Monday, January 6, 2014

Why do people go fishing? It's deep.

Sterling Ozark contemplates the sunset on Pipestone Bay. Sterling comes to Bow Narrows Camp each summer along with his grandfather Art, uncle Matt and dad Steve.
To catch fish! That would seem to be the simple answer but it is woefully incomplete. A non-fisher will quickly point out the shortcoming in this explanation with: "You could just buy fish at the store for far less than you pay catching them yourself!" That is undeniably the truth. So, yes, we fish to catch fish but there's a lot more to it.
To be with family and friends. Often that is the case. We usually fish with someone else and those times in the boat or on the cabin porch in the evening are treasured moments. You might call it "quality time" except the truth is, we are on this planet for such a short duration, it is all quality time. And then, sometimes we do fish by ourselves and we enjoy that too. So, there's more to it than just being with someone else.
To forget about our worries. Sure. Fishing is a meditative exercise. At home there are personal problems, financial crises, griefs to get through, concerns about the future. These all float away like the morning mist when you are out on the water. So do people only fish to forget? There's a lot more to it.
To test their skill against the wily fish. Really? Did you ever think you weren't as smart as a fish? There's more to it than this.
To be "at one with Nature." Nowhere is it more evident, as conservationist John Muir observed "When  you pull on anything in Nature you find the whole universe attached to it," than when you are literally pulling on a fishing line with a fish on the other end. The fish is part of the minnows and frogs and insects it eats. They all need plants and clean water and unpolluted air and warm sunshine. We are all attached, virtually one incredible organism. Bingo!

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