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I'm three miles from home on a cold October afternoon; it's getting dark, and the wind is picking up. I'm wet and feeling hypothermic. My leaky waders are heavy and sloshing with water. To get home I have to cross the river three times, climb over barbed wire, and push my way through heavy brush. And I haven't caught a single fish.

Why do I do this? I mutter. There are no fish in this river. This is a stupid sport. This is when I learn what it means to be a fisherman.

Nobody really knows if he's a fisherman until the fish stop biting.

For people who find it easy to resist slimy hands covered with fish entrails, this may seem hard to believe, but there is such a thing as being a fisherman.

Lots of people like fishing when the fish are biting. Only a few will fish when they aren't. The former are simply people who like to catch fish, the latter are fishermen.

Everywhere I've lived, I've found places to fish. In Southern California, I surf fished and back-packed to high mountain lakes. When I ...

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