One of the most difficult things for me to convey is my passion for fish conservation and the desire to improve the sport. So many people in this country if not the world simply view fishing as a means to an end and that end is a meal. They do not see the beauty in the fish nor do they care about the angler that may come after them. Battling this mentality has become one of my greatest endeavors and most difficult obstacles. That is why I was completely jubilant after reading this post over at Dog Hair in my Coffee. Her post offers a glimpse into the evolution of fishing mentality and exemplifies an “awakening” of sorts. I highly recommend that folks check out the post in its entirety over at http://doghairinmycoffee.blogspot.com/ Here is a brief, captioned version of the original magic.
“If you are bringing worms, we aint fishing”
It was truly fascinating. There is a whole entire language devoted to the sport of fishing that I simply was unaware of. I really had no idea what he was talking about most of the time, since I've never really fished, other than putting a worm on a hook and dropping my line in a lake. (I did catch one fish when I was 12 and my dad took me fishing, but I haven't spent the rest of my life pining to repeat that experience) There is a science, an art, to the whole hobby, and I loved his complete absorption in it. He is a SERIOUS fisherman.
He is the one who said that THIS is fishing. He said if someone new asks him if he wants to go fishing, he says, "Are you bringing worms?" If they say yes, he replies, "no thanks, that's not fishing." For him, FISHING means you cast the line in, jerk it just so, skip it along the water, or sink it, depending on many things. Then you pull it out, and do it again. It seemed to be a lot of casting, pulling, constant walking along in the water. THAT sounds way more fun than what I THOUGHT fishing involved.
My only experience with fishing was spearing a worm, throwing the line in the lake, and then waiting, waiting, waiting. BO-RING. I really didn't understand why people enjoyed that. AND I had no idea there was any other way TO fish, except maybe FLY FISHING, you know, the kind we all watched in A River Runs Through It? With this new knowledge of fishing, I now also understand why people who TRULY fish also do "catch and release." It's a sport. I was under the impression that after all that time sitting on a bank with your line in the water, if you actually managed to get a fish to eat your worm, why would you throw him back? But now, now I get it.
Link to full blog post below. (I posted just enough to wet your whistle. Check out the full post and show D.H.I.M.C. some blogger love)
For the record, I wish to state that fishing with worms is not the end of the world or the worst thing folks can do out there on the water. My goal is to highlight the evolution from fishing with live bait to artificial methods. Making the fish believe that your tied fly or plastic lure is just as alive and tasty as some living creature is often considered the pinnacle of fishing skill. This practice transcends the act of fishing to a sport or even an art form in a lot of angler’s minds. This philosophy is not absolute or the only acceptable fishing method in Colorado. What I do suggest is that for many anglers there is fishing? And then there is FISHING!
I want to express my warm thanks to “L” for being a long time follower of my blog and friend. This post is a huge victory for me personally as it trumpets the fact one more person has a wider view into something that I love so much. This higher understanding helps fish and fishing in so many ways. In talking with her after the fly tying experience she exclaimed, “I had no idea that fishing could be this intense. There is a lot more to it than I realized.”
My amazement never ceases at how fantastic the blogger community really is.
Good luck and good fishing.