y grandfather often said, "happiness is water filled waders, a slippery rock,
and a empty cooler." I often think back on those first days in the
surf. We never did catch much and often times we went home completely
skunked. The bad days, however, have more or less faded in memory
and the banner days have taken their place. The banner days are what
really started me fishing, but they are not what keeps me fishing.
Oftentimes I've really tried to understand
my insatiable appetite for the surf and the fish hidden behind the waves.
I tried to define fishing. At first, I believed that it was simply catching
fish. The more and bigger the better. But as I advanced in age (I'm
27) I began to realize that fishing isn’t really about catching fish although
it's certainly part of it.
Fishing cannot be universally defined
because it’s truly so many different things to so many different people.
That is what makes it special. However, I have developed my own definition
of fishing and I would like to share it with you so that you may understand
a little more about yourselves and perhaps about the gentleman fishing
next to you.
Fishing in the end will be defined
by your own set of memories. It will be the first fish you landed
in the surf. Your grandfather, father or friends joyous whoop as
he hooks a fish or it maybe the first time you realized that it will be
the last time you fish with someone you truly love. To me it’s all
of these memories and more. It’s the stars at night, so beautiful,
at times you believe the shine only for you. The cool breeze on a hot fishless
night chilling your skin begging you to take just one last cast.
A friend’s smile when you pick them up before a hard day of fishing.
The morning sunrise, warming your face and boosting your hopes for the
next cast. It can be the nightlong bull sessions you had with your
buddies. Or the night you went solo just so that you could contemplate
a dissolving marriage or the loss of a relative or girlfriend. These
are the important things, the things that keep me fishing, the things that
keep me coming back for more.
I hope you understand that “fishing”
isn’t all about fishing. It's really about loving, understanding
and becoming in tune with yourself and those around you.