A friend texted me in response to a picture I posted on social media of me holding a 20-pound salmon. It said, “How can you hold that slimy thing?” I haven’t always been so found of holding slimy things. In fact, I didn’t start fishing until I was 35 years old. Newly divorced, I met a man who said he had a fishing boat. I had always wanted to fish but never really had the opportunity. I asked him if he would take me fishing sometime. I am usually not so forward being raised to believe a woman should never ask a man out on a date. However, before I knew it, the question flew out of my mouth.
Our first fishing venture took place at Crane Prairie in Central Oregon. It’s a beautiful mountain lake loaded with trout and bass. My first cast resulted in a three-pound bass. I was hooked! This fishing thing is so easy and fun! Then he told me I had to unhook my fish, hold it up, and pose for a picture. I didn’t even know how to hold a fish. I tentatively grabbed the thing by the lip as he instructed and immediately dropped it. I tried again, but the fish kept flipping out of my hands. I thought I had finally won the fight and lipped the bass between my thumb and forefinger for a picture and held on tight. I could feel its tail begin to move and gain momentum flipping back and forth. I freaked out, threw the fish up in the air, and watched it land directly in the live well.
Twenty-four years later, I’m still fishing. I married the man who took me on my first fishing trip, and we have been fishing ever since. We belong to a bass club and do tournament fishing. We built a home by the river, so we can go fishing any time we want. My friends think it’s strange that I love fishing so much. I am not like the girl they once knew. They often question why I like it and if I ever tire of it. Never.
What I love about fishing is getting out on that water at sunrise and appreciating God’s beautiful creation. I love thinking of nothing else but catching a big fish. I forget about my house chores, my work, and my calendar for the week. It relieves my stress and reminds me of what is important in life – love, family, nature, and peace.