The Fishing Mystique: Why Self-Reliance is Fun

by Gabriella Hoffman 

Washington Irving once opined, “There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.”

We rarely see news headlines like “Fisherman leeches off government assistance for sport” or “Outdoorsman uses tax-payer money to fund fishing excursions.”

What best explains this? The answer: fishing teaches self-reliance and discourages dependence on government.

The allure of fishing is unseen to most people. Many miss out on this timeless pastime because they have deemed it “passé.” Baiting a hook? Unplugging from technology for a couple hours? Sitting on a boat waiting for a bite? How archaic! Others think it’s cruel to catch a fish and later eat it. (Blasphemy!) Some are even going so far to tarnish fishing by threatening to tax the activity and use surveillance drones to monitor anglers.

Contrary to popular belief, fishing isn’t violent or inhumane. It should be celebrated as a timeless, family-friendly activity rooted in individualism.

Like many out there, I spent my childhood immersed in all things fishing. From listening to fish tales to admiring my father’s collection of rods to trying my hand at fishing, my father–a lifelong fisherman–helped me cultivate an appreciation for fishing. Fishing allowed us to have quality father-daughter bonding time, and gave him plenty of opportunities to instill life lessons in me. I couldn’t ask for a better childhood.

I apply many lessons I learned from fishing into my life, namely patience and diligence. Fishing teaches us to appreciate our surroundings, cherish time with loved ones, and cultivate self-reliance. Casting a line and subsequently reeling in a fish is quite exhilarating. Catching a fish on your own demonstrates that hard work pays off. Without a doubt, the following is true: “Teach a man how to fish and you lose a Democrat voter.”

As summer starts to wane, take every opportunity you have to fish at the local pond, lake, or nearby body of water. To learn how to get started on fishing, explore these great outlets: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Loba Outdoors, Keep America Fishing, and Take Me Fishing.

Happy Fishing!

This article was originally published on Counter Cultured’s “We Need Family” column.

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