1. Fishing is a way of being in symbiosis with nature. Not all the materials are “natural” but I feel while i am fishing, the life around you accepts you as part of that environment.
Your body slows and your mind focuses enough to be aware of all that is happening around you. You get to experience things you can’t plan to happen; an eagle swooping for a fish, a dolphin chasing mullet, sharks free swimming; observing intimate interactions between multiple species. I love it
2. I like bass fishing and my fishing buddy likes ocean fishing, both are cool. With bass fishing, you don’t cast and wait a few hours, you cast continually. You get good at recognizing spots and putting your lure right where you think the fish is.
Really though, two things are nice. One, is all you care about is fishing. No phones, no job, no outside world. It is just you and the fish. How often are you really able to escape into your own mind like that. Before I learned how to meditate, fishing and golf were the closest I came.
Second, is fishing buddies. Do not underestimate how important it is to have activities with friends. For you and your boys to go out their and spend the day distraction free is great. Funny things will happen, stories will be made, and no one is going to get hurt. All around good time to spend
3. Fly fishing actually gets me because its not about the actual fishing, its the stalking the waiting, the nature, the escapism, the spotting, the zen of it all. (I either eat or catch and release – mainly on the rare occasions of success). It surprised me when I tried it, so I guess i can simply say, there is fishing and there is fishing
4. I live in Land Locked Canada and to me fishing has always been about connecting with the land.
I particularly have fished a lot in Kootenay lake in British Columbia. Learning your fishing spot is learning how our world works. This lake in particular was formed millions of years ago and the mountains to the east used to make up what used to be the pacific coastline. This helps inform why the fish that live in the lake exist where they do.
It can be a sobering experience knowing the native people, for thousands of years fished the same fish and how the lake has changed over the years in both the longterm and over the decades as damming in the 50s has raised the water level.
And that’s just one lake. Every lake, stream and river has its own story.
My point is when I fish I’m on a boat going up the shoreline, seeing the rock formations and cliff faces. In the Fall, seeing snowflakes in the mountains turn to rain.
Then there’s the fishing itself. Again your on a boat on a nice day seeing the beauty of the lake, and then you get to fight the fish when you get a bite.
Knowing how to tire a big fish out is really fun on its own and once you have the fish you have a delicious dinner.
5. I fish because it allows me to interact with, and have a relationship with the natural world and all of its inhabitants. The birds, waterfowl, fish, land animals, etc all going about their day searching for food while I do the same is a peaceful experience for me.
Also, it will always remind me of my grandfather and the lessons and stories he told while we were fishing together. He’s still with us, but when he’s not I will always be able to connect with him out on the water wetting a line.
6. I call it hydrotherapy. Exploring mother nature does wonders for the soul. I usually do more observing than fishing ,there’s always more to learn.
Fishing teaches patience, which is sorely lacking in today’s society.
It has taught me to be a good steward of my waters as I pick up bag after bag of trash left by selfish cretins.
My motivation is to catch a bigger fish,of course, but I’ve learned that putting the big ones back to breed feels better than eating them.
7. Just peace. Its the only way I can put work, life, stress, etc out of my mind without excessive substance abuse. Feels like I’m my whole self when I’m on the water, my instincts kick in and everything else goes away.
Granted, landing a piggie smallmouth is a fckin thrill. But it’s more about peace than anything.
8. For me getting out on the water provides peace of mind.
I like to fly fish so my lure selection is a little more nuanced and particular, but when I get out there and I’m focused on picking the right fly to convince the big brown trout holding in a pool 20 ft away from me to eat.
Everything else washes away. It provides a strange level of hyper-focus and absent minded clarity at the same time.
Often I’ve gone out fishing to decompress and get away from work for a little while and when I get back to doing important things I often find that i’m refreshed and can approach problems with a new perspective.
Being out on the water also allows your mind to wander and sometimes this has produced great ideas that i wouldn’t have realized had I stayed at my desk trying to hammer out work.
Besides all of the mental aspects of the hobby when you hook into a fish that can actually fight back and pulls on your line there is a massive adrenaline rush, it almost touches something primal in your soul.
9. Sure, I find it relaxing. It’s one of the few activities in which my mind is totally blank. When I’m in the creek, there’s no thoughts of work, bills or other life stressors.
But, to be honest, I’m not a very religious person so I try to be somewhat ‘spiritual’ and fishing and being outdoors helps me achieve the spirituality I want.
To be closer with the Earth and enjoy the beautiful world around us. I know that sounds like a very hippy thing to say but, to answer your question, relaxation to be closer to Mother Nature.
10. It’s one of the few activities I’ve found where my mind can stay focused on a singular, low pressure objective for hours on end. My job requires a lot of me, in the sense that I have to be on top of 30 different, often higher pressure situations at any given time.
I’ve never been able to achieve relaxation while “vegging out” and fishing strikes that awesome balance of requiring focus while lacking any type of competition or pressure. I also just like being on or near the water.
Beyond that, it’s an awesome community. Since I started fishing I’ve struck up so many conversations with people who are excited to talk about catches, favorite spots, lures, etc.