What makes fishing so magical for me?

Have you ever wondered why fishing is such a popular pastime. All over the world thousands of people go fishing every day. I was thinking about this one afternooon when the warmth of the day had killed the fishing, but it was still too early to go home. "Well isn't it always? Anyway, I was pondering the popularity of fishing and here are a few of my thoughts.

People go fishing to get away from the Mrs.

No doubt about it, sometimes it is nice to get away to a secluded spot, especially when the wife's got a sad on, but that isn't why I go fishing.

People go fishing for food.

I suppose a tiny number of people do, but I suspect that even in the game and sea fishing camps the fact that they can eat what they catch is only a by product and not why they go fishing. After a venture into fly fishing, I once ate a trout that I'd caught and it tasted earthier than an unwashed potato. I don't know why people rave about fresh trout because I'd sooner open a tin of mackerel. I guess a wild fish from a mountain stream would taste good, but we are fresh out of them in Staffordshire. I also know that there are desperate people fishing the canals of our cities at night just hoping to catch some food. It's all very sad, but a gudgeon sandwich doesn't do it for me.

To catch the biggest fish ever.

I know that some people get obsessed with size, but surely trying to catch a record breaker everytime they wet a line isn't why people go fishing. To be honest, I'd much sooner catch a regular succession of decent sized fish than wait all day hoping for a big one. And here's another thing, now that I'm on the downhill side of 60, playing big fish makes my arm ache. If I can't get it in the net within five minutes I get impatient. The need to struggle with things dimminishes with age.

To win money and trophies

I've been there and done that. I had four shelves of trophies when my first wife slipped the hook and sent 20 plus years of marriage down the crapper. "They are just dust collectors," my second wife said and helped me take them to the rubbish tip.

To be at one with nature

Yes, a lot of people go fishing because they like to be in the countryside. Fishing gives everybody the opportunity to sit and watch nature perform. But let's face it, if you just sat on a box in the middle of a field, and did the same thing, you'd soon be whisked off to the funny farm.

A primeval instinct

We are all decendents from hunter gatherers, so there's an urge in most of us. However, the same desire can be satisfied many ways and especially by a trip to the supermarket.

My conclusions

The magic of fishing for me comes down to just one tiny moment. Sure, sitting in the countryside, seeing the wildlife and getting away from the hub bub of life is good, but those things fail to catch the magic. In fact, I could get those by taking up another hobby like twitching.

So what is it?

Well, for me there is a single moment that defines the magic of fishing. That single moment when the float goes under, that very same moment when I strike and make contact with the fish. That is it, that is the exact moment, it only lasts for a split second but it is what makes me go fishing.

What about you?

I'd love to know what makes other anglers get so wrapped up in the sport. If you've got some thoughts on the subject please e-mail me.