Fishing grows in popularity


Dinu Deshpande, Senior Staff Writer

Senior Caleb Chan casts his line and waits patiently to feel a bite on the other end. The sounds of his dad and friends talking muffle the background as he looks out over the rippling water. 

Seconds later, a sudden tug brings him out of trance. Chan holds his breath as he feels for a confirmation of a fish on the line. There is. He skillfully reels in the line and finally pulls the fish off. After a quick picture to remember the moment, and a toss into the bucket,  the dinner plan for the night is set.

Chan is one of many students who fish and is part of the fishing club, run by senior co-presidents Niko Shieh and Jared Noyman.

Shieh said he started the club because he wanted to get more involved in fishing and try to bring the school together through a common hobby. 

“It feels like a bunch of people fish at Paly, but they’re scattered all over the place,” Shieh said. “There’s certain groups of people that fish, and (individual) people who fish, but it’s not like everyone knows everyone who fishes. It’s not like a group or culture, really.”

Instead of having sit-down meetings in a classroom at school, the club takes trips together.

“We weren’t getting much done in school meetings, so we moved towards just doing the out of school stuff,” Shieh said. “We usually go surf fishing in San Francisco or in the bay somewhere, where there’s space for everyone to fish together.”

Senior Tyler Mostofizadeh, who has been fishing for more than five years, said he enjoys the differences between the various types of fishing.

“Usually I go bass fishing, and sometimes I go fly fishing depending on the spot and how I feel,” Mostofizadeh said. “They’re so different. Fly fishing is a lot more technical and bass fishing is very active unlike a lot of other types of fishing.”

Mostofizadeh said he likes to go fishing with friends when he can but also enjoys going alone when he has to because of the peace and quiet.

“I usually go to a nice lake like Mammoth or Tahoe to fly fish with my friends,” Mostofizadeh said. “But if I’m on a family vacation or a trip without those people, I like going on my own as well. It’s almost just as cool to go and enjoy it solo.”

Many fishers echo that love for spending time alone in nature and embracing new surroundings. Shieh said one of his favorite things about fishing is the change of scenery it provides.

“For me, a lot of the enjoyment is more of a patience and relaxation thing,” Shieh said. “I love being in nature so much because it’s just nice to have a change of pace sometimes.”

Chan said fishing helps him feel more personally connected to nature.

“It’s a really cool feeling to watch the fish in nature, and see them darting around under the water,” Chan said. “Being able to catch one and hold it in your hand after seeing that is a really cool but weird feeling.”

Chan, who enjoys trout fishing, said he is rewarded by the process of catching and cooking the fish. 

“The way I like to fish is generally trout fishing in lakes or rivers,” Chan said. “Being able to catch my own fish, go home and cook them up my way is what makes fishing so real to me.”