Sunday, April 19, 2015

Trout Fishing, a Taut Line to Our Past -

Trout Fishing, a Taut Line to Our Past -
by James Prosek

To me, trout fishing, in particular fly-fishing, is many things, but above all, it is a conversation, a communication — with a creature to which we are connected by common ancestry not so very long ago (420 million years, give or take). The rod, the line and the hook are the tools of this communication, but the fly or lure is the ultimate translator between languages, between our world of names, structures, systems and hierarchies and theirs of instinct, impulse and experience. Trout fishing connects us not only to our ancestral past, but to our legacy as hunter-gatherers, to a time when we needed to catch and kill in order to survive. This, I have concluded after many years of doing it, must be primarily why we fish, to satisfy some latent impulse deep in our evolutionary fabric — even if now, as we release the fish, it is more of a kind of predatory performance art. (One could argue that many, or all, sporting activities are.) It is not, however, nor has it ever been, simply about the predation itself, but the whole assemblage of steps before and after, about engaging our senses with a larger interconnected whole (from anticipation and pursuit to the preparation and eventual ingestion of our prey).

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