Ladislav Medňanský, Angler, 1890
I used to move through my days
as someone agreeable
to all the gears
clicking in the world.
I was a big clumsy Yes
tugged around by its collar.
Yes to the mill, yes to the rain,
yes to what passed
for fistfights and sex, yes
to all the pine boards of thought
waiting around for the hammer.
The catfish have the night
and ancient gear oil for blood,
they have a kind of greased demeanor
and wet electricity
that you can never boil out of them.
The catfish have the night,
but I have the kind of patience
born of indifference and hate.
Maybe the river and I share this […]
I chum the water. I thread the barb.
I feel something move in the dark.
Michael McGriff, from “Catfish,” in Home Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)
Photograph: Hillsborough River, Tampa, Florida, 1924
Source: The New York Times
Photographer’s name not given.
“The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he does not forget the streams and lakes in which they are caught.”
Charles K. Fox
Ninth Street Bridge
"Fish Are Bitin’"
Goin’ Home LP
"Consider just a few of the terms you now must learn in order to go out and catch a few bass: structure, isolated structure, sanctuary, stragglers, breakline, suspended fish, pattern, holding area, riprap, point, scatter point, contact point, cheater hook, buzz bait, Texas rig, crank bait, triggering, flippin’, pH, jig and pig, spinnerbait, fly ‘n’ rind. The aerospace industry requires less technical jargon than the average bass fisherman.”
Patrick McManus, from “Fish Poles, and Other Useful Terminology,” in The Armchair Angler (Macmillan, 1986)
"The desire for fishing is like some diseases, in attacking a man with great severity without notice. It can be more resisted than falling in love can be resisted, and, like love, the best treatment is its gratification."
Charles Bradford, from “Trout Truths, in The Armchair Angler (Macmillan, 1986)
Winslow Homer, Homosassa River, 1904
"Fish are, of course, indispensable to the angler. They give him an excuse for fishing and justify the fly rod without which he would be a mere vagrant. But the average fisherman’s average catch doesn’t even begin to justify, as fish, its cost in work, time, and money. The true worth of fishing, as the experienced, sophisticated angler comes to realize, lies in the memorable contacts with people and other living creatures, scenes and places, and living waters great and small which it provides."
Alfred W. Miller (Sparse Grey Hackle)
"Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl."
Photograph: Marion Post Wolcott, Boys Fishing in the Bayou, Schriever, Louisiana, June 1940
Source: FSA-OWI color collection at the Library of Congress
"There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home."
Roderick Haig-Brown in Fisherman’s Fall, Part 1
Roderick Haig-Brownin Fisherman’s Fall, Part 2