When people find out what I do for a living (I’m a fishing writer), I often hear things like: “Oh, that sounds fun… I’ve always wanted to take up fishing, but I don’t know where to go.” Or I’m told: “I used to fish a lot when I was a kid, but I don’t have the time anymore.” Sometimes I get, “Yeah… fishing would be a great hobby, but it seems so complicated and expensive.”
It actually makes me sad to hear those words, because I think they’re feeble excuses. Anyone who already fishes knows that people who buy excuses like that are really cheating themselves.
So, starting here and now, I’m going to start busting myths that keep people from fishing. If this encourages you get you back in the fishing game, great. If you’re already an avid angler, and we can convince a could-be fishing buddy (a friend, neighbor, parent, son or daughter… maybe even a spouse) to join along, even better.
Fishing is expensive. Sure, it can be. But the “price of admission” doesn’t have to be much. In fact, I know you can find a rod-reel-line combo for around the same price as two movie tickets and a bucket of popcorn. After two hours, the movie is over and the popcorn is gone… after two hours, your fishing adventure is just beginning.
Fishing is complicated. It can be. But again, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, a baited hook on a line is about as simple as it gets. Sure, you might one day find yourself on a wild river, trying to match the blue-winged olive mayfly hatch with dry flies and a cane rod… but for most of us, that path starts with a worm and bobber. For the committed angler, all fishing is good fishing.
It’s hard to find places to go. I guess that depends on what you want to catch. If you’re intent on catching a blue marlin and you live in Nebraska, yeah, I’d say your options are pretty limited. But species like bluegills, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, pike, and trout can be found in a surprisingly wide range of waters, throughout the country. And did you know that the number one “sport fish” on a worldwide basis is the common carp?
The bottom line is that the true beauty of fishing is that it can be exactly what you want it to be. The challenges go as deep (or not) as you want them to go. The complexity and commitment are only as much as you decide they should be. And it doesn’t take much to have fun. All you really need is a little resolve to go fish.
Encouraging that resolve—and offering some entertaining fishing and boating information—are the main missions of this blog. I’m very pleased to have this chance to share ideas in a public forum, answer questions, and instigate an ongoing, online conversation about fishing and boating.
So feel free to fire back at me in the comment thread. I’ll be paying attention, and hope you will too.
Kirk Deeter is an editor-at-large with Field & Stream magazine, and the editor-in-chief of Angling Trade. He is the co-author of four books, most recently the “Little Red Book of Fly Fishing.”