September 20, 2015

Great Lakes Summer, Part 5: Watching the bobber

Why do I love fishing?

I love cooking because it's working with my hands (and it has to be done anyway). I love writing because it's like building with blocks - an enormous pile of blocks of all colors and shapes and sizes, and the possibilities are endless. I love playing soccer because while the rest of the world throbs with chaos, the soccer game, in all of its fury and zeal, is carried out within clear boundary lines, in a definite amount of time, and the ball either goes into the net or it doesn't.

But what about fishing? 

I think I love it so much because, when done in its simplest form, with a rod and reel, a sinker, a bobber, and the ripped-in-half end of a wriggling crawler on a hook, it is an exercise in giving up control. There is no way to make that bobber go down. There is no way to control the actions of the fish. All I can do is sit and wait in the breeze and the sun and the call of a nearby loon. 

When I am fishing, I am truly calm. I have my own permission, and the permission of sportsmen everywhere, to sit still (and say nothing) for hours on end.