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Why Do I Fish?
      #293273 - 06/01/17 10:08 PM

Why do I fish? Why do I love it so? I don’t know about everyone else, but I have been asked that question many times over the years by people who are not fisherman. I’ve also had non-hunters ask why I love to hunt. Do I get a thrill by killing they ask, or is there something more to it? Of course, not all those who inquire about fishing and hunting are against it. In fact, many people ask about it because they are genuinely interested and would like to try it themselves. So, how do you explain to someone who has never experienced it the thrill you get when the animal you have worked hard for and maybe even suffered for, finally steps out of the brush within range? Or, how do you share with them the feeling of excitement and anticipation you have as you make that first cast into new, untested waters? And, how do you put into words the closeness you feel to God when you are out in the cathedral of His creation?

I have always loved books and have built up quite a library over the years. My favorites are old books about hunting and fishing. This Christmas, my father gave me a first edition of Zane Grey’s “Tales of the Angler’s El Dorado New Zealand”. For those who may not know of him,, Zane Grey was an American author who wrote many popular novels of the American West. Many of his books have since become classics. Grey was also an avid fisherman who fished all over the world. It is said that he fished up to 300 days a year. He held the world record for Bluefin tuna for a time and has the distinction of having caught the first 1000lb marlin on rod and reel. And he caught those fish (and many others) using wooden rods and reels with very simple drag systems!

I have several of Grey’s other books on fishing and I was very pleased to add this one to my collection. It was published in 1926 and chronicles his fishing expedition to New Zealand. In the first few paragraphs of this book, Zane Grey put into words what I have always loved about fishing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

‘There is always something so wonderful about a new fishing adventure trip. For a single day, or for a week, or even months! The enchantment never palls. Years on end I have been trying to tell why, but that has been futile. Fishing is like Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece.

The most humble fisherman has this in common with fishermen of all degrees. Whatever it is that haunts and enchants surely grows with experience. Even the thousandth trip to the same old familiar fished-out stream begins with renewed hope, with unfailing faith. Quien sabe? as the Spaniards say. You cannot tell what you might catch. And even if you do not catch anything the joy is somehow there. The child is father to the man. Saturdays and vacation times call everlastingly to the boy. The pond, the stream, the river, the lake and the sea! Something evermore is about to happen. Every fishing trip is a composite of all other trips; and it holds irresistible promise for the future. That cup cannot be drained. There are always greater fish than you have caught, always the lure of greater task and achievement, always the inspiration to seek, to endure, to find, always the beauty of the lonely stream and the open sea; always the glory and dream of nature.’

- Zane Grey

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Re: Why Do I Fish? [Re: FlatTop45]
      #293397 - 08/01/17 02:35 AM

Excellent first post!

I am not a fisherman, but I fish because I like eating fish. As I get older perhaps fishing will become more important as it is "slower".

As one person said it, "a day spent in the outdoors is always better than any day spent in the office" or similar to that.

Fishing is a form of hunting, of providing natural free range organic non-GM sustenance for the table. And good eating too. What is better than having fresh caught fish for the dinner table when in a hunting camp, whether in the cool mountains or the buffalo wetlands. Or even on a goat hunting trip in the arid and dry Flinders Ranges, where my local mate and co, found a waterhole with edible fish in it. Totally unexpected and good eating.

John aka NitroX

"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"

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Re: Why Do I Fish? [Re: NitroX]
      #293411 - 08/01/17 05:23 AM

I do like eating fish - Coho are the best Salmon with Sockeye second best, springs(kings) third, maybe atlantic's 4th, chum(dog salmon) 5th and pinks 6th - but fresh out of the river close to the ocean pinks are good - not after being frozen.

Same order in smoking them.

Smaller rainbow trout or brookies from deep cold lakes can be very sweet. After they reach a couple pounds, just taste like Steelhead- which are OK, but the smaller ones are sweeter.
Smoked trout are really good, but I'm told smoked Rocky Mountain Whitefish/Grayling are best fish smoked. Smoked a 24 pound Lake Char once - excellent fare - quite moist though due to the oil some like it (I do) some don't.

I prefer white fleshed fish - halibut best from the ocean, burbot best from fresh water, with pickerel/walleye next, then bass/crappie, etc.

All said and done, I prefer fishing to eating them - I like both, but catch and release is part and parcel with 'fishing' for me. Long rod steelhead fishing is a wonderful sport - but - one needs a Cuban cigar in one's mouth while standing calf-deep in a river, spey fishing for Steelies.
Haven't fished for them since I quit smoking - won't be the same, but I do have 4 long rods that need "wetting" now and then, maybe this spring?

This type of fishing, just makes you feel one with nature.

Still hunting through a quite bush - same feeling - or just sitting, leaning up against a fir, spruce or pine tree, listening to the world around you, no sounds but nature's, wind, small animals and birds, maybe deer, elk or moose, walking, rustling in the leaves, tree's needles and foliage, squirrels digging in the pine or spruce needles - just love it.


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII

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Re: Why Do I Fish? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #293422 - 08/01/17 08:19 AM

Fishing is very much like hunting especially if you are spinning or fly fishing. Fly fishing in particular is an all encompassing sport like hunting as there are many individual aspects that can be included as part of the whole, such as studying insects, fly collecting, fly tying and the many different types of lines and rods for different types of fly fishing ie. wet or dry. I find fishing for trout in a cool mountain stream in a nice valley with no one else around extremely satisfying and relaxing. And it is amazing what other wildlife one sees when you don't have a rifle in your hands. I like dry fly fishing in particular.


There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.

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Re: Why Do I Fish? [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #293435 - 08/01/17 09:11 AM

Yep I reckon Nitro hit it right on the head!
Give me a day outdoors any day, not an easy thing now-a-days; especially when commitments to help out family & friends are made.
That time no matter how small is most precious & to me is totally relaxing - even if nothing is caught!
I really liked the halibut when in Alaska & Canada on a holiday, beautiful eating fish, but my preference to salmon I'm sorry is not there at all.
Just the little humble whiting that my mum used to catch off the beach when she was still alive were the best for us. She could catch a fish in a bucket of water - me, all I can catch is a cold!
Doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it - rather the opposite!
So when I do go it's a chance to have a 'chat' to her, even if she's been gone nearly 50 years now.
Wet a line every now & then - good for the soul.

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Re: Why Do I Fish? [Re: 93x64mm]
      #293439 - 08/01/17 09:21 AM

My sentiments exactly!

I was a lurker of the Nitro Express forums for several years before joining a few months ago. I have always been impressed by the scope of the forums and the knowledge of the membership. Even though the members come from all over the world, they all share a kindred spirit; a great love and respect for the wild places and the creatures that live there. Like the forest or the jungle or the desert, the ocean too is wilderness. A few steps away from the shore or the trail or even the road, and the relative safety and comfort of civilization fades away. Even so, some of us are drawn to these places. We have this deep seated desire to explore them. Perhaps it's the wide-eyed child that still lives within us or perhaps it is something more primal and visceral than that. Who knows?

But, as someone once said, there is just something about taking a walk in good country with a trusted rod or a fine gun in your hand....

And I am very happy to know that throughout the world, there are others who feel the same way.


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