Well, as of now, our 5-year-old has managed to break two “unbreakable” Kindle Fire tablets over a span of four months.
If not enough, our 17-year-old jettisoned a laptop and one iPhone into the netherworld because they froze.
Do I sense just a hint of generational impatience when instant gratification flies south?
I asked myself: What should be my next move as a parent weaned on Dr. Spock’s parenting philosophies?
Got it! Take the kids fishing, even though I don’t remember mention of that in the good doctor’s books.
Regardless, what better way to instill patience while keeping their fingers too busy to slide or tap with a hatwndheld 10 inches from their faces? Perhaps the width of nature’s screen will prompt them to forget about their personal screens for at least a day.
If you are just as flustered by millennial-era calamities of our own making as I am, and you are wondering about the many wonderful ways that fishing can improve our lives and well-beings, consider the following reasons for going fishing.
1. Lose Yourself in a New Pastime
If a newbie to the sport of fishing, ditch that image of Huck Finn, a cane pole, string and a hook.
Instead, start learning fishing terms like leaders, barbless, barbed, sliding sinkers, bell sinkers, wet flies, dry flies, spinners, spoons, egg hooks, treble hooks, lead line, braided line and monofilament.
Start to understand the differing merits of graphite, fiberglass, composite and bamboo rods.
Then start on what makes a good fishing boat, how much thrust an electric motor must have to pull an 18-foot bass boat or your four-man raft.
If this much immersion is a bit too much submersion, no worries. Simply head to the nearest lake with a dock after buying a basic Berkley, Daiwa or Shakespeare spin-fishing kit.
Learn a clinch knot (the only one you will need for this), skewer a worm or egg on the end of your hook, make your best beginner’s cast and wait for a nibble.
After all, to borrow from Hemingway with a little variation, the fishing is always good; it’s only the catching that gets bad.
You can lose yourself in fishing no matter how simple or complex you make it.
2. Lose Some Pounds
Yes, you can lose pounds while fishing, just as long as you choose high-lake fishing.
Obviously, you will be hiking uphill to get to a high-altitude lake. You will likely carry at least a daypack on your back if not a float tube or small inflatable raft. It’s the ultimate carb burner that also burns the stress from your psyche.
Moreover, alpine angling perfectly complements your gym routines, diets and other efforts to buff up or bolster your cardiovascular capacities.
3. Anger Management
If you haven’t lost a nine-pounder because you tied an insufficient knot in your leader, you probably can’t imagine the temptation to throw rod and reel into the drink if not just your tackle box.
Hey, you’ve seen golfers throw their clubs in a water hazard, right?
The saving grace of anger and fishing is that once you start fishing, you are so in love with the sport that no matter your miscue, your rod and reel are too dear to lose in an expression of fury.
Use fishing as a paradigm, in this vein, for other parts of your life. Choose something you love about your work, for example, before firing off that email or text message to your boss that says “I’m outa here, for good!” It could be as simple as the best lasagna in town being served at a restaurant only a block from your office.
Before tailgating that inexcusable slowpoke in front of you on a two-lane highway, consider how much you love the grill of your car or your Xenon-bulbed, auxiliary running lights.
4. Learn Some Useful Knots
Knots aren’t just for fisher folk or sailors. They can help you tie down some luggage on top of your car, splice some clotheslines across the yard or keep your kid’s kite from breaking free from a strong gust.
Should you want to learn to climb, you can gain a head start with a few fishing knots that also apply to climbing ropes, slings and cordelette.
5. Sample the High Life
Did you know that caviar comes from such angler-coveted fish as sturgeon and shad?
Catch a shad and schmooze your most lucrative prospect of a client by inviting them over for a dinner worthy of their discriminating palate.
6. Wax Philosopher
Like riding a bike, running, hiking or simply walking, fishing allows you to fertilize novel notions that for decades have burrowed under your skin like a summer tick.
You just never had the time in your previous life to fully vent and assimilate them.
7. Put Your Neighbors in the Palm of Your Hand
Who doesn’t like fresh, wild salmon? Or the succulent white meat of a halibut or walleye? Or the unparalleled taste of a fresh albacore tuna steak?
Need to borrow your neighbor’s chainsaw now and then? Is their music too loud despite your grunts and frowns?
Try carrying a few lingcod filets or freshly caught rainbow trout to their doorstep in return for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
8. Finally, Just Learn to Chill
Water doesn’t talk but it reflects. Reflect equally—on life, yourself and the fresh air around you. Nature is the world’s best sedative.