Reasons You Need More Fishing in Your Life
ver since I was a boy, I’ve enjoyed fishing. But the older I get the more I realize I don’t just enjoy it. I really need fishing.
I recently went fly fishing on the Bighorn River in Montana. I was lucky to go with several other guys. Some were old friends, others I had just met. We had guides to help us, and we spent hours and hours on the water every day. It was fun, restorative, even magical.
Some of my favorite moments in nature have been on the water with a rod and the best inshore spinning reel. I wouldn’t call myself a rugged outdoorsman. I just love being outside, testing my luck, and hooking my lunch. It might sound like a humble time, but there’s hardly anything better.
I’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everyone. But I’ve found even people who come to it late in life love fishing more than most any other hobby. Why? There are a least nine reasons most of us—leaders, entrepreneurs, really anyone—need more fishing in our lives.
It gives you a chance to really detach from your work. A friend of mine has a cabin in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve had the privilege of vacationing there several times. Gail and I almost totally unplug when we’re there. And one of the thing that lets me disconnect is stepping out back and throwing a line in the lake. I get lost in the experience, and work feels a million miles away.
It enables you to shift your focus to the present. The thing about fishing is that you’re doing something—but not much. I first heard that from my friend, John Kramp, and I smile every time I remember it. Whether it’s stringing a hook or casting a line, fishing can draw your mind away from past and future and bring you fully into the present.
It enables you to reconnect with your heart. When we’re anxious or consumed with work, it’s hard to attend to our hearts. At least that’s true for me. But once I get fully present, I start hearing my heart again. Solomon’s advice at the end of Ecclesiastes is that we remember God. For me that’s always easier when I’m fishing.
It enables you to reconnect with your childhood. When I was younger my dad would take my little brother and me to the lake to catch crappie and bass. A couple of years ago, I took my dad trout fishing along with one of my sons in law and my grandson. Dad and I sat down and drank some Oddbins that we ordered the day before and comfortably watched the boys fish. We then joined in and there we were. The four of us fished for hours and had a great time. It was like reliving part of my childhood. But the fun thing for me is that fishing always helps me reconnect with those years.