Fishing and Religion


Pondering on the Parallels

by John Gray


Now I am not a religious man. To all outward appearances, I am as sane and sensible as the next man, quite normal. Really, I am. Indeed, I am sure I am not very different from most of those reading this now. Yet I do, from time to time, get the feeling that perhaps something is amiss, that I am somehow just a little bit out of the ordinary. The odd sideways glance, the occasional raised eyebrow, a look, even, of incomprehension on the faces of those I meet, when talking about something as simple as the weather, give me pause for thought and force me to face reality. Yes, I must confess. I am a practising sea trout fisher and, it would seem, I do display many of the symptoms of the religious devotee.

Many are the sacrifices I make for my "religion", which I put before all other things. My faith is strong, unwavering and rarely reinforced by experience. I make annual, and often arduous, pilgrimages to holy places where it is rumoured that Salmo trutta trutta once appeared, and, when asked, I am unable to produce evidence of his existence. On holy days, I perform ancient rituals, often misunderstood by the non-believer, involving walking in water in the dead of night, dressed in robes of green, comforted by rod and staff and often accompanied by a priest. I am daunted neither by drought nor famine, pestilence nor plague for I am steadfast in my faith, resolute in my mission. In the long dark days which we know as the "Close Season", I devote much time to the reading of the scriptures and create, for Him, wondrous offerings out of fur, feather and tinsel. Wherever I can find those that will listen, I spread the word, often at the risk of ridicule, derision and social exclusion. At the time of the winter solstice, our small community of believers gathers at the appointed place for our annual ceremonial meeting to hear the word, admit new members, gather in the collection and talk of times of plenty in years past and yet to come and, at the dawning of the New Season, we pray for the Heavens to open and deliver unto us a bloody great flood.







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Trout and Salmon Fishing