This famous quote, always credited to Henry David Thoreau, came to my mind this morning as I walked onto the beach. Even when the conditions aren't perfect, or there is a slim to none chance of landing a fish, myself, like so many other anglers continue to go out and fish. Sometimes I ask myself why?
Sometimes it is all about catching a fish. Fooling one with a properly presented fly while out enjoying the environment and life itself. There is joy in hooking, landing, photographing and releasing the fish back into the water. (Now, to be honest, in the summer those keeper fluke aren't going to swim again!) Other times its just about an escape, a short time to separate yourself from life for a moment and just reflect and think. I think I do that more often then I even realize. Maybe that is why I prefer to fish alone. Alone on the rocks, alone in my thoughts, well, maybe, just alone.
This morning was a bit cold out but it was pretty and I was alone but for another angler who made his way out for maybe the same reasons. The air was 24, there wasn't much of a wind, and the water was just perfect enough where you could just cast and retrieve, without even or thinking about the currents and the hazards around the rocks associated with them. It was cold enough out that I think the gulls were cold also. They just stood with their backs to the water and didn't move. Maybe they were just out thinking also.
I only lasted for a little while getting my daily fix of "fishing" and thinking. When I got home I researched a little about that famous quote. I found a website The Walden Woods Project, HERE, that researched and cross referenced famous mis-quotations.
Where ever the origin of the quote truly lies the message is the same, and one that all anglers should ask themselves at one time in their life or another. I find reflection is good, alone is good, and time spent fishing is good too.