On a good day when the fish are biting, why don't we try following?
・Bring home only those that I and my family can consume (no need to feed
the entire villagers)
・Bring home only those that can be consumed within three days (no need
to clog up the freezer)
・Bring home only those that I can clean and prepare for myself (not out-sourcing
this trickiest of the jobs)
When caught enough, just quit and go home. If we all have at least this
much self control, we should be able to enjoy the precious fun of fishing
in a much healthier, more enjoyable and sustainable way.
Or why don't we do some good in return? For example we often find tins,
plastic bags and cigarette butts in a least wanted locations. Those disgraceful
things are there as a result of the misconduct of ourselves. I know we
fishermen shall never litter but that is not enough. The challenge for
us is how often we can reach out for them and bring them home. I swear
I commit to it. And hope you'd also join the worthy battle, please.
To survive together
Fishing originated as a means of survival. On the basis of this archaic
form of fishing, many regard fish simply as livelihood to kill and eat.
True, it may not be all that logical to release fish you caught for an
But we the contemporary people must also face a sobering fact: the world's
human population, which was 2billion in 1900, tripled to 6billion by 2000
- while the earth hasn't grown bigger by an inch. How much more can the
earth do for us is no longer the question. Time has come when we must change
our way of life, so we can better co-exist with other lives. And we fishermen,
with our eternal foe and friend, the fish.
I admit fishing is, whether kill or not, a cruel act. But it'd be fair
to say that through fishing we can come a step closer to the otherwise
alien world beneath. Through fishing we gain perspectives, touch mysteries,
and in due course even learn a wisdom or two. Catch and release is not
the solution to all the problems we face, but it does indicate a potential
way how the man and the nature can live, or survive together.
I'm not a vegetarian myself and know how rewarding it is to cook and enjoy
one's own catch. But when even the seven great oceans are getting depleted
of prime fish stocks - tuna, cods, herrings, , , - we just cannot remain
indifferent. Thereby I especially mean Japanese, the biggest consumer of
Here are a few simple facts: a bream needs 2 years to reach 20cm while
a rock bass needs 5. In 4 years a salmon grows to 80cm but a sea bass needs
10. Of course all lives weigh equal in front of the God, but talking strictly
of eco-conservation, there're important differences we can easily learn,
and that help us to fish wise and eat wise.
And why flyfishing?
Fishing is fishing in whatever a form, and flyfishing isn't free from above
That said, in relative terms flyfishing is fish friendlier because, first
of all, it generally catch less than bait fishing does. Secondly, flyfishing
is more process-oriented, where observation and imitation are the order
of the day, and as such it steers fishermen's focus away from quantity
but more onto quality.
A fish you won is therefore not just a piece meat to grill, but a sign
of recognition for your skill and, some would even say, the art you've
Now, warm welcome to the world of flyfishing.
Mysteries in the water
Leaving its beauty on one side, pristine mountain stream is a lonesome
place. There are not much gourmet pleasure, where insects adrift make the
precious few meals to survive on, and even that is a limited offer during
the warmer half of the year.
A Scottish friend once told me: While trekking up in the highlands, he
found a little fish he could not identify. Inspection of the tooth confirmed
it was an arctic char, and surprisingly, 15 years of age. The world in
the water is ruled by the providence of its own. And some part of which
is never to be revealed for us humans.