How many did you catch? How big was it?
Often you hear these questions from fellow fisherman. To some all that matters is you catch a fish or many fish. But is that what really matters? We are all guilty of that every now and then; it happens to the best of us.
This quote came to mind while spending time on the water the other day.
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau
Sadly, this is a true statement. Many miss the point of why we are dreaming to be on our favorite stretch of river, lake or even the sea while we are on the job. While we do enjoy the sport of trying to entice a creature from below the water's surface to take our fly*, one of the main reasons we are out there is to enjoy the peace that comes from being there. It's an escape from the hustle and bustle of life, the anxieties that weigh us down, etc. Those moments spent on the water or in the woods are what we cherish. It's often the cleanse and recharge we need to take on the next day or week. Whether it's an all day outing or even a few brief minutes, time seems to stand still and the cares of life melt away. It's "river therapy" some say (insert your favorite spot for river).
Next time you're out there take a few extra moments to enjoy it a little longer than normal. Maybe even just sit on the bank or shore and take in all that's there. The places we fish are teeming with life and full of stunning natural beauty. You may be surprised what you see. Even the most remote and stark places oft have beauty beyond compare. The key to seeing it is don't limit yourself to the sense of sight. Utilize all your senses and really take it all in. We can guarantee you'll appreciate that time a whole lot more when back into life full swing afterwards.
* For many of us, the pursuit of fish has taken us to the other side of the Earth; caused us to amass more gear than may even be healthy; and certainly led to us spending more time in this activity than our friends and family think is appropriate.