Ah, fishing! That most relaxing and pastoral of past-times. A hobby, a sport, and a recreation all wrapped up in one. Who could ever possibly lament such a thing? I could. I'll tell you why, too.
The trouble with fishing, you see – is that it's never “over.” You quite literally never get enough of the thing. Oh sure, you have to sleep sometime, but you can cram saltines and beanie-weenies in your mouth between casts easy enough. And bathroom breaks are no problem either for the angler who carries a ziploc bag full of prevention around with him all the time. Other sports you can quit, but fishing? There's no end to it, my friend.
Take golf for example. You can play 19 holes of golf and you're done. The game is over. There's never another hole “just around the next bend” unless you start over. Even if you do start over, you're playing the same game. The hole looks familiar, you know what to do. But in fishing, there's always another bend, another pond, another few miles upstream that needs to be explored today. No one playing a legitimate game of golf has ever finished the 19th Hole and exclaimed to his partner “ Just one more stroke!”
Well how about hunting? Hunting has so many restrictions it's almost laughable. I've got nothing against hunting and I own a fair amount of firearms, but when was the last time you woke up in the middle of the night, grabbed you're .22 and went out into the pitch black in search of some squirrels? Hunting has seasons, regulations on which tool you can use and when and where and how! When the daylight ends, unless one is hunting hogs or possum at night, the hunt is over. They don't build docks into the middle of fields and hook up flood lights to attract racoons, do they?
Surely then there's some sport that compares to the problem with fishing? Surely some past-time or hobby has a similar down side?
Perhaps the only sport I can think of that, much like fishing, simply can't be quit is women. Once the chase has begun – at 14 or 15 years of age – a woman hunter can never, ever simply “turn off” the game and call it quits. The game changes as we get older – mostly the silly dancing and long hours of “cow-lick training” go by the wayside, but you can admit it to me... When you see that 24 year old cashier at the convenience store giving you the once-over, you suck in your gut and whip out your best looking credit card to pay for your bucket of night-crawlers. Let's face it, there's always the chance that you may need to keep your skills sharp one day – so that game never really ends, either. Of course, that pretty cashier would probably rather take up with the night-crawlers, truth be told.
So the problem with fishing is that you're never really finished. Let's all say a prayer tonight that we can apply that same problem to women, too. And BBQ. OK, now I'm just hungry.
Owl Jones is a writer, humorist and fly designer from Gainesville, Georgia. He runs the website & blog OwlJones.com and owns a premium fly rod popper business called ZazzyPop.com. His favorite author is Nick Lyons, and his favorite fish is the one on the end of his line.