Published: October 2, 2015
Arts and Life Correspondent
Frustrated, patient, contemplative, anxious, greedy, adventurous, elated and heartbroken—these are the many states in which you will find a fisherman on any given river or lake.
It is rewarding and exhilarating but will come at a cost. It can replace your sanity with an addiction.
Water becomes holy ground on which you may find your peace or discover your discontent.
Fishing has evolved from a means of survival to a way of thriving.
It fosters fellowship and makes way for solitude.
Fishermen know the seasons as well as farmers.
They know when the fish may bite and when they cease to exist; when to go out and when to stay in.
The real ones also know what the sport is for.
Although the bite and the fight are exciting, it is the time spent among life and the giving water that feeds a fisherman’s addiction.
The anguish of a missed bite or the heinous sound of snapping monofilament are all part of the experience.
They never fail, they only learn. And with their knowledge, next time they may not only catch the fish they missed before, but appreciate it all the more for being forced to try again.
A fisherman is never satisfied. Although they may appear anxious, that anxiety stems not from a need to be filled but a desire to experience more. To feel more life in a life that feels unlivable sometimes.
A life that tastes like old gum which circumstances require a person to keep chewing.
Bass will always be bass, and trout will always be trout, but the experiences will always be different.
The baits change, the weather changes, the color of our surrounding changes and with all these changes, our stories change.
Tall tales of fishing are not fictitious but accurate descriptions of a fisherman’s experience.
The fish may have been only that big, but to the one telling the story, it was at least THIS big.
Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth telling. One does not have to look far for life in water.
We are happy to live in a place with water at every turn.
For example, The Lackawanna, the Roaring Brook, the Susquehanna, Lake Chapman, Fords Pond and Lackawanna State park to name a few. And with all this water brings happy fishermen.
Among these fishermen are faculty and students of The University. Although it is rare to see students walking around with fishing rods and waders, if you look hard enough you can see the spirit of a fisherman in many people on campus. This is a call to rods.
Fishing in NEPA is a vibrant past time that has been exclusively practiced by locals for too long.
In our lives cluttered by formal education, we should make room to learn about the world around us, for it has a lot to teach.
In this world are streams and lakes, rivers and ponds, trails and hills, mountains and valleys yet to be explored by nursing majors and history majors alike.
Find your water, find your trail, find your fisherman, find yourself.