If fishing was easy they’d call it catching.
And if catching was the only purpose for it I probably wouldn’t be as strong a fisherman as I am now.
I am fortunate enough to live a life where the fish I catch are not my lifeline and so at the end of the day it’s just a chance for me to become more in tune with the outdoors. It’s a chance to slow down the gears in my head and focus on one moment and one objective, to catch a fish.
“Woah woah woah,” you might say, “I thought you said fishing wasn’t about catching?”
I did say that, but when one is fishing the definition is, truly, to catch a fish.
“Well, now I’m confused.”
Here, I’ll explain. Within the philosophy of practice there is a point achieved defined as “flow.” A point where your mind and body go into a sort of refined focus where you are only involved in that one moment or that next step and all outside distractions get set on the back burner.
This state of flow is achieved only when a person is focused on something so much so that they lose themselves in the moment.
For me, when I am out fishing in that lake or river my mind is only focused on one simple goal and that is to feel the weight of a fish on the end of my line. I think about where they are at or how to catch them, I watch the water’s surface for movement, I am aware of my shadow on the water and the wind in the air. When I am trying to catch a fish, I achieve that state of flow and it almost becomes a form of meditation.
In the moment I feel on two fronts. One, I feel a broad awareness of the environment around me and my focus is on so much yet so little that I feel the power in just being. Two, it’s a fact that I personally think and worry about way too much. This constant overthinking has been a part of my life for a long time yet somehow, among the rocks and sand and beating waves I can feel myself relax. It’s easy to not worry when I am out fishing because something else captivates my mind.
So, yes, the goal in fishing is to catch a fish but it is not the true reason for why I love it.
For me, fishing is the simplest lesson in being.