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					When I was a kid, I was absolutely fascinated by my dad fishing tackle
box. It seemed to me that he had the most magnificent and varied fishing
supplies imaginable. With his fishing tackle, he could trick any fish
there was, or so I thought. He had many different flies and lures, most
of them hand-tied and custom made by him. Except for the basics like
fishing line, no one bought their own fishing supply equipment in those
days. If you were a good fisherman, you made your own. It wasn't just a
matter of quality, but of pride.

It seems like, with the rapid advance of fishing supplies, a lot of the
sport has been taken out of it these days. I went on a fishing trip with
a good friend of mine, a fairly wealthy individual who owns his own motor
yacht. He actually has a GPS fishfinder, weather radar gear, and many
other different kind of sophisticated equipment to find the schools of
fish. Finding fish with him isn't an art anymore. It is not a matter of
instincts, of sport or luck. It is simply a matter of cold hard science –
following the manual and letting the technology do that work. To me, this
takes all the fun out of it.

I talked to him about this, and he said it was just a matter of him
owning more sophisticated fishing supplies than my father had. He claimed
that, had they sold GPS fishfinders in fly fishing stores in my father's
day, everyone would have bought them. They wouldn't have wasted time with
hand tying their own fishing lures if they could instantly know where to
get the fish. I see things differently, however.

In my mind, what my father loved so much about fishing, and what my
friend and people like him miss, is the opportunity to commune with
nature. Yes he was out there to catch fish, but in the process he had to
know everything about a stretch of river. He had to know every ripple and
what is signified, what time of day the fish came out, how precisely to
land the line, and which fishing supplies to use in which season. It was
a meditative activity that involved his whole being. In order for him to
succeed at it, everything had to be done perfectly. It wasn't simply a
matter of looking at the radar and dropping a line.