The Fishermen

In Sri Lanka, you don’t see many fishing rods.   Fishing, even for large fish, is done with hooks, bait, line, and grit. Men – and we only saw men fishing, no women – throw out a line, and, when a fish strikes, they grip the line in their fingers and carefully guide the fish in.  When a fish runs, the line roars through the fisherman’s fingers, and then they have to slowly guide the fish back in again; there’s no drag, no deus ex mechanical resistance that they can call upon.  When a fish is finally brought into the boat, there’s a palpable sense of relief that extends throughout the boat and even to spectators, that you don’t get when someone has been adjusting small knobs for several minutes to “fight” a fish, or when the biggest danger is that the line will snap and a lure will be lost.

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