To this day I couldn’t tell you why exactly fishing became a core part of my being from such a young age. Maybe it was the vast unknown beneath the surface of the water, or perhaps it was the anticipation that comes from knowing that any cast could be the cast. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t pass by water without wondering, “What if . . . ?” These vivid, enduring memories from my early years fishing with my family are filled with hope and excitement, and I continue to hold them near and dear to my heart. As I’ve grown and gone through many seasons of life, I have reflected on what keeps bringing me back to the water.
For me, fishing takes me out of modern life and grants me a timeless moment in nature. It allows me to take in everything the water has to offer: The anticipation that my next cast might fool a fish into thinking my lure is part of the food chain. The excitement when I hook up. The mid-fight hope that this fish will be the one to create a lifelong memory that I can share with my loved ones. I’m lucky to have grown up learning the skills I needed to unlock these experiences, and I know not everyone is as fortunate as I have been.
Looking back, I realize some of my fondest memories are of fish I didn’t catch; rather, they are of fish caught by others who are just learning how to tap into this experience and whom I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of watching as they harness these skills for the first time. I still have plenty of fish to catch myself, but each opportunity I have to teach others about this activity and how to find success in it will make every catch that graces my line that much sweeter.