Several years ago, there was a department called Reverie in our sister publication, GRIT. It was a one-page regular feature that showcased a photograph and a quotation.
One of my favorite Reverie packages featured this quote: “The gods do not deduct from man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.” – Babylonian Proverb
Another great quote about fishing comes from a favorite author, Norman Maclean. It is: “To him, all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”
Fishing – and the hours I spend on the water or wading in a river – is one of my most beloved pastimes of summer. Some of my best memories as a youngster involve fishing our family farm pond with my older brothers. We were often unsupervised and left to pass the time however we saw fit, whether that meant catching a stringer-full of crappie, looking for crawdads and bullfrogs, or even getting into arguments that resulted in two or even three boys tussling around on the banks. We loved it.
One of my fondest memories is the time my dad took my brothers and me fly fishing for the first time, on the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado. I managed to catch a couple of wild rainbow trout – despite not knowing what I was doing – and I’ve loved that method of angling ever since. And I’ll never forget what it felt like to wade out into that river, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. I was in awe.
A few years later, while in college, I headed east to Pennsylvania for an internship with Fly Fisherman magazine. That experience combined two of my passions – journalism and the outdoors – and helped cement my choice of profession.
The editors of the magazine set me up with a fly-tying vise of my own, and one of the editors, who’s still a friend to this day, spent a Saturday away from his family to take me fishing. I remain grateful.
In the routine of day-to-day life, it’s easy to get hung up on our usual chores – mowing the lawn, building or mending fence, cutting firewood and such – but sometimes it’s worth the effort to make time for passions and pastimes like fishing. My lawn might look unkempt for an extra day or so, but while fishing, that feeling of connecting to something greater – the feeling of grace I felt on the Arkansas River and routinely feel on Clinton Lake here in Kansas – is definitely worth my lawn looking shabby for another day or two.
What about you? What are some of your favorite fishing memories? Send me a note, with a photograph if you have one (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we just might print a few of them in a future issue of the magazine.