God does not deduct from our allotted time that which is spent fishing.
I can’t claim credit for this old saw, but I know it to be true. I’ve heard it used to justify many otherwise frivolous pastimes, but fishing is my frivolity, so there it is. I hope and pray the fish don’t mind, but the worth to my soul and the value to my spirit give the endeavour a sanctity that can only be described as religious. If the ultimate cost is a few fish, then so be it. The fish have not complained.
There is a world of difference between fishing and catching fish. It’s like love and sex: love, the fishing port is spiritual.
Catching fish is merely the physical act.
My mother taught me to fish. She, in turn, was instructed by her father.
Fishing is a spiritual exercise. You dedicate time and effort to something for which there is a guarantee of immediate reward. You cannot see beneath the water’s surface but you know, or suspect that there’s going to be something there, that if you followed the rules and propitiate the right gods, you will be rewarded. If that’s not religious dogma, then I don’t know what is.
But most times it nourishes the soul elevates the spirit and is a balm in troubled times. I don’t recommend big game sport fishing. Not egalitarian enough. Too limited by physical prowess and deep pockets. Fishing needs to be universally accessible. This kind of pleasure needs to be within the reach of the rich and poor, the old and the young, open to all genders.
It’s like a discipline with no requirements, only needs.