Fishermen evolve as they grow into their sport. We don’t finish where we start and we are always changing.
First we want to catch a fish, any fish, any way. Then we want to learn how to catch a lot of fish. Next we want to catch a BIG fish! Catching a specific fish comes next and finally, we get the greatest joy from teaching others how to fish!
I am at the later stage of evolution and truly enjoy teaching others how to fish. That’s not because I am old, it is because after a ton of experience, I am wise! When I am fishing, I feel like I am a kid again.
Local fishing groups show their true worth when they take the time to have a fishing derby. The members put their own rods away and take the time to show others their healthy addiction. The cost of a Fishing Derby is relatively cheap. A few rods, some prizes and snacks and suddenly, we have created a school of wonderful fishing monsters!
We all know the snob clubs that are too cheap and selfish to share the gift of fishing. They keep the secrets to themselves and want the fishing holes for just them. If they had a derby, no members would even show up to help out. Several of the clubs that I used to belong to demonstrated this. They talk it but don’t walk it.
Fishing is too special to be selfish with. I have never seen a person not get excited when catching a fish. There are plenty of fish. Most fish are caught by just 10% of the fishermen anyway. Fishing is just fishing. It doesn’t have to be catching. I never think about anything other than fishing when casting a rod. You can’t be drunk, high, or stupid if you plan to catch a fish.
Other clubs get it! The “IT” is the fact that without future fishermen and hunters, the sport will die. These Future Fishermen will one day become voters. Without a coalition of outdoorsmen to keep the sport alive, fishing and hunting will become sports for kings and not the common man.
The real gift is your time and not your money. How many Old Fart fishermen have a garage full of gear that is just collecting dust. When we die, where does the gear go? Maybe start giving it away to future fishermen. Take them fishing and show them how it works then give it to them!
When there is a local derby going on, just show up and help out. Take your forceps, some hooks and sinkers and lend a helping hand. There will be plenty of kids that want to learn how to catch a fish.
Fishing is about limits and regulations that are designed to protect the sport. These rules and limits set the ethical tone when it comes to making life choices. The kid you teach how to fish today will become the fisherman you share the riverbank with, in a few years. Do you want to meet a slob or a sportsman?
Oh yea and I almost forgot, FISHING IS JUST FUN!
Tight Lines and full creels,