If you’ve never done it before, it’s time to get your feet wet. If you already love the sport, get ready to wade in deep. On June 18, Go Fishing Day lands on our calendars with a splash. What drives people from all walks of life to cast their luck into ponds, lakes, rivers, bayous, bays and oceans?
We used to do it because we needed to eat. Credit our Bronze Age ancestors for shaping small bones into spindles that could catch dinner. While ancient Egyptians sharpened their chances with copper hooks, the early Romans probably invented fly fishing by adding cock feathers to their rigs.
Angling for a meal didn’t evolve into a weekend sport until the mid-17th century. By then, we had figured out dependable solutions to food chain supply problems, and that gave us a little more downtime. Fishing was finally something we could enjoy or give up for good.
For those of us who can’t imagine walking away from one of the most satisfying sports in the world, there’s Go Fishing Day. When a non-angling friend remarks on our lack of luck, we point out that it’s called fishing, not catching. When the big one gets away, we admire his fierce fight and actually wish him luck.
Scottish novelist John Buchan had a way with words. We especially like his take on fishing. He believed that the sport’s charm was its pursuit of things both elusive and attainable combined with the optimism born of perpetual hope.
Buchan’s observations sum up the way so many of us feel today. If you’ve never tried it before, hook up with a friend who knows how to handle a rod and reel. Don’t worry about catching supper. Just bask in the eternal hope that comes with casting your luck in the water, and enjoy Go Fishing Day.