyone, or change their habits, other than maybe make some think a little more about angling and it's impact on the environment. If you consider that as exclusive to those of us 'of a certain age' then I would hope that you are wrong, or I fear for the future of angling.
Not all changes are positive, or have a long term positive outcome.