Fishing Mentors
Written by James Athey - Team Experience Outdoors   
Saturday, 18 April 2009 17:48
As a group, the anglers of the world are comprised of people of all ages and from all walks of life. For some it is a sport for recreation and relaxation to be enjoyed on occasion. Some are so passionate about piscatorial pursuits that they center their lives around fishing and to others, gathering the finned fruits of nature is a means to live. The techniques employed by anglers to catch fish are nearly as numerous and varied as the faces and backgrounds of the anglers themselves as it seems that everybody has their own way of doing the little things. With all the vast differences most of us have one thing in common. The seed of our love for fishing was planted in us by somebody in our lives and if we were lucky, that seed was tended by one or many mentors as it grew.

I count myself truly fortunate as I have been blessed with many mentors over the years, people that recognized my love of fishing and willingly gave of their time and their knowledge. Foremost on the list would be my father whose patient, tireless efforts to keep me baited up and tangle free were required in Herculean measure because even at the earliest age I just didn’t want to quit… ever. There are many wondrous gifts that a parent can bestow upon their children but the gifts of time and knowledge in the art of catching fish surely rank near the top. Thanks Dad, it meant the world to me.

There are many opportunities to be a fishing mentor besides teaching your own children to fish. There are too many children of others that will, if left untouched, never have their eyes opened to the wonders we fishermen take for granted. To me that constitutes atrocious neglect. If the opportunity presents itself I hope you’ll seize the chance to expose some kids to fishing as someone once did for you. It will enrich the rest of that child’s life exponentially as well as do wonders for your soul.

There are countless adults that are in desperate need of what we have to offer as well. There are those that weren’t fortunate enough to be reached when they were children and those that do fish but would like to fish more or better. Maybe it’s a neighbor that doesn’t know how to bond with his kids or is stressed out from his career. Perhaps it’s a single mother that remembers the fun she had fishing when she was a child and wants to share that with her kids but isn't sure where to start. It might be a fisherman asking questions on a fishing message board about something that you have knowledge in. We as fishermen have a lot to give to the benefit of the world and the beauty is we that we can have fun doing it.

In today’s world of increasing detachment from the natural, it is critical we halt the march away from the true order of things. At the rate we’re going, outdoor skills like catching fish will be as vestigial as our appendixes in a few generations. People have become fixated and entrapped by the plastic, concrete and steel world of our own creation to the point that they are prisoners or slaves to it. Deadlines, power ties, reports, promotions, overtime, traffic, the list goes on; the pressure builds; something’s got to give. It has been suggested that buying the world a Coke is the answer. I offer what I feel to be a better solution. Let’s teach the world to fish!

I read once that the true measure of a day’s fishing isn’t the weight of the fish caught but rather the weight lifted from our shoulders and from our hearts. That being the case it is plainly evident from watching the news on any given day that the world could use some of what we’ve got, a little time and knowledge about the art of catching fish. Be a fishing mentor.
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