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How to Enjoy Fishing as a Hobby

Updated on March 12, 2011

The great thing about fishing is that it is such a multi-dimensional activity, so much so that it is hard to know where to begin — or stop — singing its praises. Above everything else, fishing gets you into some wonderful environments. I look back through the 40 years that I've been a passionate angler and I think of the beautiful places that I've been fortunate to visit. Lakes of total peace and serenity. Gushing rivers, full of vitality and life. Lonely marshes. Streams running fresh from snow-capped mountains. Heart-stopping sunrises and sunsets. I think too of the amazing wildlife I've seen — kingfishers actually perching on my rod, badgers taking bread almost out of my hand as dusk begins to fall. An otter whistling downriver in the dawn light. And when I've been travelling and fishing abroad, the rumble of a bear, the bellow of an elephant, or the swooping displays of fish eagles.

Fishing also breeds comradeship, and I have an address book absolutely crammed with the very best of companions from the past and present. Men - and women -with whom I've shared some of the very best times of my life, out in the open, by the side of water, often under the stars, around a campfire. Stories swapped. Theories presented and ideas hammered out. Laughter. Shared successes. Mutual, passionate interests. There's an old phrase about the 'brotherhood of the angle', and it couldn't be more true: it doesn't matter where you fish, either home or away, you'll find friends that you never forget.

Fishing as a Challenge

The methods that you will begin to pick up are mind-consuming and fascinating. Fishing is like a huge chess game, always demanding new approaches. Every water, every lie, every day brings a new challenge. You'll soon find that if you approach every situation in the same way, your successes will "begin to falter. It's vital to think, to experiment, and to stay one step ahead of the game. But, perhaps above all, the modern angler appreciates the fish themselves. The creatures that we pursue are fascinating. Each species has its own habits and idiosyncrasies, and to succeed as an angler, you have to immerse yourself in their natural history. There is a whole aquatic world waiting to be discovered. Fish are absolutely, achingly beautiful.

Moreover, it's a secret beauty, a loveliness that's only really appreciated by the fisher. You will surely come to marvel at the wonder of the fish that you catch. Look carefully at each and every one of them. Note how their scales all have different patterns and sheens. Admire the shape of the fish, consider how it is perfectly adapted to its own particular environment. Examine the fins, sec how delicate and yet strong they are, and how they are streaked with the most vividly colored rays. Fish are priceless creatures, not some commodity that you buy in your weekly shop from a superstore.

You are on the threshold of a magical new departure in your life, so try to enjoy every privileged and thrilling moment that you spend by the waterside.


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