Emily Brantz

Hobbies have never been something I lacked but fishing has a special place in my heart. It triggers a plethora of memories, from my grandpa driving a rental boat at the Lake of the Ozarks to catching my first fish myself in a pond in Copper Mountain and learning to fly fish from my husband. Each fishing trip has been unique and an experience all its own and offered important lessons about life, too. As summer is coming to an end, I thought I’d share some of the life lessons I gained from fishing:

 

  • Albert Einstein is credited as saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” I am guessing Albert wasn’t into fishing, because we could easily replace the word “insanity” with “fishing.” However, casting and reeling back in over and over (and over) again taught me to be patient when working towards my goals.
  • Jigs, spinners, flies, leeches, worms, minnows, fish eggs, and the list goes on and on when it comes to the right bait or hook to catch that big fish. Now, I know I just said fishing was doing the same thing over and over, but fishing also pushes you to learn when to change it up or adapt. Switching out your bait, hook, or spot too soon or too late and someone else could snag that prize fish.
  • When I was younger, I loved sitting on my grandpa’s lap and steering the boat. He would point me in a direction and off we went. But I never understood why we would pack up and head to the next spot when one or two of us were catching fish. As I became more experienced in fishing, I realized that Captains can steer the boat to the “perfect” spot, but it isn’t a successful trip unless everyone catches a fish. The cheering is louder, the fun is greater, and everyone gets to eat. But really, why should only one person catch a fish when the lake, stream or ocean has plenty for the whole boat? Thus, I learned: success is more fun with company.
  • When my husband, Matt, taught me to fly fish, I was very successful on the tiny pond that was stocked with sunfish. I’d barely graze the water and I’d have a fish. I thought, this is a piece of cake and committed to taking the fly rod instead of the reel on our backpacking trip. We hiked into a remote area on the North Fork of the Tongue River with “Brookies” aka Brook Trout. About five minutes into fly fishing in the tight area, you could hear me screaming. I hadn’t caught a fish, but instead caught my eyelid. As I pulled the hook out of my eyelid and my husband rushed toward me, I admittedly lost my cool, slammed down my pole and sat down in frustration. Matt wasn’t quite sure “how it was even possible” that I got the hook in my eyelid and returned to fishing. Five minutes later, I was up and back fishing because when things get tough or they get hard, you don’t quit. Take a break, sure. But, if you want to eat, you don’t quit.

My experience with fishing may have started at a young age, but the lessons have never stopped. During these strange times, I encourage you to find a hobby that hooks you, one you never fully master and yet continues to teach you about yourself and life.

Until next time,

Emily