Fishing is For Fun!
by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)
One of My Favorite Fishing Spots: The Upper Guadalupe River Just North of San Antonio
Fishing is for fun! Well, at least recreational fishing is for fun. What could be simpler than that? I thought I’d write a brief post reminding us of this so we don’t get too caught up in debates about what is, and isn’t tenkara, and what rod, line, and fly we’re supposed to use.
Hey, I like a good debate as much as the next guy, but argue about fishing? Nope, not going to do it. I fish to relax and enjoy myself. Much of my daily work is filled with stress and inside labor. The opportunity to get outdoors, irritate the fish a little, maybe catch a few, and enjoy wading and walking . . . hey, that’s why I’m there.
I’m not in competition with anyone when I’m on the creek, my definition of fishing doesn’t have to fit theirs, and the equipment I use works for me. I once had a fellow approach me on the river and seriously accuse me of “cheating” when he saw me put a worm on my tenkara outfit. (I was trying to entice a freshwater buffalo at the time, and the artificial flies weren’t working.) I wasn’t doing it his way, so I must not be doing it right. Huh? In fishing?
In my stretch of Texas I sometimes fish with a live cricket, sometimes I use a Royal Coachman, other times I slide on a Mummy worm, and many times I use an Elk Hair Caddis or a Utah Killer Bug. Hey, when I was younger and couldn’t afford anything else, I’d use a piece of old bologna.
It’s all fun, right? I’ll let someone else worry about the labels, while I enjoy the fishing. (By the way, nothing casts a live cricket better than a soft tenkara rod.)
So, if you feel yourself getting twisted around the axle in an internet argument about the “right kind of fishing” or what is or isn’t tenkara, just remember that recreational angling is for fun. As long as you’re doing it lawfully, enjoying yourself, and respecting the outdoors, don’t feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone. Also, don’t feel that you have to put a particular label on the kind of fishing you do. Aren’t you grateful that we have companies such as TenkaraBum that offer excellent equipment and that we live in a time and place where we can still choose?
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662
As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma