Life Lessons from Fishing

Fishing is so much more than just a hobby or activity to go out and participate in during one’s free time. Rather, it is an opportunity for reflection and refuge from the craziness going on in the world around us. Time on the water can be the greatest remedy for the abundance of stress and worry we place upon ourselves in our daily lives. You can let go and truly live in the moment. 

The culture and community that  comes from fishing is one that is unmatched. The tight-knit relationships that are made from it are ones that will stick around with you for the rest of your life. My best friends to date are those who I’ve shared time on the water with. The comradery and adventure that stems from experiencing the beauty that nature has to offer when fishing will always make up for a “bad” day we are having production wise. Although fishing alone can have many benefits like self-reflection and a sense of clarity, going out with your buddies creates an environment where you can be your genuine self. 

Besides the time for stress relief and building relationships, fishing has taught me some really important life lessons. 

Group fishing by lake

Patience is a skill that is nearly impossible to acquire fully and is tested constantly  when you are fishing. I can remember going out fly-fishing with my dad for the first time when I was little and getting so frustrated and disappointed with myself due to the abundance of bird nests and tree branches I would get myself caught in. This annoyance was quickly followed with anger and soon enough, abandonment all together. Instead of trying to show me what to do while we were on the water, my dad brought me back to our driveway, rigged up a fly on the end of my line with a piece of cork attached, and set out a bucket 15-20 feet away. He said that I was to break down each part of my cast into sections, focus, and truly think about how and why I am getting my line out towards my target. After a strenuous and aggravating couple of hours, I was able to be in full control of my line and put it where I needed it to be. All it took was me to lay out what I was doing wrong, and try to figure out a simplified, yet effective solution to my faults. This simple drill taught me many techniques and lessons I carry with me in my everyday life. 

First, never be afraid to ask for help. I knew that my dad was a more seasoned angler, but I tried to figure out the art of casting completely on my own because of my stubbornness as a kid. Fly-fishing is an intimidating sport to enter into and those who are starting should always seek guidance from individuals who’ve had some years of experience to mentor them. We were all in the same boat as I was at some point in our journey and sharing the little tricks and tips that helped us out along the way can expedite the process of a newcomer becoming a great angler immensely. 

Secondly, It taught me the importance of persistence. The  moment that I was finally able to lay that fly in the bucket, you would have thought that I had just won the superbowl. I felt so accomplished, yet also determined to continue practicing so I could consistently hit my target. 

Fishing is a lot like golf in the sense that you can have 17 bad holes throughout your day, but all it takes is that one shot to keep you coming back for more. Just one cast, one solid drift, and one fish being drawn to your lure to change your whole mentality of the day. As anglers, we have an itch that always needs to be scratched whether it is a new species or a pb for a current one we are after and once a new comer is drawn in, they’ll always want to come back to satisfy that need. 

Solo fishing in a stream

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Jeff Swanson

Jeff Swanson

Amen to all of it! It is tough to have a bad day with a rod in hand. Thanks for sharing Sam.

Fred Itzkowitz

Fred Itzkowitz

really nice article

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