The oldest hooks date back almost 10 thousand years, and doubtless existed long before. Fishermen with pole and line were depicted in ancient Eygpt and China. Macedonians produced artificial flies in Roman times.
But the history of fishing could be said to have officially started in the western world with the publication, in England, in 1496, of “The Treatyse of Fysshynge With Angle,” written primarily for the English upper class, whose members traditionally angled for trout and salmon in inland waters. The essay talks about rods, lines and artificial flies. Unbelievably, some of the fly patterns described then are still in active use today! The name fly derives from an earlier time when people had actually used live flies for bait. In the 17th century, about the time Izaak Walton was writing “The Compleat Angler,” someone put guides on a rod, which allowed a running line for the first time.
Reels, which started as wooden spools, developed into the center pin or fly fishing style model. In 1874, George Orvis patented what was essentially the modern version. The open-faced bait casting reel was invented in the U.S. in the 1820’s, and slowly grew in popularity. William Shakespeare of Kalamazoo came up with his level wind bait casting model in 1896. The spinning reel was the last to come into common use.
Have you ever been fishing? I’m sure that most of you have. It is without a doubt the most relaxing and at the same time the most exciting of thing that I do. I have always loved fishing ever sense the first time my father took me out with him.
But how did this wonderful pastime get started? Did you know that that the oldest of hooks date back some ten thousand years? There are depictions of fisherman using line and pole in ancient Egypt and China and Macedonians were producing artificial flies in Roman times.
The history of fishing could be said to have started in the western world after the publication of “The Treatyse of Fysshynge With Angle” in 1496 England. The English used the art of angling for trout and salmon in their inland waters. The writings talk of the use of rods, lines and artificial flies to land catch. It may be surprising to here that some of the fly patterns used in these ancient times are still used actively used today. The original designers and users of flies named these baits because of the use of real flies in earlier times. We owe a lot to these early pioneers for the great enjoyment that we all get from this relaxing pastime.
During the 17th century, about the time” The Complete Angler” was being written, someone decided to put guides on a rod. This one small choice by this individual allowed for the use of running line. Even though there were no reels at that time, it did allow the use of longer lines and a practical way of retrieval.
Reels were the next logical step. Reels started as wood spools and then developed into center pin or fly fishing style models. Somewhere in the 1820’s the open-faced bait casting reel was invented in the US and we were off. The spinning reel was the last to come into common use.
I, myself am very grateful to these early pioneers for their many contributions to the great sport that I have loved for better than forty years. I will, for the rest of my life, enjoy this greatest of all pastimes. I’m sure that all of you fishermen out there feel the same way. Good luck out there to you all.