State of Roughfishing Address

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       I am happy to say that the state of Roughfishing is strong. In fact, it has never been stronger. There is a large contingent of hard-working, honest folks who fish like crazy and have a great time every fishing trip, and they catch a lot of big fish. A big part of their enjoyment comes from just being out on the water, enjoying the beauty of nature and immersing themselves in the ecosystem. They hope to understand a little more about the waters and the creatures that can be found there, and success is measured by more than fish count alone. Meet one of these folks on the riverbank, and you will be enlightened by their zeal for the outdoors and all things fishing. There are no biases, no braggadacio, and no popularity contests. This breed of angler only wishes to expand the general fishing public’s ideas about fishing, and get people to think beyond Bass and Walleyes. You will find no more helpful angler than the Roughfisher. While they generally like to be left alone while fishing, they jump at the chance to inform others about the fish they pursue. The only thing they ask is that you give them ample space for a backcast.
       In this wonderful new world of Roughfishing, anglers can tell the difference between a Greater Redhorse and a Shorthead at 30 feet. They can tell you where to look for Bowfin, how to catch and keep good baitfish, and maybe give you a hint about where to look for a Blue Sucker. They may also tell you how to properly lash a kayak to your Toyota, or give you a heads-up on a good ridge to hunt for Morel mushrooms. Generally, a Roughfisher is a wonderful person to meet if you have any interest in the outdoor world.
       There used to be only a few of these hardy folks around, and they kept to themselves. Now, the ranks of the Roughfisher are growing in leaps and bounds, and you may hear talk of Buffalo and Carpsuckers in places where you would least expect it. The flyshop where I was laughed at for fishing for carp and mooneyes now carries a selection of flies specifically designed to catch these species. Multi-species fishing is being glorified by contests and derbies around the nation, and champion anglers are rewarded with prizes. State and World records for even the most obscure species are being broken at an alarming rate as the angling public realizes the excitement that can be found if you ignore all the advertisements and fish for your own reasons.
I have been a Roughfisher for many years, and while I used to relish the solitude that I found on my favorite rivers, I now find it incredibly satisfying to share my knowledge and experience with folks who truly appreciate the sport. I am especially happy to see young people enjoying the pursuit of under-utilized species. Through this website, I have met and fished with many anglers from all walks of life who share my love of the outdoors. I learn something new from each and every person I fish with, and I am grateful for the experiences that I have shared. My brother and I started roughfish.com about 8 years ago to educate and inform anglers about the wonders of fishing that we have found, and we never expected to find as many hardcore anglers as we now know. A decade ago, you would not find a person who could tell the difference between a Carpsucker and a Hogsucker unless you went to a DNR convention. Now, there are websites and organizations that applaud the efforts of the Roughfisher and seek to better understand all of the species that have been overlooked by the fishing community. The folks involved in the world of Roughfishing not only seek to inform others about the various wonderful species that can be caught, but they also fight for the protection of habitat and clean water that many of these fragile species need to live.
      I would like to think that roughfsh.com has played a role in the expansion of the sport of Roughfishing. There were no websites focused on angling for the under-utilized species at the time we launched our website, and many years went by before another site popped up. We have gone by the motto of “What are you fishing for?” for nearly a decade now. This is a question that has many answers, and each person may have multiple replies. It is a very personal thing.
If you come upon me while I am fishing and ask me what I am fishing for, You are in for an earful. I may be in the zone, and simply tell you that I am fishing for Black Redhorse and please leave me alone. I may tell you that I am fishing for whatever will bite on a nightcrawler. Maybe I am fishing for a World Record Hogsucker. What am I fishing for? I am fishing because I don’t like golf much, and I’d rather be here on the riverbank than watching American Idol on TV. I am fishing because there are thousands of guys stationed overseas in the military that would much rather be wetting a line than looking out for terrorists, and I’m doing my patriotic duty by enjoying the freedom that these brave folks have provided. What am I fishing for? I am fishing because I simply enjoy the company of my friends and family, and on the riverbank we have the world in the palm of our hand.
      As the years slip by and I grow older, these moments on the riverbank mean a whole lot more. Life has so many twists and turns, and we all deal with real-life issues that can seem overwhelming at times. The commeraderie that is shared between fellow anglers is something that is never mentioned, and generally remains as an intangible thing. We can fish together for hours and not utter a single word, yet we are sharing special moments which will never be forgotten. I know that I have gone fishing while nearly incapacitated by the trials of life, then fished silently with my brother and come home completely at ease. All of my problems were somehow solved on the riverbank.
      This is the magic of Roughfishing. And I know that all of you who will read this know exactly what I am talking about. I may get out of control and start ripping on penny-loafer wearing walleye-harvesting individuals at times, but in the end it is just a rant against the over-commercialization of my favorite sport. I mean no insult, but Roughfishing means a lot to me and I hate to see it cheapened. Nothing is easy , and it shouldn’t be easy. It is the journey that gets you there that in the end makes it all worthwhile. Fishing, to me, is figuring things out for yourself and keeping your gear simple enough so that what you do on the river is still considered fishing and not harvesting.
      So here is to the journey, and may you all reach whatever destination you so choose. I just want to say to all of you that I am proud to be a Roughfisher, only because I have seen in all of you the strength of character that the Roughfisher now exemplifies. No Roughfisher is the same, and it is our differences that can make us better as a whole. I wish I could meet each and every person that reads this, and share in your unique slice of the angling world. However, I know that I cannot, and I will know you only through the medium of this website.


Keep it Rough……………….~Andrew Geving, Roughfisher at Large

Comments

Outdoors4life's picture

This is the magic of Roughfishing. And I know that all of you who will read this know exactly what I am talking about. I may get out of control and start ripping on penny-loafer wearing walleye-harvesting individuals at times, but in the end it is just a rant against the over-commercialization of my favorite sport. I mean no insult, but Roughfishing means a lot to me and I hate to see it cheapened. Nothing is easy , and it shouldn’t be easy. It is the journey that gets you there that in the end makes it all worthwhile. Fishing, to me, is figuring things out for yourself and keeping your gear simple enough so that what you do on the river is still considered fishing and not harvesting.

The paragraph above is a great snippet of this article!

It is all perspective!

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perkinsdonald's picture

I wish I would have found this site sooner. I have always loved rough fishing, and to this day would rather catch a huge carp over a bass any time! Thanks for all you do!

 

 

The gods do not subtract the alotted span in men's lives the hours spent in fishing.

Dr Flathead's picture

This is a great article!  Really sums the whole roughfishing thing up.  This here could be the mission statement for the website.  Really explains what the site is all about.  So much more than just fishing for rough fish.  I think thats a really common mis-conception about this site, that its only about fishing for rough fish.   

andy's picture

I wrote this many years ago, but it still stands true today. Keep it ROUGH!