When you think of fishing, what comes to mind? Disgusting, gooey worms and weird, slimy fish with buggy eyes? Or do you imagine sitting beside a quiet river or pond, your line bobbing in the water as you listen to the sounds of nature and contemplate the universe? If it’s the latter, then this is the holiday for you! National Go Fishing Day on June 18 is a day to celebrate all things fishing! Grab your pole and head for your local fishing hole (don’t forget to buy a license if required). Bring your kids, a friend or a spouse and teach them how to cast a line or bait a hook.
Fishing has been around as long as man has searched for food. Fly fishing was mentioned as far back as 1800 years ago. In the 1400s, a nun wrote an essay entitled Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle. However, there were those who felt only nobility should read this lest the riffraff take up the sport! It became especially popular in England in the 1660s after the end of the British Civil War. In the 1700s, men began experimenting with wooden rods and metal rings to serve as a makeshift reel. In the 1880s, linseed-treated silk began to replace horsehair for fishing line.
According to Statista (www.statista.com), over 50 million Americans went fishing in 2019 – freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing, pole fishing, deep sea fishing – we did it all, although freshwater pole fishing was the most popular. Of those 50 million, males made up 64% and females made up 36%. Close to 11 million were under 18 years of age.
What are the benefits of fishing? Bonding with your friends or family is one. Sitting in a boat or along a stream with others can be a wonderful way to spend some quality time. It’s also a form of meditation. Watching your bobber float along the surface of the lake as you wait for a bite can allow you to let go of all the stresses of your job and day-to-day struggles. And finally, it’s a challenge. Even if all you plan to do is catch and release, the challenge of actually catching something is what keeps fishermen coming back. Will I land something this time? How big will it be? What kind? It’s the thrill of the hunt.
So, join millions of other Americans in the pursuit of that Big One, so you can relay your own story about “the one that got away.”
National Go Fishing Day, https://nationaltoday.com/national-go-fishing-day/
History of Fishing, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_fishing