He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.” Thoreau, Journal
My husband Rollie says that when he is fishing, he never feels as though he should be doing something else. Fishing allows him a few hours of peace and quiet, when he is able to step outside of himself and his responsibilities and just be.
But it’s not just the change of pace. He says it’s the sensory experiences too. He likes being out on the lake when the light fades and the mists rise from the water to soften the shoreline in the distance. He likes the silent ripple of the water as a loon surfaces nearby. And then there’s the act of casting the line itself.
He also likes the mental challenge of figuring out where the fish are and under what conditions they will take the bait. He likes the thrill of feeling the pull of the fish on the line and the challenge of getting it over the side of the boat before it lets go. And then, of course, there’s the exhilaration of racing back to shore in the boat at the end of the evening. It really doesn’t matter much, he says, whether he catches any fish at all. In fact, he releases most of his catch.