Fishing on the Canal


Fishing on the Canal, originally uploaded by loscuadernosdejulia.

I am tempted to say that I can barely understand these die-hard fishermen who sometimes stand on the banks of Bridgewater Canal in Manchester (and possibly elsewhere). Then, perhaps, they are no more different from the die-hard cameramen who scout the cities and towns and take pictures of monuments that have been photographed dozens of times before. So, I understand the fishermen.

What I don’t understand is precisely why they come to fish on the Canal? Or, better yet, precisely what do they hope to catch? And, lastly, if they do fish something out, what do they do with it? My concern stems from the fact that the Canal is at times so terribly polluted that fishing there would be unthinkable to me, let alone doing something with the catch.

I guess, little can stop people from following their passions. As Robert Capa would put it, if your photographs aren’t good enough, you are not close enough, and this quote encapsulates not only Capa’s own life and work, but the general approach to one’s vocation. Passion and dedication truly make people.

And fishing is the passion. It drives one to come to the river bank not only at dawn or in the daylight, but at dusk, too, as in the case of the man on the photo I took in Castlefield. Even now, I’m sure, if you get to visit Moscow between late spring and early autumn, you will get to see fishermen on the banks of the Moskva River, with fishing-tackle and the jars of bait. And, yes, the Moskva can be just as dirty, as any river. In Moscow, too, I would often ask myself what on Earth these people were hoping to catch. But I never approached them with this question. Not that I didn’t truly care. Simply, as we know, fishing is done in silence.

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