Monday, June 11, 2012

Successful Fishing and Geographic Awareness

Just a handful of pictures I've taken recently to help convey geographic range in New Jersey, for example: ocean, inshore estaurine, reservoirs, glacial lakes, large rivers (Hudson--photographed Saturday, next shot below, from the Cloisters, Harlem, & also the Delaware) medium sized rivers (Passaic, Raritan, Hackensack), small rivers (Pequest, Musconetcong, Millstone, others) spring streams and other stream types of freestone and lowland varieties, Pinelands bogs and small lakes, varieties of ponds, all of these and other waterways besides the Atlantic associated with watersheds and the lay of the land.

For the last few years, I've become more aware of the relationship between land and water. I've had crystal clear memories of how poignantly aware of such I was as a boy, drawn to explore my home county of Mercer in New Jersey. I read a fair amount, and read much more in my 20's, but I've never spent hours laboring over geographical texts, although I did search for the likes online a few months ago, but this project never panned out.
All of us who fish are aware of mountains when we're up there; we feel the lift of mood and broadened view, and we're fascinated with the sea when we surf fish. There's nothing too special about this; everyone is influenced by the environment.

But what did pan out for me is significant. I bought J.B. Kasper's Delaware River Fishing & Structure Maps, which he produced himself for sale. (If you google the name, you can get a selection.) As a teen, I also made maps. A friend and I rowed out into ponds in inflatables, and instead of using portable flashers, we just marked off nylon cords, and I had actually step-measured a series of these four six-acre or so ponds. The result still amazes me. We took about 300 soundings for each pond by triangulation method, marking the depths within the boundaries I had measured and drafted by hand. The results? Topographic maps. I connected the dots, and think I still have these maps somewhere, clean and as convincing as if they were done by professional agency.

What moves someone to do the likes of that? According to Aristotle, all men by nature desire to know. However, I think very deep affinities with the metaphysically given world--the material world out there which we don't produce, which just is what it is--exist prior to what we come to know by our efforts, and keep us connected to what we eventually may find.

So this is significant for anglers, if true, and you know it's true if you find it in your experience. If you tap into this affinity with the land and water itself, it will necessarily help lead you to fish. Whether new waters to fish, spots within waters to fish, or individual fish--the maps we produce, whether on paper, online, or in our heads, are representations of what is already in order.

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