Evolution of Fly Fishing: 1

We’ve touched on some aspects of the origins of fly fishing in previous blogs, but next we’ll be looking at the subject in a little more detail, starting with the history of fishing in genera.

Fishing an ancient practice dating back at least 40,000 years. Fishing vessels have been able to cross oceans in pursuit of fish since the 16th century. From the 19th century onwards, it has been possible to use larger vessels and in some cases even process the fish on board. The various techniques for catching fish in the wild include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping. The term “fishing” also refers to catching other aquatic animals besides fish, for example shellfish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and echinoderms. But the term excludes farmed fish or aquatic mammals, such as whales, where it is more appropriate to refer to “whaling” is more appropriate.

The total number of fishermen and fish farmers is estimated to be 38 million. Fisheries and aquaculture provide employment either directly or indirectly to over 500 million people worldwide. Archaeologists examined the skeletal remains of Tianyuan man, a 40,000 year old modern human from eastern Asia, and found that he regularly consumed freshwater fish. Archaeological features such as shell middens, discarded fish bones and cave paintings tell us that seafood was important for survival and consumed in ancient times in major quantities. Although many ancient peoples lived a nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle, there are early examples of permanent settlements that are almost always associated with fishing as a major source of food.

Look out for more interesting facts and figures in future fly fishing blog postings.


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