How did fishing begin?
Impatiently waiting on the river bank, he breathes deeply letting out an irritated grunt. Then he jumps. He leaps into the river bed, his heavy feet hitting the stone and his spear hitting the target, now his family can eat. 40,000 years ago we fished to survive.
It is believed that humans started fishing in the Paleolithic Era. Anthropologists have found drawings and carvings of people fishing and evidence of consumed bones dating from this era. It was the era of the hunter gatherer.
The advent of farming and cultivation brought new methods. People started using very simple lines and rods whereas others used vapours to make the fish flounder then caught them by hand, a technique mostly favoured by tribesmen.
Fast forward time and the Egyptians introduced boats into the mix along with nets, hauling great numbers of fish. Around the 12th Dynasty (4,000 years ago), metal hooks with barbs replaced wooden hooks.
By the 15th Century leisure fishing was established in Western Europe and by the 17th Century works like Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler were being published, mainly targeted towards men.
There are references to fly fishing in Roman sources dating back 2,000 years and the practice was well established as a leisure pursuit in England by Izaak Walton’s time. Fly fishing also has ancient roots in Japan and the Balkans.
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