Since my first fishing expedition when I was around eight years old I was told by my mentor (my father) that there are some profound lessons you pick up from fishing that will always stay with you no matter what, and will later turn into skills you can apply in your life.
Obviously the first time I heard that it went in one ear and out the other. As happy go lucky kid, my first trout fishing experience had its good points and its bad points. On the positive side I went fishing with my father and elder brother so I became a member of the family’s honorary club. On the down side, it was a really boring day. I didn’t catch a thing and half the time I was ignored by the others or told to keep quiet whenever I thought of something exciting to do – like skip stones over the river surface.
Luckily I didn’t dare share my frustration, although now I think about it must have been obvious to everyone. Anyway I kept on fishing and in a very short time I got the bug and learned to love fishing. The exact moment this happened was when I felt my first strike and as far as fishing is concerned, it has been a smooth ride since then.
Looking back over forty years to that first fishing experience I realize that I was put in contact with all those fishing skills that become strengths in life – I just did not realize it then.
So here are my “Fisherman’s Skills – The 4 P’s ” (now days everyone seems to talk in code, so why not I?)
That first time brought me into direct contact with the need for patience and only later did it become an acquired skill. As I never mentioned my first days frustration I was forced to patiently keep on trying. There are all sorts of days when you go out fishing. There are good days and bad days, but every single one of them demands patience and some demand a high degree of patience. A fisherman without patience just isn’t a fisherman. In life patience also brings rewards (and a lot less stress).
As I rushed all over the place trying to cast my line into the river, I began to have a love hate relationship with the surrounding trees, especially the weeping willows. I hated those trees but my lures loved them. The rest of the time I got my line tangled (for the meaning of patience untangle your fishing line) as I overshot my cast flipping it over the river to land on the other bank. No wonder I soon became a pest to the others. Once I learned patience I began to cast much better and actually landed my line in the pools I was aiming for – and then I just went on and on and on. And I began to catch fish. So, in fishing language, “on and on and on” means perseverance. Sometimes known as pig headedness, it is a valuable asset as your continuing efforts help you achieve your goals.
Then there were the times we went fishing and I just grabbed my stuff and threw it into the car. When we got to the river I was raring to go, only to find something wrong or missing or broken with my gear. That taught me very quickly to take proper care of my fishing gear and to always be prepared for an unscheduled fishing trip (these were always the best).Later on both as a student or at work being prepared for the exam or the presentation made all the difference.
Powers of Observation.
Finally another of the skills I picked up was to observe. There is a great difference between looking and observing. You can look at something and it doesn’t register. When you observe something it is not only your eyes that are involved, all your senses as well as your mind take part. When fishing you see and feel the changes in the wind, the river flow, the color of the water and so on. At other non-fishing times, as you observe those around you whether it is in a social or family environment or whether it is in the work place you definitely have an advantage as you are aware of many more nuances – especially the non-verbal ones.
So in short fishing can teach you patience, perseverance, to be prepared and it enhances your powers of observation. They are all skills that should always be with you no matter what activity you are involved in.