At this time of year in Ancient Macedonia, men would gather on the banks of the rivers Vardar and Astraeus to enact a time-honoured mystery tradition - one that has been handed down from father to son until this present day although its true meaning has been forgotten.
The mystery tradition in question is now known as fly fishing, but although it is today considered a sport and a leisure activity, it once had far deeper meaning connected to the worship of the Ancient Macedonian deity Staroto, which means The Old One.
Staroto was seen as being a giant aquatic monster, perhaps similar to Dagon, Cthulhu or Leviathan, who had lived in the depths of the oceans since the dawn of time. Although The Old One himself was far to large to be caught, his offspring would swim upriver where clever fly fishers could catch them. Of course, there were always tales about "The One That Got Away".
According to occult historian and fly fisher J R Hartley, the practice of fly fishing was adopted by the Roman Claudius Aelianus near the end of the 2nd century who saw Macedonian anglers on the Astraeus River. Claudius copied their activities, bringing fly fishing to Rome, from where it spread to the rest of the world. However, the important religious significance of the activity was lost until archaeologists uncovered clay tablets describing the tradition at a temple to Staroto, near Skopje, in modern Macedonia.
In the mystery tradition, the man who caught the first fish on April 1 was considered blessed by Staroto. For the rest of the year he could demand whatever he wanted. However, if he failed to catch a fish the following April 1, he was then sacrificed to The Old One by being chopped to pieces and used as bait.
Women were never allowed to take part in this ritual, which J R Hartley suggests was because women are actually much better at fly fishing than men, and men never like to be made fools of.
The picture shows Fly fishing, Iceland from Henry Gilbeyavailable from Amazon.