It’s taken me awhile to come to the realization that not everyone understands why I fish. It sounds completely ridiculous to say that, but after taking the time to describe this to few people, it’s clear that not everyone is on the same page as I am. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we tend to surround ourselves with like minded people...
It makes sense though. To someone not obsessed with fishing, my habits look completely ridiculous:
Wake up well before dawn
Drive, ride, or walk (sometimes hours) to the best water and wait for the sun to rise
Wade waist deep into 40 degree water in leaky waders while it’s raining and snowing
Fish all day. If lucky, I might get a bite. If the gods are smiling, I might land a fish (FYI, the gods have not been smiling).
Camp in a dark, damp campground.
Wake up the next day and repeat.
The best answer I can come up with, is that fishing literally makes my heart beat. Each frigid morning, as I step into the first run and make my casts, my heart is literally beating faster. I can feel the urgency and anticipation pumping through my veins. The sheer possibility that a steelhead might move to my fly, and take it in its mouth gives me the shivers. Even after 6 weeks of not even catching one, just the sight of an emerald green river gets me excited.
I’m not sure that explanation does it justice, but it’s the best I’ve got. I’m sure we all have things that drive us, make our hearts pump harder, faster. For me it’s casting a fly rod in search of steelhead.