Why do you fish?

Different strokes for different folks

Czech Nymphing in a beautiful canyon

Is it about fun?  Is it about competition?  Is it about putting meat on the table?  Is it to go out and look good with high end gear?

Cheech and Cheech Jr.
I have gone through several phases of fishing my life, and I don't think there is one "phase" that trumps all others.  I completely realize that it might not be the same for everyone else, but for me, it's about being fun and exciting.  Right now, I'm infatuated with learning the different types of nymphing, and I'll find myself nymphing right through a nice hatch.  Three years ago, you would have found me spending every waking moment pouring lead jigs, tying skirts, and punching and flipping to largemouth bass with a baitcaster (note that the title of this post isn't "Why do you FLY fish?").  One thing that is constant for me is that I'm always looking for a better fly or lure.  I know that this disorder has kept me from catching more fish at times, but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking about the other 1,500 flies in my pack.  Maybe I need to stop tying so many variations of everything, but creation and art are why I tie flies.  I know that I can go out with a Parachute Adams, Hare's Ear, and a Pheasant Tail and catch plenty of fish; BUT that isn't new and exciting to me.  There is always a new dubbing, a new color of rubber leg, a new hook, etc. etc.  

So with this fishing thing; why do you do it?  Here are some possible ideas
Dry fly fishing in a meadow
    A rare sighting of Curtis Fry "the man behind the lens"
  1. Because you like to be outdoors.  Every time I think of this type of fisher I can't help but think of the song by Primus... "Nature Boy."  You will hear this person say "I don't care if I catch fish, I just like to be out in nature."  (My $0.02 - If I'm not catching fish, I'm pissed.)
  2. Because you are an apex predator.  It is a challenge of man vs/ beast.  Who will prevail?  If it's man, he will kill his prey and EAT it.  I have no issue with keeping fish as long as they are state bred frankenfish that are meant to meet the Wunder Boner (Don't worry... I won't make you google that one.  The link takes you to a Youtube video showing a trout DE-bone-er in action.)
  3. It's all about fun.  Recreational activities should be fun in my mind.  If you are a die hard fly-or-die dude, but you get a taste of a big ol' bass through 3 feet of weeds on a baitcaster, you look in the mirror and say "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone it THAT WAS AWESOME."
  4. It's a living.  I have big time respect for guys who can row people down a pristine river and watch other people catch fish all day.  I couldn't do it.  I'm not good at yelling "set...  
    Winter midge fishing
    set... SET... SEEEET.!!!"  I'd be like "Hey, uh... have you ever rowed before?"
  5. It's the cool thing to do.  Some may have watched a certain movie in the 90's, others might see it as the new hipster thing to do.  I once got roped into a trip with two guys that looked more like the backstreet boys than fisherman.  They fished like it too... even though they each had $1,500 of gear. (Don't get me wrong...  I fish like a backstreet boy sometimes, and I LOVE gear.)
  6. Tradition.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  
    Chironomid fishing in a lake
    Grandpappy fished a Royal Coachman, Daddy fished a Royal Coachman, and if they ain't bitin' a Royal Coachman I'm going home.  For some guys, they learned a certain technique on a certain water, period... the end.  
  7. To be the best around.  Another song pops into my head...  For some guys, they have to be the best  fisherman, have the most expensive gear, tie the best flies, catch the biggest fish.  It's always a competition on the water with these guys.  It's OK to be good...  It just doesn't mean that everyone else sucks.
What are we missing here?  Please add comments to fill us in!

~  Cheech