If they mock you for fishing in beautiful streams for fish that look as pretty as jewels, and spending a day surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, no amount of explaining is going to make them understand.
They just don't get it and probably never will.
I've caught my share of big fish over the past 47 years. I've caught 6lb bass, I've caught 20"+ smallmouth, I've caught a 40lb catfish, and a 40+ lb carp, I've caught brown trout over 20" in tailwaters.
None of them compare to the rush of catching a 7" brown or a 5" rainbow out of a clear mountain stream.
It's not the catching, or the size of the fish that matters. It really isn't even the fishing. For me, it's the sensory overload the mountains.
They have a unique smell of moist earth, decaying vegetation, flowers, pine and thousands of others that mix together to make a very unique treat for the nose. You all know the smell. It's as addictive as coccaine and a whole lot better for you.
Then there's the colors. The mountains are a thousand shades of green, brown and gray.
The water is as clear as crystal but looks dark and mysterious because of the green canopy and the dark gray rocks on the stream bed.
The sound of water falling from the mountain tops rumbling over rocks that have been smoothed by millions of years of water falling from those mountain tops is prettier than any music made by man.
Then there's that occassional brightly colored gem on the end of the line.
Nope, if someone has difficulty understanding why you fish in such a place, I seriously doubt if there is anything you can say or do that will make them understand.
I honestly pitty anyone who has not experienced the mountains from the middle of one of their streams. I couldn't care less if I catch a fish or how big it is. Yes, catching fish is a little more fun than getting skunked but the truth of the matter is I just enjoy standing in a stream and enjoying what God has blessed us with.
If I didn't have to earn money to feed my family (and feed my fly fishing addiction) I could spend every day of the rest of my life fishing the Smokeys and on those days where I couldn't fish, I could spend looking out of my window at the mountains. This would make ma a very happy man.
Sorry about the long rant. It's been a strange couple days for me. My grandmother is having some health issues and I'm probably a little more emotional than usual.