Henry David Thoreau, an "old time" philosopher and naturalist was very fond of saying:
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after.
The first time I came across this bit of philosophy I really had no idea what he was talking about. In my world you fished to catch. Why else would you do it? All this stuff about not knowing you were really after something other than fish may be well and good for philosophers and the like, but it had no place in my boat.
As it turned out I could not have missed the point by a wider margin if I had deliberately tried. Fortunately with age and experience came a bit of wisdom and insight.
When I first got into fishing in a serious way it was all about catching and building my angling resume. I read every fishing book and magazine I could get my hands on and recorded all the fishing shows the sports and specialty channels had to offer, watching them over and over, hoping to pick up the one "secret strategy" I missed the first time around that give me an edge, and put more fish in my boat.
I have had the good fortune to travel to all manner of "exotic" places and fish some of the most remote and beautiful lakes and rivers on the planet. While there I caught fish that most people can only dream about, including several world records, some of which I still hold to this day.
While that may have been all well and good, if you asked me to describe the scenery, wildlife or experience as a whole back then, the most you would have gotten was a blank look and perhaps a smart ass remark or two that were designed to bring home the point that YOU had better realign your priorities and get with the program.
As time went by, it dawned on me that "Davey" boy had it right after all. There was no "ah ha" moment that I can recall, but I came to realize that while anyone can learn to fish, many of us don’t take the time to think about why we do it in the first place.
Because most of us spend little time fishing alone, friends or even casual acquaintances you fish with can shape and, in some respects, define the experience. You may also want to consider spending some time away from your angling activities and give some thought to where you are and what is otherwise going on around you. If nothing else, it helps pass the time between fish, but it can also be a very rich and integral part of your entire experience.
Cabin 14 is very real.
It was in Cabin 14 that I finally came to understand how all the various bits and pieces fit together and where I continue to spend at least one week each year telling stories, laughing and remembering family and friends, who, while some of them are no longer with us, seem to come alive and are every bit a part of the experience throughout the week – and yes, I even manage to squeeze in a little fishing from time to time
As you read the stories and blog entries you are going to meet some interesting people and travel to some very "exotic" places.
So pull up a chair and enjoy your visit to Cabin 14.