For many, Fishing is a hobby. But for the fisherman caste, fishing is an occupation. Fishing has intrinsic merit. Fishing as a hobby is an extracurricular activity to enjoy the spare time and to get pleasure. In ancient times, the primitive man was fishing to survive. Now it has become a hobby. Experts have said – there are eight reasons of making fishing a hobby.
1) Stress relief.
2) Social bonding.
3) Health benefits.
5) Self fulfilment.
6) Fishing for food.
7) The thrill and challenge.
8) Paying tribute to nature.
In British times some ICs officers were enjoying fishing as a hobby. The famous British hunter Jim Corbett was an expert fish catcher. Now a days also many persons go for fishing to be away from the din and bustle of the cities far from the madding crowd. One can get enough peace – peace of abyss from the lap of Nature.Fishing in the countryside is a unique experience. The rivers in the country side are serene waters. Personally I am very fond of fishing since child hood. Of course I belong to fisherman caste. But since three generations we have left fishing as occupation. Whenever I find time I go to the nearest river of my village. The name of the river is Dhulijor. It is called Jamli in Sambalpur District Gazetteer. It is an ephemeral river. That means rainfed river. In the monsoon it flows. In other seasons the water flow became less and less – almost dried in Summer.
But during the monsoon and after monsoon months it is pleasurable to fish in it. It is a tributary of Mahanadi in Odisha. This river joins Mahanadi at the point where the famous leaning temple of Huma Stands. When the first waters of monsoon flow into Mahanadi, the fishes of Mahanadi make upward migration in to the tributary up stream. At this time large flocks of fisher move upwards passionately. So it is right time to catch them. Fisherman make a special kind of tool called Dhair in local language. It is: made of fine small strings of bamboo. The Dhair is so made of that small and medium size fishes can enter. It; but cannot come out. At this time large numbers of fishes are caught in this tool called Dhair. Several small fishes are caught. These are known by several names in local languages – such as, Betu, Tengna, Senha, Guldi, Nunia, putia, Rohi, Mirkila, Kanachi, Pudusa etc.
Apart from Dhair, other nets are also used for catching fish. Even with bare hands some expert people catch fishes from the rivers in the autumn season when the waterflow decreases, fishes move downwards to the main river – Mahanadi. At this time other techniques are used to catch fishes. Chira ghat is one among them. It blocks the downward movement of the fishes and through a canal made with sounds of the river, fishers are cought. Fishing requires concentration and patience. And it is gained unconsciously by fishing. And you will be healthy, if you catch fish in the rivers of the country side and forest areas.
(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)
Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur. He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published from Kolkata.
He can be reached at [email protected]