Friday, June 4, 2010

Fishing - Lifestyle

     Fishing is one of those sports, like golf perhaps, where some people find an activity that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. For those lucky enough to enjoy fishing something akin to fanaticism sets in. In times of leisure it becomes increasingly normal to daydream about a real fishing expedition, or, what is equally fun, one that has yet to taken place and is part of your imagination.

     Another thing that happens is that you begin to collect fishing items that will include much more than hook, line and sinker.

     Some of these items will be the typical reel, the vest, the boots and all sorts of tackle. Little by little you will also find your house is filled with decorations of a fishing nature. As if fishing wasn't enough, you start to clutter up your house and even office with things to remind you of that which you enjoy so much.

     One of the things which non-fishermen do not realize is that fishing has a wide variety of alternatives. In freshwater fishing you have streams, rivers and lakes. You have different types of fish - trout, salmon, pike, catfish and more. Fishing in salt water has even greater variety. You can fish from a beach, from a pier or from a boat. As for fish you have so many different types that you really do have to limit the species you're looking for.

     There's something about fishing that brings out that tiny Hemingway we all have inside us. It is the contact with nature, that battling of wits with your intended prey that make you concentrate with your mind, your body, your emotions and even your soul. This means that each moment becomes so intense that you lose sight of everything but the specific moment your are experiencing. Then there are moments when your contact with nature is such that you feel a certain balance, a type of equanimity or tranquility if you will, that makes you feel in perfect harmony with your self. Most other times pale to insignificance.

     All dyed in the wool anglers are romantics at heart - even though most probably refuse to acknowledge that. When you are out in the country by a river, carrying your fishing accessories and the odd good luck charm, as you walk next to a stream with hanging trees and the rippling sound of the river, you are far away from the rush and noise of city life. You're probably content with yourself and your mind is set as you watch and feel everything about you. You look over the stream and unconsciously - as the way of the fisherman is now in your soul - you pick out the pools beneath the surface where the current has sent the perfect spot for the trout that is waiting for you.

     It is virtually impossible to go fishing and not feel and enjoy nature. You're aware of the sounds around and about, the breeze, birds, crickets and grasshoppers. This contact with nature, this contact with fishing, brings out the romantic side of our own natures that even he who denies it will have it.

     There is a moment when fishing, and mind you it doesn't mean it happens every time, when perfection is there. It may be a split-second, it may a long afternoon, but it happens and usually when it does you are not even aware of it. What you do know is that you have passed and enjoyed a special time and this stays with you, not a normal memory but a light emotional image.

     When this happens you say to yourself, this is the life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rubber Bands - A Fishing Tip

     One of the more enjoyable aspects of anglers is their need to collect things. This will include obvious items that spell out "fishing gear" and will include hooks, sinkers, flies, spinners, lures, fishing boxes and even smell eliminating stuff.

     And one of the most versatile items invented by man, and I am sure the inventor must have been a fisherman, are rubber bands. Apart from the fact that they come in different colors, in different sizes and in different strengths, they must have been invented for the fisherman - at least they should have been.

     Think of some of their uses:

          - when packing your gear into the car a pair of rubber bands hold together your rod. Ther is nothing more annoying than breaking off the point of your rod as you juggle with the packing.

          - your fishing tackle boxes will get old, and a rubber band will be a great help by holding down the lids.

          - keeping your nylon in place both in the reel and your spare.

     I could go on forever but the fact is that there are so many specific uses that the best thing you can do is to make sure you always carry a few in your gear.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"The 4 P's Of Fishing" - Lesson That Are Well Applied In Life

Since my first fishing expedition when I was around eight years old I was told by my mentor (my father) that there are some profound lessons you pick up from fishing that will always stay with you no matter what, and will later turn into skills you can apply in your life.
Obviously the first time I heard that it went in one ear and out the other. As happy go lucky kid, my first trout fishing experience had its good points and its bad points. On the positive side I went fishing with my father and elder brother so I became a member of the family's honorary club. On the down side, it was a really boring day. I didn't catch a thing and half the time I was ignored by the others or told to keep quiet whenever I thought of something exciting to do - like skip stones over the river surface.
Luckily I didn't dare share my frustration, although now I think about it must have been obvious to everyone. Anyway I kept on fishing and in a very short time I got the bug and learned to love fishing. The exact moment this happened was when I felt my first strike and as far as fishing is concerned, it has been a smooth ride since then.
Looking back over forty years to that first fishing experience I realize that I was put in contact with all those fishing skills that become strengths in life - I just did not realize it then.
So here are my "Fisherman's Skills - The 4 P's " (now days everyone seems to talk in code, so why not I?)
That first time brought me into direct contact with the need for patience and only later did it become an acquired skill. As I never mentioned my first days frustration I was forced to patiently keep on trying. There are all sorts of days when you go out fishing. There are good days and bad days, but every single one of them demands patience and some demand a high degree of patience. A fisherman without patience just isn't a fisherman. In life patience also brings rewards (and a lot less stress).
As I rushed all over the place trying to cast my line into the river, I began to have a love hate relationship with the surrounding trees, especially the weeping willows. I hated those trees but my lures loved them. The rest of the time I got my line tangled (for the meaning of patience untangle your fishing line) as I overshot my cast flipping it over the river to land on the other bank. No wonder I soon became a pest to the others. Once I learned patience I began to cast much better and actually landed my line in the pools I was aiming for - and then I just went on and on and on. And I began to catch fish. So, in fishing language, "on and on and on" means perseverance. Sometimes known as pig headedness, it is a valuable asset as your continuing efforts help you achieve your goals.
Then there were the times we went fishing and I just grabbed my stuff and threw it into the car. When we got to the river I was raring to go, only to find something wrong or missing or broken with my gear. That taught me very quickly to take proper care of my fishing gear and to always be prepared for an unscheduled fishing trip (these were always the best).Later on both as a student or at work being prepared for the exam or the presentation made all the difference.
Powers of Observation.
Finally another of the skills I picked up was to observe. There is a great difference between looking and observing. You can look at something and it doesn't register. When you observe something it is not only your eyes that are involved, all your senses as well as your mind take part. When fishing you see and feel the changes in the wind, the river flow, the color of the water and so on. At other non-fishing times, as you observe those around you whether it is in a social or family environment or whether it is in the work place you definitely have an advantage as you are aware of many more nuances - especially the non-verbal ones.
So in short fishing can teach you patience, perseverance, to be prepared and it enhances your powers of observation. They are all skills that should always be with you no matter what activity you are involved in.
One of my (the author's) passions is fishing and much of what I writes originated while teaching my children to fish. You can visit another fishing related website on fishing tackle boxes and fishing tackle bag (as well as other fishing accessories).