Fishing gets your otherwise lazy butt out of bed before the sun comes up to drive in tully fog through towns that no one has ever heard of.
Fishing has you angling your tandem axle trailer through the McDonalds drive through at 4:32AM to order sausage mcmuffins. Mcmuffins that on any normal day you would never order, or touch, or eat. But on a cold day, they just sounded kind of good.
Fishing makes you forget to put your jacket on when itís 29 degrees and youíre standing at the Chevron station watching the sky turn gray. Screw it, the truck is warm and youíll be back on the road in 5.
Fishing teaches you to do things in the dark that are hard to do in full sun. Tying an improved clinch knot, figuring out which key is the boat key, backing the boat down the ramp. Flashlights are nice but you probably left it in your other jacket last weekend.
Fishing gives you a 6th sense for water temperature. Who knew the hand could double as a thermometer? It makes you a weatherman and teaches you about the jet stream. When youíre a fisherman Ė wind direction has meaning. Most people donít know what direction is North.
Fishing gives you hunches. Hunches that a morning breeze will die at 9:45am. Hunches that the bass will bite early on the new moon. Hunches that the sun angle right now feels wrong, and harsh, and rough on fish eyeballs. Hunches that the tree up ahead coupled with the wind increase coupled with the bird to the left should make you grab a spinnerbait right now and fire.
Fishing makes you believe in things that are impossible to prove. Luck and fate make their way in to the realm of possibility when you're on the water. Bananas represent a snack to normal people, but watch your partner's face when he sees it.
Fishing teaches you to deal with adversity. Broken equipment, dangerous water conditions, minor crises Ė and sometimes major ones. Falling out of a boat head first in to murky water when youíre 12 years old will make you a little more of a man than you were that morning. Popping up in chest deep water will give you a funny story to tell when youíre old.
Fishing will give you a smack of adrenaline like no other. That hand tremble that and the deep exhale when momma bass slides past the edge of the net. Itís like getting rear ended on the freeway or waking up at night to the sound of a window shattering. But itís the opposite because itís pure fun.
Fishing will find you friends for life. Sitting next to someone in a cubicle is one thing. Sitting next to someone at 67mph in driving hail forms a different kind of bond. So does pushing past the limits of sleep deprivation hoping for one more giant bite. You havenít lived until youíve fished the entire night and watched the milky way turn in to a hard-edged red sunrise. Thatís a time when silence is the language of friendship.
Fishing will find you chewing down a piece of old beef jerky, left hand gripping the steering wheel as you roll past places with names like Pootís Cactus and signs that advertise catfish dinner on Sunday. Right or wrong, driving 20 miles and not remembering one second of it starts to feel normal when youíre a fisherman.
Fishing is more than a hobby. Itís a life and a lifestyle. Itís a chance to live out manís ancient instinct to hunt and kill and drag home. Itís a chance to see parts of the world that most people arenít looking at any more. Itís a chance to be a part of the fabric of nature when way too many people are just trying to block it all out. Isnít fishing cool? I friggin love it.