In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.
I am almost certain fishermen posess a peculiar bend to their makeup. Fisherman are optimists, and the fish in the future is always preferable to the fish at hand. Even the best fishermen catch fish only a small percentage of the time, which means we persevere in a sport that features failure as its main ingredient. Truly great days, when the fish hammer the fly as soon as it lands on the water are rare.
In the twelfth century the Basque fishermen of Biarritz used to hunt whales with deadly efficiency. When the whales sensibly moved away, the Basques chased them further and further, with the consequence that the fishermen of Biarritz discovered America before Columbus did. This is a matter for local pride but on a larger view it is not quite so stunning, since with the possible exception of the Swiss everybody discovered America before Columbus did.
Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation. She is not afraid to exhibit herself to them.
Henry David Thoreau
The truth is that trout fishermen scheme and lie and toss in their sleep. They dream of great dripping trout, shapely and elusive as mermaids, and arise cranky and haggard from their fantasies. They are moody and neglectful and all of them a little daft. Moreover they are inclined to drink too much.
John D. Voelker
Have you thought about His (God) handling of the gospel? God needs to get a message out to the human race, without which they will perish...foreve r. What's the plan? First, He starts with the most unlikely group ever: a couple of prostitutes, a few fishermen with no better than a second-grade education, a tax collector. Then, he passes the ball to us. Unbelievable.
A standard saying among fly fishermen is that trout spend anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of their time feeding below the water's surface on the immature forms of aquatic insects. Some anglers are even more precise, but whatever the exact percentage , it's safe to say that to fully appreciate any tailwater fishery you will have to learn the fine art of nymphing.
Culturally, I have always been part of the proletariat. I lived side by side with the sons of glassblowers, fishermen and smugglers. The stories they told were shaper satires about the hypocrisy of authority and the middle classes, the two-facedness of teachers and lawyers and politicians. I was born politicized.
For a time, I believed not in God nor Santa Claus, but in mermaids. They seemed as logical and possible to me as the brittle twig of a seahorse in the zoo aquarium or the skates lugged up on the lines of cursing Sunday fishermen - skates the shape of old pillowslips with the full, coy lips of women.
There's always going to be the cooler-clubbers who are going to harvest a lot of fish, but I think the hard-core bass fishermen release just about everything they catch these days. Years ago, I think people were willing to release smaller fish, but now I think they're willing to release them all, and that's the important part.
Philip K. Chapman
I make it a rule never to weigh or measure a fish I've caught, but simply to estimate its dimensions as accurately as possible, and then, when telling about it, to improve these figures by roughly a fifth, or twenty percent. I do this mainly because most people believe all fishermen exaggerate by at least twenty percent, and so I allow for the discounting my audience is almost certain to apply.
Whether they come from Brooks Brothers or a thrift store, the sweaters we wear have a magnificent ancestry. Their history spans the worlds of Irish fishermen, French knights, World War I soldiers, busty Hollywood 'sweater girls, ' and the television saint Mr. Rogers. That history lives in each garment. By being aware of it, we can better appreciate what we have.
Now I am . . . like anyone with a strong preference for the fly rod, totally indifferent to how large a fish I catch by comparison with other fishermen. So when a fifteen-year-old called Fred, fishing deep in midsummer with a hideous plastic worm, caught a four and a half pounder . . . I naturally felt no resentment beyond wanting to break the kid's thumbs.
As for myself, I do not believe in loggers, I believe in trees. I do not believe in fishermen, I believe in fish. I do not believe in miners, I believe in the rocks beneath my feet. I do not believe in pie in the sky spirituality, I believe in rainbows, rivers, mountains, and moss. I do not believe in environmentalists, I believe in the environment. I am a proud traitor to my species in alliance with my mother the Earth in opposition to those who would destroy her, those parasites who believe the Earth is here to serve human interests.
We arrived and the miracle happened. It was the sea and the wind in the bells. We came from far, from years Thirsty as dust, from humble fishermen's nets on barren shore." ~ Jose Manuel Cardona, from Poems to Circe, The Birnam Wood (El Bosque de Birnam, Consell Insular D'Eivissa, 2007). Translated from the Spanish by Helene Cardona.
Jose Manuel Cardona
TO ALL THE ambulance drivers firewatchers air-raid wardens nurses canteen workers airplane spotters rescue workers mathematicians vicars vergers shopgirls chorus girls librarians debutantes spinsters fishermen retired sailors servants evacuees Shakespearean actors and mystery novelists WHO WON THE WAR.
After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches. I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: "You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.
No writer, I believe, should attempt a novel before he is thirty, and not then unless he has been hopelessly and helplessly involved in life. For the writer who goes out to find material for a novel, as a fishermen goes out to sea to fish, will certainly not write a good novel. Life has to be lived thoughtlessly, unconsciously, at full tilt and for no purpose except its own sake before it becomes, eventually, good material for a novel.
Pearl S. Buck
It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it's where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own. Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, 'live always at the 'edge of mystery' ""the boundary of the unknown.' But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea.
Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn't. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.
When I wrote the song, I had the sea near Bombay in mind. We stayed at a hotel by the sea, and the fishermen come up at five in the morning and they were all chanting. And we went on the beach and we got chased by a mad dog-big as a donkey. ... I think that songwriting changed when groups started spending more time in the studio. ... I've written so many songs about Englishmen, I have to go elsewhere. ... Our repertoire consisted of rhythm and blues, sort of country rhythm and blues, Sonny Terry things.
He put on a little knapsack and he walked through Indiana and Kentucky and North Carolina and Georgia clear to Florida. He walked among farmers and mountain people, among swamp people and fishermen. And everywhere people asked him why he was walking through the country. Because he loved true things he tried to explain. He said he was nervous and besides he wanted to see the country, smell the ground and look at grass and birds and trees, to savor the country, and there was no other way to do it save on foot.
We scientists can argue forever about important topics like slightly different flavors of vanilla ice cream. Consider the silliness of this debate: one group of scientists found a 90% decline of big fish and criticized fishery management. Some other scientists found an 80% decline and started a big argument with the 90% people. Who cares if it's 80% or 90%? The real question is whether it's OK to let fishermen take most of the big fish out of our oceans.
I did not see Pirahe£ teenagers moping, sleeping in late, refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions, or trying out what they considered to be radically new approaches to life. They in fact are highly productive and conformist members of their community in the Pirahe£ sense of productivity (good fishermen, contributing generally to the security, food needs, and other aspects of the physical survival of the community). One gets no sense of teenage angst, depression, or insecurity among the Pirahe£ youth. They do not seem to be searching for answers. They have them. And new questions rarely arise.
Daniel L. Everett
The main vehicle for nineteenth-century socialization was the leading textbook used in elementary school. They were so widely used that sections in them became part of the national language. Theodore Roosevelt, scion of an elite New York family, schooled by private tutors, had been raised on the same textbooks as the children of Ohio farmers, Chicago tradesman, and New England fishermen. If you want to know what constituted being a good American from the mid-nineteenth century to World War I, spend a few hours browsing through the sections in the McGuffey Readers.
I love rainy and bad-weather days because this type of weather gives me a mental advantage, especially when I'm fishing in a tournament. When the weather is inclement, most fishermen start thinking of reasons why they can't catch bass. But, because I fish so often in bad weather, I'm thinking of all the reasons I can catch bass in bad weather conditions.
He was quite a Casanova, no doubt about it. He was in a very good mood today and stopped longer than usual. The girls could see he was gloriously drunk. 'Well, Ragna, why do you think I come here so often?' asked Rolandsen. 'I've no idea, ' Ragna answered. 'You must think I'm sent by old Laban.' The girls giggled. 'When he says Laban he really means Adam.' 'I've come to save you, ' said Rolandsen. 'You have to beware of the fishermen around here, they're out-and-out seducers!' 'There's no greater seducer than you, ' said another girl. 'You've got two kids already. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.' 'How can you talk like that, Nicoline? You've always been a thorn in my flesh and you'll be the death of me, you know damned well. But as for you, Ragna, I'm going to save your soul wether you like it or not!
Love is the divine Mother's arms; when those arms are spread, every soul falls into them. The Sufis of all ages have been known for their beautiful personality. It does not mean that among them there have not been people with great powers, wonderful powers and wisdom. But beyond all that, what is most known of the Sufis is the human side of their nature: that tact which attuned them to wise and foolish, to poor and rich, to strong and weak - to all. They met everyone on his own plane, they spoke to everyone in his own language. What did Jesus teach when he said to the fishermen, 'Come hither, I will make you fishers of men?' It did not mean, 'I will teach you ways by which you get the best of man.' It only meant: your tact, your sympathy will spread its arms before every soul who comes, as mother's arms are spread out for her little ones.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
The way God squandered Himself had always hurt her; and annoyed her too. The sky full of wings and only the shepherds awake. That golden voice speaking and only a few fishermen there to hear; and perhaps some of the words He spoke carried away on the wind or lost in the sound of the waves lapping against the side of the boat. A thousand blossoms shimmering over the orchard, each a world of wonder all to itself, and then the whole thing blown away on a southwest gale as though the delicate little worlds were of no value at all. Well, of all the spendthrifts, she would think and then pull herself up. It was not for her to criticize the ways of Almighty God; if He liked to go to all that trouble over the snowflakes, millions and millions of them, their intricate patterns too small to be seen by human eyes, and melting as soon as made, that was His affair and not hers. All she could do about it was to catch in her window, and save from entire waste, as much of the squandered beauty as she could.
Your Eve was wise, John. She knew that Paradise would make her mad, if she were to live forever with Adam and know no other thing but strawberries and tigers and rivers of milk. She knew they would tire of these things, and each other. They would grow to hate every fruit, every stone, every creature they touched. Yet where could they go to find any new thing? It takes strength to live in Paradise and not collapse under the weight of it. It is every day a trial. And so Eve gave her lover the gift of time, time to the timeless, so that they could grasp at happiness... And this is what Queen Abir gave to us, her apple in the garden, her wisdom-without which we might all have leapt into the Rimal in a century. The rite bears her name still. For she knew the alchemy of demarcation far better than any clock, and decreed that every third century husbands and wives should separate, customs should shift and parchmenters become architects, architects farmers of geese and monkeys, Kings should become fishermen, and fishermen become players of scenes. Mothers and fathers should leave their children and go forth to get other sons and daughters, or to get none if that was their wish. On the roads of Pentexore folk might meet who were once famous lovers, or a mother and child of uncommon devotion-and they would laugh, and remember, but call each other by new names, and begin again as friends, or sisters, or lovers, or enemies. And some time hence all things would be tossed up into the air once more and land in some other pattern. If not for this, how fastened, how frozen we would be, bound to one self, forever a mother, forever a child. We anticipate this refurbishing of the world like children at a holiday. We never know what we will be, who we will love in our new, brave life, how deeply we will wish and yearn and hope for who knows what impossible thing! Well, we anticipate it. There is fear too, and grief. There is shaking, and a worry deep in the bone. Only the Oinokha remains herself for all time-that is her sacrifice for us. There is sadness in all this, of course-and poets with long elegant noses have sung ballads full of tears that break at one blow the hearts of a flock of passing crows! But even the most ardent lover or doting father has only two hundred years to wait until he may try again at the wheel of the world, and perhaps the wheel will return his wife or his son to him. Perhaps not. Wheels, and worlds, are cruel. Time to the timeless, apples to those who live without hunger. There is nothing so sweet and so bitter, nothing so fine and so sharp.
Catherynne M. Valente
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth let's not speak in any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I'll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.