Oct 5, 2011

These People are Liars

From time to time, I hear people say they don't fish to catch fish. They're out there soaking up the sun, unwinding, enjoying scenery, building friendships, exercise...that sort of thing. Catching fish is unimportant to these people and I'm here to tell you these people are liars.

The reason people fish is to catch fish, or at least try. It is not the only reason, but if you think catching a fish is unimportant you wouldn't fish at all. If you want to get outside, go take a hike or go camping. If catching isn't the root, why do you have a rod in your hand?

The basis of the experience is catching fish. If you evaluate your reasoning at a "big picture" level you'll come to the same conclusion. There are all sorts of secondary and tertiary benefits to fishing. Icing on the cake to make an experience more enjoyable and fruitful. Don't get me wrong. I love angling and everything that goes into and comes from it, but we're out there fishing...to catch fish.

I love the feeling I get after successfully fooling a fish. I love paying attention to details and perfecting techniques. I love to be on or in the water. I love to catch fish! Big or small, it doesn't matter.

Why do you fish?


  1. You are absolutely right, Clif. I, too, call bullshit.

    If you just wanted to be out on the water and wanted to view nature, you would grab a pair of waders or hiking boots. Deep down, everyone that sets out with a fishing rod in hand hopes, at least on some small level, to catch a fish.

    Anybody that says they don't care that they didn't catch a fish the last time out is also lying - it's called justification. P.S. I am very guilty of this HA-HA

  2. Now you've opened up a can of worms... ha! Right when I was going to post that catching isn't everything...I better not turn into a liar. It is about catching ...you are right. Looks like you made it into my next Frenzy post.

  3. I'd say you're pretty much spot-on. While I've had my share of quality days on the water without catching any fish , there's no arguing that a fish or two would have made it that much better. That being said , like BrookfieldAngler , I'm guilty of it as well.

  4. And you got your psychology degree from where? I'll be the first to admit that I'm disappointed when I don't catch a fish. (which is often enough) But fly fishing itself is like watching gymnastics or ballet. It's beautiful to watch a truly skillful caster. It's amazing to tie your own flies and watch a fish attack it whether you hook it or not. It's healing to stand in moving water under a mid-day sun and soak up the scenery and wildlife.

  5. I agree....it's about catching fish. Otherwise, what's the damn point? But I say amen and amen to Cofisher's comment. He's right on.

  6. It's much easier to say to yourself (and to others) that you were not trying too hard and just enjoying the experience rather than "I fished my ass off, tried every lure in the box, every technique I know, and still not a single bite to show for it"

    For freshwater I'm strictly an artificials guy, but I've gotten to the point some days of scrounging the bank for a worm or a cricket or anything to throw on a hook just to prove that there are fish in the lake :)

  7. At a minimum, it's about the trying. And yeah, I'm out there for all that other stuff PLUS a tug on the line.

  8. Clif, you think this way simply because you are not enlightened. Catching fish means nothing.

    Unless you're fishing, then it is everything.

  9. The thing about it is about catching fish and it is not about catching fish at the same time. If you tie your own flies, build your own leaders, Then cast it with a rod that you built yourself then it is about the sport of fly fishing. Not saying I dont like to catch fish I absolutely do but if that is all you care about get a spinning rod and a bottle of salmon eggs. when I first started fly fishing it was a fantastic day when i caught 1 fish now that I catch more fish I find that I care less and less when I have a "bad day" for me it is about getting out and FISHING. Trying to outwit a creature with a brain the size of a peanut and gettin your butt whiped in the process, and when I do get lucky and get one I know that I did it the right way, lovin the process (same goes for bass, muskie, or anything else that swims).

  10. Here's an answer to your question: "Why do you fish".
    1. To catch fish.
    2. To catch fish for Bob, so I can get my driveway plowed when it snows.
    3. To catch fish so I have something to write about in my blog (Northern california Trout. Seems like a good place for a plug)
    4. To catch fish because my Editor requires me to catch something once in a while so I can write my bi-weekly column in the newspaper.
    5. To catch fish because that same Editor requires me to write posts in the newspapers blog.
    How's that?


  11. @Everyone - what a surprisingly huge response, it seems we all agree...them are liars.

  12. These comments are awesome! This debate comes up regularly among hunters too, by the way, i.e. "I hunt to see the awesome sunrise of another day." Response usually "You can sit on the porch and watch the sunrise, it's a lot easier and cheaper."

  13. I'm not saying I don't agree with you, but when you come out west and fish for native winter steelhead, you'll come to realize that not everyone fishes to catch fish, because these are mythical creatures akin to Bigfoot and unicorns. It's the love of standing in a cold river while rain beats you into submission and you get better at casting. But yeah, I call B.S. too.

  14. Kirk...you folks out West need tenkara rods. A most excellent tool especially devised for catching Bigfeet & unicorns.

  15. I am not opposed to Tenkara specifically, but I am opposed to fishing without a reel. Once I took an afternoon off work and drove a fair distance to fish in seclusion on a beautiful afternoon, only to gear up and realize I'd left my reel at home. Never again.

  16. I couldn't agree more - The TUG is the drug, no matter how tight the loop is, at the end of the cast if I am NOT catching anything I WILL be a cranky man.

    Although, like you, big or small, pretty or ugly, noble or "trash" fish I am easily pleased - and blessed to fish in the USA!


Clif reserves the right to delete your comment if he is so inclined, but he is a pretty liberal guy so post away and see what happens.