The Wisdom of Fishing

“Fish bite twice a day…before you got there and after you leave”

“May the trout always rise to your caddis,
And the permit show you its tail.
May the salmon seize on your streamer,
And the tarpon your shrimpfly inhale.
Long may your flyrod throb as it bends,
And long may your tippet connect you to friends.”

“Feathers drop near fins.
Silken flat. Marquesa dawn…
Silver King explodes! ” Tarpon Haiku

“Make Fishing Great Again….” Civil disobedience CA DFG Teleconference on closing fishing during pandemic.

“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.”  Anonymous

Education is not the Learning of facts….But training the mind to Think”  Albert Einstein

“You fish — then you die — or you don’t fish and die anyway — your choice”  Unknown

“”God grant me the serenity to accept the size of fish that I catch, the courage not to fib about it, and the wisdom to know that no one would believe me any way”.  Unknown

“The fishing was so good,  I thought I was here last week…”   Jim Cramer

“It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.”
~John Steinbeck

“No BS, damn thing is like casting with a laser pointer.”  Bubba Smith about Helios II Rods

“If people don’t occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you’re doing something wrong.” John Gierach

“Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.” – Herbert Hoover

“I frankly don’t make much of a living, but I make a hell of a life” Jack Gartside

“It is not how abundant nor how considerable our catch be, but rather to the sport, and manner in which our quarry, the noble trout is angled.”-J.B. Martin

“Soon after I embraced the sport of angling I became convinced that I should never be able to enjoy it if I had to rely on the cooperation of the fish.” Sparse Grey Hackle

“The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so that I could afford to hunt and fish.” Sam Snead

“Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher’s salary” Patrick McManus

“The fish and I were both stunned and disbelieving to find ourselves connected by a line.” William Humphrey in “The Armchair Angler”

“I’ve gone fishing thousands of times in my life, and I have never once felt unlucky or poorly paid for those hours on the water.” William Tapply “A Fly-Fishing Life”

“I look into… my fly box, and think about all the elements I should consider in choosing the perfect fly: water temperature, what stage of development the bugs are in, what the fish are eating right now. Then I remember what a guide told me: ‘Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown and fuzzy and about five-eighths of an inch long.” Allison Moir

“Angling is extremely time consuming. That’s sort of the whole point.” – Thomas McGuane

“In every species of fish I’ve angled for, it is the ones that have got away that thrill me the most, the ones that keep fresh in my memory. So I say it is good to lose fish. If we didn’t, much of the thrill of angling would be gone.” Ray Bergman

“The best fisherman I know try not to make the same mistakes over and over again; instead they strive to make new and interesting mistakes and to remember what they learned from them.” John Gierach “Fly Fishing the High Country”

“A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.” –Arnold Gingrich

“It is impossible to grow weary of a sport that is never the same on any two days of the year.” Theodore Gordon

“There’s more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot.” Lefty Kreh

“If I’m not going to catch anything, then I ‘d rather not catch anything on flies” Bob Lawless.

“The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming; thus it is with time.” Leonardo DaVinci

“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.” Roderick Haig-Brown

“One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions” John Ashley-Cooper

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle  victorious. – Vince Lombardi

“To him, all good things, trout as well as eternal salvation come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” Norman Maclean – A River Runs Through It

“…buying a fly rod in the average city store, that is, joining it up and safely waggling it a bit, is much like seeing a woman’s arm protruding from a car window: all one can readily be sure of is that the window is open.” Anatomy of a Fisherman by Robert Traver

“Why does a salmon rise? Why does a small boy cross the street just to kick a tin can?” Lee Wulff, The Atlantic Salmon

“It is only the inexperienced and thoughtless who find pleasure in killing fish for the mere sake of killing them. No sportsman does this.” – W.C. Prime, 1888

“We got no troubles, Life is the bubbles, Under the sea…” The Little Mermaid

“In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen.” Grover Cleveland

“Lots of people committed crimes during the year who would not have done so if they had been fishing. The increase of crime is among those deprived of the regenerations that impregnate the mind and character of the fisherman.” Herbert Hoover

“There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” Steven Wright

“Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learned.” –Izaak Walton

“If one really loves nature, one can find beauty everywhere.” –Vincent Van Gogh

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit and a pure sincerity of mind.” Washington Irving

“The solution to any problem — work, love, money, whatever — is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” –John Gierach

“The Essentials of a Good Fly-Hook: The temper of an angel and penetration of a prophet; fine enough to be invisible and strong enough to kill a bull in a ten-acre field.” G.S. Marryat

“The season is ended. There was not enough of it; there never is.” Nick Lyons

“Just as in cooking there’s no such thing as a little garlic, in fishing there’s no such thing as a little drag.” H.G. Tapply The Sportsman’s Notebook

“Smoked carp tastes just as good as smoked salmon when you ain’t got no smoked salmon.” Patrick F. McManus

“I think I fish, in part, because it’s an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution.” John Gierach

“Fly tackle has improved considerably since 1676, when Charles Cotton advised anglers to ‘fish fine and far off,’ but no one has ever improved on that statement.” John Gierach

“Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.” John Gierach

“They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that’s not quite it. What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they’re just not such a big deal anymore.” John Gierach

“If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business.” Sparse Grey Hackle

“Most anglers, especially tyros, false cast too often. Three false casts should be sufficient for any throw and two is better. One is perfect.” Joe Brooks

“Game fish are too valuable to only be caught once.” Lee Wulff

“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you?” Lee Wulff

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” Yogi Berra

“I used to like fishing because I thought it had some larger significance. Now I like fishing because it’s the one thing I can think of that probably doesn’t.” John Gierach

“Something to think about: If you fish the wrong fly long and hard enough, it will sooner or later become the right fly.” — John Gierach

“No life is so happy and so pleasant as the life of the well-govern’d angler.” – Izaak Walton

“Whether I caught fish or not, just the thrill of rolling out that line and watching my fly turn over has been good enough for me. That and the hundreds of treasured memories I have of this wonderful sport.” Curt Gowdy

“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.” Roderick Haig-Brown

“Often I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito bitten, but never, with a fly rod in my hand have I been less than in a place that was less than beautiful.” Charles Kuralt

“There is only one theory about angling in which I have perfect confidence, and this is that the two words, least appropriate to any statement, about it, are the words “always” and “never.” Lord Edward Grey

“He told us about Christ’s disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume…that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.” Norman Maclean – A River Runs Through It

“The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still able.” – Sparse Grey Hackle

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” – Doug Larson

“The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he does not forget the streams and lakes in which they are caught.” – Charles K. Fox

“The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning.” – Theodore Gordon

“I have fished through fishless days that I remember happily without regret.” – Roderick Haig-Brown

“There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.” – Paul O’Neil

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. John 21:3

“Most fishermen swiftly learn that it’s a pretty good rule never to show a favorite spot to any fisherman you wouldn’t trust with your wife” John Voelker

“My biggest worry is that my wife (when I’m dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.” Koos Brandt

“More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done.” – Charles F. Orvis

“One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish. Black fish. Blue fish. Old fish. New fish. This one has a little star. This one has a little car. Say! What a lot of fish there are.” Dr. Seuss

“You do not cease to fish because you get old, You get old because you cease to fish!” unkown

“All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.” Harold F. Blaisdell

“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it…” Harry Middleton

“What are more delightful than one’s emotions when approaching a trout stream for the initial cast?” T. Nash Buckingham

“Never throw a long line when a short one will serve your purpose.” Richard Penn

“Fishing books should ooze from a riverbank, not rocket out of publisher’s offices in big cities.” Neil Patterson

“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” Zane Grey

“When you are on the river, ocean or in the woods, you are the closest to the truth you’ll ever get” Jack Leonard

“One evening I was awakened from a deep sleep by a weird noise coming from my husband, only to find out he was dreaming and he was a Dry Fly. I suspected then, and now realize, his dreams are not made up of wild crazy women, only episodes of his days of being in the stream.” Jan Thousan

“If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him.” Norman Maclean

“Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.” Norman Maclean\

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” Norman Maclean

“By the time I had turned thirty, I’d realized two important things. One, I had to fish. Two, I had to work for a living.” Mallory Burton

“In the best stories about fly fishing … big fish are caught or lost; people say wild and spontaneous words; event becomes memory and sometimes, in the hands of a master, bleeds into art.” Nick Lyons

“Fish are, of course, indispensable to the angler. They give him an excuse for fishing and justify the fly rod without which he would be a mere vagrant.” Sparse Grey Hackle

“If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world.” Will Rogers

“Beginners may ask why one fishes if he is to release his catch. They fail to see that the live trout, sucking in the fly and fighting the rod is the entire point to our sport. Dead trout are just so much lifeless meat.” Ernest G. Schwiebert, Jr

“Most fishermen use the double haul to throw their casting mistakes further.” Lefty Kreh

“I am firmly convinced that the ideal combination leading to a happy life is to have the time to both fish and read.” Brian Murphy

“I salute the gallantry and uncompromising standards of wild trout, and their tastes in landscapes” John Madson

“I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself ” Joseph Monniger

“Poets talk about “spots of time”, but it is really the fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone.” Norman Mclean

“Never leave fish to find fish” Moses, 1200BC

“Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results ” John Wooden

“Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: Pick out the best parts.” Charles Waterman

“Some men would rather be photographed with their fish than with their wives.” Gwen Cooper and Evelyn Haas

“Put backing on your line; even if you never use it. It helps you dream.” Jimmy D Moore

“Hatchery fish have the same colours, but they always seem muted like bad reproductions of great art.” Bill Barich -This Sporting Life

“Only when the last tree has been felled, the last river poisoned and the last fish caught, man will know, that he cannot eat money.” Cree Indian saying

“Government cannot close its eyes to the pollution of waters, to the erosion of soil, to the slashing of forests any more than it can close its eyes to the need for slum clearance and schools.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“The angel cried with a loud voice, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.” Revelation 7:3

“All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” Ecclesiastes 1:7

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Yves Cousteau

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Wayne Gretzk

“I fish better with a lit cigar; some people fish better with talent.” Nick Lyons

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” John Buchan

“Opportunities are everywhere and so you must always let your hook be hanging. When you least expect it, a great fish will swim by.” Og Mandino

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” Leonardo da Vinci

“Water is the driving force in nature” Leonardo da Vinci

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” Aristotle

“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: “What good is it?” Aldo Leopold

“The angling fever is a very real disease and can only be cured by the application of cold water and fresh, untainted air. “Theodore Gordon

“That’s about as big as a fish that big gets” Anonymous

“I object to fishing tournaments less for what they do to fish than what they do to fishermen.” Ted Williams

“Fear No Fish, Never Grow up.” Flip Pallot

“There is only one reason in the world to go fishing: to enjoy yourself. Anything that detracts from enjoying yourself is to be avoided.” Leigh Perkins

“I truly believe fishing is like a washing machine for your brain”
– Henry Winkler on

“May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.”  Irish Blessing

Carpe Diem does not mean ‘fish of the day’

“New jobs are like hooked fish: they feel big at first but tend to be smaller once you get to know them.”  Chinese Provern

“Me, I’m spiritually retarded, I need to be knee deep in water with a fly rod in my hands, that’s about as close to God as I get”. Steve Earle

Of all the things I have to accept in life, I pray silently that God will never let me know the last time I fish.

Fishing is only an addiction if you are trying to quit.

“A river is water is its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart”  Roderick Haig-Brown

“Fishing is a gift you give yourself! A released fish is a gift you give others”  Steelhead Manifesto

“Advanced fly tying techniques aren’t about knowing the obscure, they’re about understanding the simple.” Neil Patterson

“Suddenly “4x” was the latest in a long line of stupid decisions I’ve made in my life”  Bruce Smithhammer

“I don’t suppose I ever entirely release a fish. I may not eat it, but that does not mean I take nothing from it before I let it go.”  Paul Schullery

Rainbow trout lie in fast water, brown trout lie in slow water, and fishermen lie almost anywhere, any time

The more time you spend fly fishing the more you appreciate the polite angler. Jerks are everywhere and are easy to find, often finding you. A truly polite angler should be appreciated and respected.

“Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.”  Mark Twain

“God invented the fishing rod to keep the truely gifted from ruling the world.”

“Fishing should be a ceremony that reaffirms our place in the natural world and helps us resist further estrangement from our origins.”  Thomas McGuane

“Fishermen, like the rest of humankind, will talk relentlessly and authoritatively about what they understand least.”  Ted Leeson

Consider the renowned Scottish gillie who was asked what was the single most important skill for a career fishing guide. After scratching his beard in deep thought he replied, ‘I’d have to say it’d be the ability to yawn with your mouth shut.’

“For the rich there’s therapy, for the rest of us there’s fly-fishing” Nota Lyfe Koatch

“Something to think about – If you fish the wrong fly long and hard enough, it will sooner or later become the right fly.”  John Gierach

4 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Fishing

  1. I see some fisherman leaving at the San luis Forebay boat launch before I get my boat in the water. I think they are leaving because they already caught their limit. In my opinion,they could be enjoying the rest of the day if they practiced catch & release. If you are going through the trouble of getting up super early to be there at O’dark thirty,then you might as well stay a little longer and enjoy yourself.I could be wrong,maybe they had other plans for the rest of the day,but I stay until the last minute or until I run out of gas. But I think the state should extend the time when you have to be out of the water because sometime the best time of the fishing is right at sundown. Just my 2 cent worth.

  2. Sorry if I already sent / asked this question — I just had a computer glitch that removed my recent activity.

    I was wondering where the really nice photo came from, of the guy fishing in the late afternoon (or possibly early morning) in that meadow? Thanks very much.

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