It’s Friday afternoon and I’m finishing up the last few reports I have for the day. Work friends start the usual conversations of “what are your plans for the weekend?” and before I can answer on my turn someone says “let me guess, you’re going fishing?” The rest of the group lightly chuckles because for years now that has been a pretty normal response for me.
Then someone asked the question, with a slight annoyance is his voice. “I don’t understand, how can you go fishing every weekend? It’s just boring to me”.
This question and distain in their voice ruffled my feathers a bit. I’m used to the “What do you mean you don’t keep the trout you catch? Give them to me!” comments. I have my many canned responses for that one, but this one is different.
To this co-worker it’s “just fishing” and what is his version of fishing anyway? Is it a trip he remembers camping with his family when he was 10 years old watching his dad put a worm on a hook and endlessly watching his bobber while polishing off his 12 pack?
Fishing for myself and the boys here at WTLGT is more like therapy than it is a sport/hobby/addiction etc. Some people would say it’s cheaper than a therapist, but if you saw our garages and the gear hoarded in them you might think twice about that statement.
In all honesty, fishing calms me down, centers me and helps put what’s important at the forefront of my mind. With the daily routine of waking up before it’s light out, drive to work, sit in front of a computer all day, leave work when the sun is going down, pick up the kiddo and get her dinner and in bed a few hours later, there isn’t much time to just decompress and give your brain a siesta.
In comparison to the daily routine there are some similarities on fishing days. I regularly wake up even earlier than I do on workdays and it isn’t uncommon to come home and unload the fishing wagon long after the sun has set. But the time-spent in-between is worlds apart.
Pulling up to your fishing spot before the sun has shown it’s face and taking that first deep breath of cold crisp air is as addicting as any drug on the street and once I get that “first hit” life’s problems and what’s important all fall in place. After that it’s rigging gear, tying knots, casting, jigging, trolling, bull shitting, laughing, ball busting put on repeat until the rotation is paused by the universal adrenaline producing war cry of “FISH ON!”
I imagine some of you behind your PC’s and smart phones nodding your heads agreeing to the above statement. That’s because you’re anglers. But to the guy at work that has no clue what that feeling is, how do you explain that to him?
Now back sitting with that group at work, I calm down before answering his question. “You wouldn’t understand” is what I responded with. With the tone in my voice I think he realized he annoyed me and didn’t follow up with anymore questions. Which I was completely ok with.
Now I could have invited him out and tried to share the experience with him, and if he had showed genuine interest I would have. But not this time. This time I knew that he wouldn’t appreciate it and I wasn’t going to use the little amount of time I had on the water the following day for anyone other than myself. Selfish? Maybe. Did I lose sleep over it? Absolutely not.
The next day was exactly what I was hoping it would be. Kelly and Matt met at my house early and we headed towards the big alkaline lake looking for sea monsters.
We watched an amazing sunrise and met up with a friend CJ who has been known to land some monsters of his own. We fished a few hours, had a handful of takes and had 2 to hand.
The weather man was wrong as usual, the 50 mph winds were supposed to hit around 11am but within minutes of the clock hitting 9am the winds picked up and gave of all a sand blasting so we called it a morning.
But going back to the main point of this post. What is fishing anyway? Is it the act of pursuing fish or actually hooking up and landing one? Is it just an excuse to get out of the house and hang out with good friends? All of the above?
I guess you can only answer that question for yourself. I think it’s different for everyone. But I will say I’m happy to share this pass time with the people who have that same passion for it as I do. Let the rest of them out there think we are crazy, keeps more people out of our “secret” spots!
See you crazy bastards out there, keep those lines tight!