Why we fish?
We often ask anglers in the boat, on the shop porch, in conversation Why do you fish?
As many answers as there are stars in the sky. No right or wrong ones. And that is refreshing. We all have differing reasons, an individual drive, why we fish. Below a smattering of the most common answers we receive when posing this sometimes enlightening question.
When we begin the angling journey we generally, and often, have much different goals, During that journey we generally experience personal growth and an understanding of a much larger picture.
Capt. Scott Yetter, long time Mo River guide and now long time Florida Keys Flats Guide/Captain, years ago outlined the evolution of many anglers.
Angler Goal Level 1: Catch a fish. Any fish.
Angler Goal Level 2: Catch lots of fish.
Angler Goal Level 3: Catch a big fish.
Angler Goal Level 4: Catch lots of big fish.
Angler Goal Level 5: Enjoy the day, the experience, to share in fellowship of other anglers, to cheer on your friends during their day, experience.
Many anglers strive for Level 5. Others are content with Level 1. Some never leave Level 2 or 4. Where are you at?
I remember a time 15+ years ago when life was dealing me a difficult hand. The stresses and pressures of life in the mountains at that time were taking over, winning, and that was bad. I remember the feeling I got shoving off from shore in my wooden Greg Tatman 15’x54″ River Dory. The act of pushing off created a feeling of relief. That I could get away from the ordinary life problems. Float away far from those landlocked shackles. The best part of the day was on the water. Away from the real world. Still, the best part of many days is time on the water.
I still feel that way every morning stepping into my drifter as the hull displaces water accepting buoyancy quietly catching the current meandering downriver
- To be in the great outdoors. Enjoy the sunrise. Enjoy the sunset. Breathe clean and fresh air.
- Get my being closer to nature.
- Enjoy the act of problem solving.
- To get closer to the Hunter/Gatherer in ourselves.
- Fellowship. Many fish to be with their kids, wife, husband, family, friends, neighbors…
- Learning. Most people like to learn. Fly casting is a learning challenge.
- Learning. Fly Fishing, the act of, requires learning.
- Entomology. Bugs. Some like bugs. Others love bugs.This component of fly fishing can keep you interested for a lifetime of learning.
- Fly Tying. I know some anglers, tyers, that like the art of tying flies, more than the act of fly fishing.
- Fly Tying, then fly fishing. The glory of tying the fly, then feeding that fly, to a fish.
- Boat skills. Some love to row.
- Boat Building. Building a boat from the ground up is an enormous challenge. It is on my list to attempt this feat!
- To take my brain away from life’s silly hassles. The politics. Your kids, family, neighbors, boss, or cranky drivers. The BS we all endure and encounter in this life journey. To truly get away.
- To recharge my batteries.
- To suck up the outdoors.
- To learn and gain patience, hoping to apply these skills in other aspects of my life.
- To step into cool mountain waters.
- To feel alive.
- To learn as a family. Together. To create and build life long bonds with each other.
- To understand and learn and respect the mechanisms of Mother Nature. To let Mother Mo envelope me and my soul.
- To take pictures of every fish and show my friends.
- I fish to breathe. To breathe better. To breathe deeper. To oxygenate my being.
- To let worldly pressures wade away, like waters flowing downstream. To cleanse myself. To let my shoulders relax.
- To smile and allow the sunshine to penetrate deep inside of me.
- To laugh, enjoy, and promote well being for all on this earth.
And many, many more reasons. We all seek differing outcomes through the fishing experience. And that is one of the reasons fishing is good. It can be so man things to so many people.
I wanted to pose this question to you. To you the angler, reader, hater, lover of this blog, Why do you fish? What brings you to the pond, the lake, the river, the bay, the ocean, the shore. Why do you do it? Why do you fish? Let us know in the comments section below.
And, enjoy your Thursday.