There is an old saying many believe that may be a Chinese proverb, that says “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
Pretty deep huh and most of us can understand that on the surface. I guess it means that the ability to fish allows us to develop some sort of self proficiency and independence. However folks, the benefits of knowing how to fish is so much more than that.
The positives of fishing are mental, physical and social: we all lead busy lives with little downtime, rushing from one task to another. So close your eyes for a bit and picture this: you are sitting in a chair, on the edge of your local lake, with the sun coming up or going down and the only sounds you hear are the gentle waves breaking as a boat goes by and the intermittent chirping of birds and cicadas.
Fishing rod in hand, this is heaven, where the bait at the end of your line is the least of your concerns. Instead, you really feel in contact with nature, something that is so uncommon in your normal daily life. It is no surprise that your pulse rate calms or even drops; that a few deep breaths with clean air gives instant relaxation and reduces your blood pressure.
Just being outdoors can be so healthy, with increased exposure to Vitamin D, making you feel better on the outside and helping your immune system on the inside.
I live in Australia and am an avid fisherman and there is no greater feeling than fishing late afternoon on an isolated beach, with my fishing rod planted in the sand, watching the waves break whilst a silhouetted surfer carves a bottom turn and occasionally looking up at my rod tip to see if there’s a bite. The cooler box next to me is filled with beer and I make sure I can open it, grab a thirst quencher and yet still keep an eye on the rod.
There is no more better place to be, where actually catching a fish is a reward but not essential. The smell of salt air in the nostrils mixed with a warm summer breeze is something you cannot buy ( I apologise to Seals and Crofts). Often this serenity is broken up by the squarking of seagulls as they fight over a potato chip that I have thrown in their direction. I need to be careful though as seagulls can be brazen and sneak up and steal my bait when I have my eyes elsewhere.
In today’s world, the more popular or trendy past times like yoga and meditation also achieve the above no doubt. Yet the simple act of throwing a line in, is no less effective. Better still, if you have a young family member or 2, take them with you as fishing teaches patience and at the same time improves family bonding.
The best way I can finish this blog, is to quote you a bumper sticker I saw the other day that said “ a bad day fishing is better than a good day working”. Never have I read something so accurate J.