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  • Something between a sport and a religion.

  • ... catching something is purely a by-product of our fishing. It is the act of fishing that wipes way all grief, lightens all worry, dissolves fear and anxiety.

  • The curious thing about fishing is that you never want to go home. If you catch something, you can't stop. If you don't catch anything, you hate to leave in case something might bite.

  • We go down to the mouth of our brook with flashlights and catch the fish in our hands, very silvery and mysterious, like a poem by W.B. Yeats.

  • It is remarkable how generous fishermen are. When you meet a man who has returned from a fishing trip he always tells you that he gave his share to the other fellow.

  • ... fishing teaches a stern morality; inculcates a remorseless honesty.

  • ... the profound difference that divides the human race is a question of bait — whether to fish with worms or not ...

  • It is a very good quality in a man to have a trout-stream.

  • But the bass failed to rally around him with the unanimity he had hoped for, and his spirits were not raised by his son's cheerful comments on that fact.

  • The best fish in the world are of course those one catches oneself.

  • [On fishing:] Greatest rest in the world for the brain.

  • I really fished mainly because I wanted to be alone on the middle of the lake. ... Sometimes a fish jumped nearby, as though it knew it was safe.

  • The sport and game of angling is the true means and cause that brings a man into a merry spirit, which makes a flowering age and a long one.

  • I will now choose among four good sports and honorable pastimes — to wit, among hunting, hawking, fishing and fowling. The best, in my simple judgment, is fishing, called angling, with a rod and a line and a hook.

  • People who fish know that life is a morality play in which you are sometimes the victor, sometimes vanquished. It is all of life's lessons in the space of a morning. Only an extraordinary person would purposely risk being outsmarted by a creature often less than twelve inches long, over and over again.

    • Janna Bialek,
    • "Thoughts From a Fishing Past," in Holly Morris, ed., Uncommon Waters: Women Write About Fishing ()
  • It's nice, when fishing, to catch a fish. But it doesn't really matter if you don't. What you always catch is a quiet time sitting at the water's edge, or in a gently rocking boat, a silent time of water and sky and the movement of natural things.

  • Fishing can come as close to doing nothing as anything I can think of.

  • [On why she doesn't fish:] I suppose that I'm too softhearted. After all, fish have mothers.

  • ... the difficult art I was attempting had, indeed a powerful fascination, before which the past faded, the future receded, and the whole of experience narrowed down to this stretch of glancing, glimmering water, and the fly I was trying to cast across it.

  • Fly fishing moments are often solitary and fleeting, but they are deeply and sometimes inexplicably compelling. Those who survive the trials of the neophyte — fatal casts, sodden waders and fishless days — to become fluent in the muted colors and dignified prose of fly fishing, know the magic it can work: a soul scrubbed clean of life's trivia, the experience of witnessing nature's subtle rhythms, the possibility of a perfect day.

  • Fishing seems to be the most evocative of sports, which perhaps explains why throughout literature it has become a powerful and often used metaphor for life.

  • The man who goes fishing gets something more than the fish he catches.

  • Lucy remembered then what the river had taught her, that sometimes fishing was not about fishing at all and that the most memorable trout were never hooked but only imagined in the stillness of a moment sitting patiently on a bank and silently observing her own breath.

    • Elizabeth Storer,
    • "Fishing Lessons," in Holly Morris, ed., A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women ()
  • He understood that, like a good marriage, fly fishing looked easy from the outside.

    • Elizabeth Storer,
    • "Fishing Lessons," in Holly Morris, ed., A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women ()
  • Trout, as everyone knows, are wily, skitterish and fine-tasting. They are the highest predator in the river, except for the fly fishermen ...

    • Lin Sutherland,
    • "A River Ran Over Me," in Holly Morris, A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women ()
  • Fly fishing is beyond sport, skill, and even obsession. It's a religion ...

    • Lin Sutherland,
    • "A River Ran Over Me," in Holly Morris, A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women ()
  • He taught her how to fly-fish ... 'One-two,' he said, standing behind her and moving her arm back and forth so the fly stitched the river to the sky.

    • Maggie Shipstead,
    • "The Cowboy Tango," in Richard Russo, ed., The Best American Short Stories ()
  • Every time I caught a fish, I wondered how something so small could have such clear, pure strength. It kept reminding me of another sensation, from another realm. The fish on the line, I eventually realized, felt like the baby, kicking inside you. Or the shocking, life-hungry pull of the baby on the breast. Perhaps fishing is like quickening for men, a long and patient wait for a few electric moments when they feel connected to another life.

  • Such a nice day — out all day up in the Carter Notch direction, trout-fishing, with the long drive there and the long drive home again in time for supper. It was a lovely brook and I caught seven good trout and one small one — which eight trout-persons you should have for your breakfast if only you were near enough. It was not alone the fishing, but the delightful loneliness and being out of doors.

    • Sarah Orne Jewett,
    • letter to Annie Fields (1896), in Annie Fields, ed., Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett ()
  • I do not ask for what most people do,/ So, Lord, I'd like to ask of you — / ... / God, please don't let me grow too old to fish!

  • The truth is, fly fishing is folly: useless, unreasonable, irrational, and without purpose. Fly fishing is folly precisely because it makes survival harder than it already is, and by doing so, turns survival into art.

    • Ailm Travler,
    • "Fly Fishing Folly," in Holly Morris, ed., Uncommon Waters: Women Write About Fishing ()
  • Fishermen say things like dip our lines. They say they are going out to teach the worm how to swim. Or that they are taking a minnow for a ride. They never simply say they are going fishing. Maybe they don't want anyone to know what they are trying to do.

  • What I do is called 'fishing.' If it was easy, we would refer to it as 'catching,' and there would be a lot more people doing it.

  • Mama went fishing every time the spirit moved her to go, and the spirit moved her every time Brother Tiffin offered to take her.

  • Fishing, one can think of many things at once. Thoughts dart through the mind, different topics, as fish through the water.

  • The first fishing trip of the year is always like this, for me; I spend the first hour or two trying to remember the little I know about fishing, including why I thought it was fun. Then I settle into it and never want to go home.

  • There is one distinctive charm about fishing — its fascinations will stand any climate. You may sit crouching on ice over a hole inside the arctic circle, or on a Windsor chair by the side of the River Lea in the so-called temperate zone, or you may squat in a canoe on an equatorial river, with the surrounding atmosphere forty-five percent mosquito, and if you are fishing you will enjoy yourself ...

  • Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.

  • Trout fishing is like any other sport. It is waste of words to try to give anyone who has never tried it any idea of what it means to land a five-pound trout on a gossamer leader.

  • I lived to fish, becoming, in my own mind, a fishing czarina, my luck with rod, reel and bait phenomenal.

    • Lorian Hemingway,
    • "Walk on Water for Me," in Holly Morris, ed., A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women ()
  • There's nothing like fishing to pass the time and to incline toward a sort of magnificent stupidity in which nothing matters but tackle, bait, sunlight and the strike.