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All About Fishing - cover

All About Fishing

Miles Montgomery

Publisher: Bibliomundi

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Summary

It’s just you and the environment.Isn’t this the most primitive stage of them all? Man against nature in a battle measured by verifiable results. We see this in hunting, in sail boating, and other maritime sports, in mountain climbing, even in extreme sports like snowboarding and rock climbing.Nature is the most primal arena there is. Hence, there is a certain appeal to nature that makes us want to challenge it. After all, how we fare against nature will tell us so much about how far we have come as mortals. It is a reaffirmation of our sense of self and a celebration of our humanity. It is an exhilarating feeling, a thrill that is hard to match.And set in the backdrop of this ancient struggle is the addictive passion called fly fishing.(Note, if you will, that I referred to fly fishing as a passion. To call it a sport would be too limiting. To call it a mere hobby would be too shallow a title for this activity.)With fly fishing, it’s you against your environment, and that environment can be one formidable foe. It controls the calmness or roughness of the waters, the velocity and the direction of the wind, and even the factors that determine the congregation of the salmon, trout, pike, bass, or carp.Indeed, the environment you will be competing against is a tough nut to crack, but just ups the ante, doesn’t it?Imagine if you were able to topple all the odds against you. Wouldn’t that provide a more satisfying sense of accomplishment? Wouldn’t that tell youthat you have what it takes to defeat the seemingly insurmountable challenges? Wouldn’t that reaffirm who you really are?And wouldn’t that be a great cause for celebration?Fly fishing, in this regard, can be considered a microcosm of life. If we are able to be competitive in this field, we should be able to be just as competitive in all aspects of life. It’s a matter of logic. It’s a matter of nature.This is perhaps why many people have developed an addiction with fly fishing. Though these ideas may not be readily apparent to most of them, it can most certainly be the calling of their subconscious minds. The fish can represent their personal holy grail, that which they have longed for all their lives.And if they can catch the fish… they can most certainly attain their personal goals.I have asked a number of people why they are very much impassioned with fly fishing, hoping to delve deeper into the psychology of this angling pastime that is growing more and more popular by the day. They, surprisingly, provided different answers for the same question.Dougs, who has been a regular companion of mine for two years now every Sunday in Maine, when we spend the afternoon trying to figure out the best bait to catch the biggest prize, has this to say:“Whenever we are here, fishing and all, I do forget my worries. You do know that I underwent anger management a couple of years ago, and fishing, not just fly fishing, was one of the activities suggested by my counselor. So that’s how I started. And surprise, surprise! You haven’t seen me wring your necks the past few years, right?”Indeed, the usually calm waters have soothing effects for the soul. It helps you relax and reinvigorate your mind, body, and spirit. Fly fishing is not an exhaustive activity at all.But it does require some patience.You’ll be spending more time preparing and waiting than actually angling in a fish or two, after all. This isn’t a pastime for a person who has attention deficit disorder.Perhaps it’s the time in between noteworthy moments that makes fly fishing relaxing. Let’s face it, we won’t be doing anything most of the time. Hence, we are given the chance to be with ourselves, and to be just ourselves. No pretensions at all… just us and all that time. It’s a great opportunity for some introspection and some reflections on the things that were, the things that are, and the things in store for us in the future.And this is perhaps the reason why Dougs finds fly fishing a perfect therapy for his cognitive distortions.On the other hand, another constant companion of mine, Marx, has been fly fishing longer than all of us combined. He claims that his grandfather introduced him to this pastime, and since then, his life has centered on angling.“You do know my wife, right? Yeah, the current one. Good thing she’s very understanding. Would you believe that the reason for my past divorces (he’s had two) is fishing? Well, that’s an exaggeration, of course… but there is a semblance of truth to it, though. I’d rather be with you guys every Sunday than talk about whatever marital problems I’m having with my wife.”Marx’s affair with fly fishing at the expense of his marriage is not, and should not, be promoted. We’re just discussing it right now to illustrate how much of a passion fly fishing has become for many people.When I asked him why he is so enamored with this pastime, this is what Marx had to say.“There’s something about fishing that keeps me coming bac

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