Ten Reasons to Go Fishing

by Mike Arakawa

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There are lots of reasons to go fishing - often different from one person to the next. Here are ten reasons why I like to fish, in no particular order.

  1. Fishing is a great way to spend time with friends. Just like anything good in life, fishing is a great activity to enjoy with friends and family. Whether you're all having a good day and sharing in the excitement of catching lots of fish, or the bite is slow and you're killing time and consoling each other, having friends along always adds something good to the experience.
  2. Fishing is a good way to spend time alone. Sure, it's fun to fish with friends. But if your friends can't make it, there's no reason you can't fish by yourself. You can still have a good time without a companion, and without the social give and take it's easier to concentrate on technique...pay a little more attention to that hard-to-fish hole where a big one might be hiding out...or maybe just sit on a rock and collect your thoughts. Some of my best days fishing have been spent alone.
  3. You can't beat the scenery. A city skyline may be an impressive sight. But I've always thought part of the fun of fishing is leaving the pavement behind and getting out in the middle of wild nature. Give me a cold, clear mountain stream, a grove of white-barked aspens rustling in the breeze, and the chance to maybe see a deer or a bear any day of the week.
  4. Fishing is a great activity for the kids. Children today spend plenty of time in front of the TV, the computer, and the video game console. Want to give yours a change of pace and let them have some fun outdoors? Take them fishing with you. Once they catch that first fish, they'll be eager to go again, and you'll have planted the seed for a lifetime of good memories and future fishing trips. Taking the kids fishing is a good way to teach responsibility, ethics, and outdoorsmanship, too.
  5. Freshly caught fish just taste better. I've eaten seafood in some pretty fancy restaurants, but somehow nothing compares to a just-caught trout or two sizzling in a skillet over the campfire. Not only is it the freshest fish you'll ever eat, the fact that you caught it yourself adds a certain savor that store-bought fish can never have. Preparation doesn't have to be elaborate, either. Trout taste great with a little onion salt and black pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Just be careful - you might find yourself eating pan-fried trout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
  6. Fishing forms a natural partnership with camping. Although I enjoy camping, I've never been one to go camping just for its own sake. I prefer to have something to occupy my days once the morning meal is done, and fishing fills the bill perfectly. After a good, full day on the creek, I'm ready to sit down in my folding chair by the fire, watch the sun go down over the mountain, and savor the outdoor experience over dinner. I love fishing, I love camping - but I love them both more when they're enjoyed together.
  7. Fishing is relaxing. There's a theory that humans naturally become more relaxed, more productive, and even more creative when exposed to flowing water. I don't know if that's true, but I know I certainly get more relaxed when I go fishing. Whether it's the running water, or simply the fact that I tend to concentrate on my fishing and the surrounding scenery, I can forget about the petty worries of day-to-day life and just live a little.
  8. Stream fishing is good exercise. Think fishing involves nothing more than sitting by a lake somewhere, drowning worms and swilling beer? Better think again! Stream fishermen spend much, if not most, of their time in motion as they work their way along the creek from hole to hole. This translates into quite a bit of physical activity during the course of a day's fishing. Add to that the effects of thin mountain air at high elevations, and you've got the makings of a pretty strenuous cardio workout.
  9. You can fish just about anywhere. The surface of this earth of ours is roughly 80% water, which means that wherever you go you're somewhere near a fishing hole. No trout stream around? No problem! I'm not averse to fishing in a lake or pond, or even off the beach if I'm near the coast. As they say, the worst day fishing always beats the best day at work.
  10. Gotta love the fish stories. Admit it - sitting around the fire at the end of the day, savoring a cold one (or two) and rehashing the day's events can be almost as much fun as the actual fishing itself. And if the exploits under discussion tend to grow just a bit in the telling, well, that's just a time-honored fishing camp tradition.

So there you have it - ten reasons why I love fishing. Now get out there, wet a line, and think of a few reasons of your own.

Mike Arakawa is the managing editor of StreamFisherman.net.

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