I’ve come to learn that fishing is much more than casting a line from a pole into a body of water in order to snag various kinds of fish and bring them to the surface for one of two purposes: to be tossed back carefully into the water or to be brought to the shore for a delightful meal.

No, no. Fishing is much more than that.

  1. Fishing is being out in nature. So many fisherperson’s work inside most of the day (not all, but many). Many also work in small confined areas with little or not margin for error and no use of big muscles. (like my husband who is a dentist). So, getting out into nature and using the big muscles, breathing fresh air, harmonizing with the beauty of nature are all healing aids!!
  2. Fishing is brotherhood or sisterhood. The conversations held on the lakeshore, in the boat, on the dock, on the river, rarely center around work related issues, the political climate of the day, the warring situations around the world, or other “heady” issues. Rather, the conversations are centered around “did you get a bite”, “what kind of lure are you using?”, “shall we keep that one or put it back?” or other kinds of relevant but somewhat more relaxed topics!!! Fun conversations. And, oh, the cheering that goes on when someone actually catches a fish. But the truth is, who cares if you catch a fish? It’s all about the ambiance and the connection with the other people that matters. (Would the guys agree with me on that? Probably not!!)
  3. Fishing is about teaching. Is there a better place to spend quality time with your kid or your grandkid than at the fishing hole? You can teach him/her about the art of fishing, notice miracles of nature that are occurring all around you. Put down all technology and digital everything and pay attention to each other. Wow. What a concept. What are you really teaching your little one? That you care and that there is nothing in that precious moment that matters as much as he/she does—to you. These are precious moments that will be remembered forever by both of you.
  4. Fishing is stress relief. I have done a doctoral dissertation on stress control. I can give you all the research of the past ten years on methods of controlling stress. However, one of the principles of stress relief that is NOT MENTIONED in the research studies is fishing!!! Yes, fishing can be stress relieving. Note that I am saying CAN BE STRESS RELIEVING. Like all stress relieving methodologies, it’s all about the mindset. So, go fishing. But, make a choice—a decision, to relax. Really, your family’s survival probably does not depend upon whether or not you catch a fish as it did once upon a time (actually still does in some areas of the world, I know).  Enjoy nature, take it in, look around. Breathe. Enjoy your fishing companions (including your little ones, if you are with your kids). Cheer a little bit!! And, if you are by yourself. Enjoy your own self. Be quiet. Listen to the “still, small voice within”. Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Celebrate the gift of the day.
  5. In fact, Jesus called his disciples to be “fishers of men”. So, fishing does, indeed take on many forms. It’s so much more than putting a line in the water.