Tips Up And Tight Lines!

To tell you the truth, for me fishing is a Latvian thing. As Latvian as choral singing, four month winters and the biggest Summer Solstice celebration in the world, the Līgo. I am sure there are people from different corners of the world who could come up with plenty reasons why fishing belongs to their nation. Yet right here right now allow me to stick to my presumption and tell my story, wandering down memory lane. This story is not about the professional fishermen for whom fishing has been a daily job through generations. It is about the other kind that has much more to do with whenever there’ s the “inner call”  for it. 

As far as I can remember, my grandfather and my father have always loved fishing. You know…that “men thing” where a couple of relatives/friends get together right before the sun comes up on Saturday or Sunday (might be both if the passion for fishing is VERY strong) morning to disappear to some lake or the sea for several hours. And then return happy, relaxed and with whatever they have managed to wangle out of the water. Spring, summer, autumn, also winter – the weather never really mattered as long as the  purpose was clear. All those fishing rods, hooks, sinkers, hand tying “flies” and preparing baits. The rubber hip boots. Fishermen stories, that touch of specific humour with the saltiness of the water and sharpness of the wind. Slightly amusing when it got to the almost puerile but harmless boasting which was good for the spirit. 

I can’ t say I have “inherited” the gene of loving this spare-time activity (somehow I am a bit reluctant to call it  “just a hobby” though many might actually not see the difference and I don’ t blame them) but my ancestors have no reason to worry – it’ s covered by my brother. I have to admit I was lucky enough to often be a part of those weekend fishing trips, therefore even today I would be able to put a bait on a hook and cast it in the water. With the same grace and elegance of playing the piano, by the way. My father and his friends remember I did have much patience for my age, was a quick learner and, most importantly, never broke any of the fishing rods entrusted to me. You can always find something to do out in nature, especially being a child with quite a bit of imagination and meeting such a variety of people around. And overall it was precious time spent together with my father and grandfather. Today I would call it very Zen, too.

One of my father’ s most colourful fishing memories is when once being out at a lake enjoying scenery, silence and fishing, he suddenly heard the USSR anthem sang in full voice from the opposite shore. Imagine his surprise when a bit later he found out it was his own daughter, demonstrating her singing abilities after being asked “And what do you sing in choir these days?” by some other people fishing nearby. “Other people” turned out to be the Communist party secretary from the capital with his comrades from Moscow. A bit of an odd situation to be in, especially for my father, a man with his opinions very far from the Communist ones, in the middle of the 1980’ s in Soviet Latvia. My grandfather, who used to be a true believer (sorry, I am not a big fan of the word “patriot”) in the independence of Latvia (but unfortunately passed away few years before it was restored in 1991) found it very amusing to say the least, knowing there were completely different kinds of songs in my “repertoire” taught by him that might have raised a couple of questions for my parents if not gotten them into serious trouble.

The philosophy behind the fishing process…yes – is the pursuit of an idea… Either  fly fishing in a stream, ice fishing on a frozen lake for hours or casting nets in the sea. It is never about what you catch but what catches you, isn’ t it? “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”/J.Buchan/

P.S: Some videos you might enjoy:

The Old Man And The Sea

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

Peculiarities Of The National Fishing (Russian: Особенности Hациональной Pыбалки)

A River Runs Through It

31 thoughts on “Tips Up And Tight Lines!

    1. It’ s always a good feeling to remember the moments that have made my life sunnier.
      Just checked your link(thanks) – beautiful photos! And there is so much truth in those words of Mary Anne Radmacher I read in your post: “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”


  1. drsuraiyanasim

    I enjoyed reading this.
    I believe fishing is a very relaxing hobby for ppl. Though i have never been fishing…it’s an alien sport in India…but i feel it must be an interesting way to enjoy with friends and nature.


  2. Peripatetic Eric

    Very well said. Some fishermen revel in what they have caught, that’s okay, but did the act of fishing catch them as well? I see you have a link to A River Runs Through It, turns out I have gone fishing on that same river more than a few times!


    1. Thank you, Eric. I have the feeling it is more about the act of fishing catching them than anything else, yet that’s just my opinion. 🙂
      “A River Runs” is a wonderful movie…I hope you have enjoyed fishing in that river.


  3. I really enjoyed your photos – they are beautiful. I didn’t read what you wrote because this theme has really difficult colors for reading. Maybe just for older eyes. 🙂


          1. What a wonderful story. My grandmother loved to fish, and both my mother and father went fishing together a lot when I was still living at home. I totally understood what you are saying. Thank you so much for changing the color. 🙂


  4. Strangely enough I used to love fishing. Standing on the shoreline wathing my float bobbing in the waves and waiting for the gentle tug on the line. My soninlaw broke my rod and now I ahve nothing.

    The photo you have of would it be sunrise or sunset is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.


  5. EhkStream

    Thank you for the photos and the story to go with them. You appear to have been wise at an early age, knowing the proper song to sing…
    A grandfather who took me down to the hardware store on my sixth birthday and bought me an 8 foot fly rod set me off on a life long pursuit. First for the little brookies that lived in the stream below the house, later for all the other things “going fishing” became the excuse for… My immediate quest upon buying a waterproof camera this past summer was to go take pictures of trout. The fishing poles now gather dust!


Plato believed an opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. Fancy to share yours?

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