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Are There Two Kinds of Fishermen?

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 5/10/2017
Among my many interests I do some reading in philosophy.  Most of it is like listening to a droning voice under a buzzing and flickering light fixture.  But there are some philosophers that not only are easy to read but they also make pretty good sense.  Robert Pirsig is at the top of that list.  He has a lot to say, but one of the things is that he divides people into two categories.  Classic and Romantic are the labels he uses.  Here's a very brief excerpt from his thoughts:


ďA classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself.

"A romantic understanding sees it primarily in term of immediate appearance.

"If you were to show an engine or a mechanical drawing or electronic schematic to a romantic it is unlikely he would see much of interest in it. It has no appeal because the reality he sees is its surface. Dull, complex lists of names, lines and numbers. Nothing interesting.

"But if you were to show the same blueprint or schematic or give the same description to a classical person he might look at it and then become fascinated by it because he sees that within the lines and shapes and symbols is a tremendous richness of underlying form."


I'm thinking that might kind of work for fishermen too.  Perhaps the "technical" fishermen, the ones who are deep into details of fish behavior, making their own lures, tying their own flies, water temperatures, oxygen levels, PH levels, etc... perhaps these are Classical Thinkers.

The Romantic Thinkers are the fishermen that love the sensual aspects of the experience.  The clouds in the sky, the wind, the smells, the feel of the water, the sounds, the feel of a fish on the line...

These same categories might be thought of as left brain and right brain oriented thinkers.

I know both types of fishermen, enjoy their company equally, but differently.  I bet fishing guides see these differences all the time.

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Flyrodn, CO   5/10/2017 12:54:18 PM
And maybe there's bit of both in all anglers. I know in many ways, by your categorization, I'm a technical angler, as it's what drives my catching, but it's all the rest that keeps me going back as I realize catching, ultimately is the least of the reasons to fish.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   5/10/2017 1:12:40 PM
Flyrodn, you are of course right. I suspect that a standard bell curve would apply. One might argue though that the Classic people have more Romantic in them than Romantic people have Classic in them. At least that's been my observation. I've know quite a few mechanics that have an artistic talent, but few artists that have a mechanical talent.
bron, CO   5/10/2017 10:07:43 PM
I think you just described the two ends of the spectrum where Angler wannabe and myself are at at and we are far right and far left. He is still one of my best friends even if he won't touch a worm.
D-Zilla, CO   5/11/2017 7:48:07 AM
I guess that makes me a romantic.....I guess there's a first time for everything!
IceFishingFool, CO   5/11/2017 9:59:59 AM
Oh guess that makes me a Chameleon
anglerwannabe, CO   5/11/2017 5:49:51 PM
thank you bron, that's incredibly kind. I actually fall into both categories. I get technical in the gear and the way I approach fishing. But once on the water, I greatly enjoy all of it. It doesn't matter if I get skunked. This is especially true if I can get on water where there aren't many others on it too.
Dave Mauldin, TX   5/11/2017 8:52:03 PM
I am definitely not a romantic about fishing. Being a tournament angler, and a part time guide, it's all business to me. Gotta catch 'em..... But if I can just slow down some times before take-off or at the end of the day, I sure do like to enjoy and admire God's handiwork out there...It's a shame that I can't slow down more.....always looking for ways to do a little better the next outing or tournament ...Gotta slow down.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   5/16/2017 8:15:09 AM
Dave, I think most of us are somewhere towards the middle with tendencies to either side. I would see an actuary job as Classical and a sculptor as Romantic - to give examples of the two ends of the spectrum. But I also imagine there are actuaries that sculpt. One of the most interesting people I met was a math teacher that played in a blues band.
Smelly, CO   5/16/2017 3:20:47 PM
Well ok. That means that I am either right brained. Or left brained. Or , if you ask my wife " Pea Brained " . I can fit any of those "Classifications " at any given time ! I like to Fish Hard. But I Fish, for the enjoyment of "Just Being Out There".