Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's fishing thoughts are filled with a history of wisdom

By: L.A. Van Veghel

When we need help with anything, it pays to go to the experts for advice.

Anglers can do likewise. To widen our learning experience, we will glean knowledge and advice from sages of the ages. It might be a surprise to many, especially those who are anti fishing to find out that many of their conservation experts from the past were catch and eat anglers.
Audubon, for example, loved to fish and eat his catch.

Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac: How like fish we are: ready, nay eager, to seize upon whatever new thing some wind of circumstances shakes down upon the river of time! And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook.

Charles Darwin: I had a strong taste for angling, and would sit for any number of hours on the bank of a river or pond watching the float.

Peter Kaminsky, from Fishing For Dummies, regarding what qualifies as bait: Anything that works.

Robert Elman, from The Fisherman’s Field Guide: Bullheads are the most nocturnal feeders…
Izaak Walton, from The Compleat Angler: The Carp is the Queen of Rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtil fish…

Sir William D’Avenant, from Britannia Triumphans: For angling-rod he took a sturdy oak; For line, a cable that in storm ne’r broke;…The hook was baited with a dragon’s tail—And then on rock he stood to bob for whale.

Henry David Thoreau: Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish I the sky, where the bottom is pebbly with stars.

Paul Quinnett, from Darwin’s Bass: When I get up at five in the morning, I wake my wife up and ask, “What’ll it be, dear, sex or fishing?”And she says, ‘Don’t forget your waders.’”

No wonder there is a need for column such as this. Thoreau fished in the clouds. D’Avant talked about using big bait, and I wonder what size hook he recommended. Elman would have had to stay up late at night and have visited every body of water to come up with his belief about late night fish.

As long as these sages couldn’t help much, here’s a last attempt to improve our angling in the New Year.

Anonymous: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet, and they won’t bother you for weeks.

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