Americans are busier than ever in their daily lives with work, family, errands, and so many other endeavors that keep us on the move. The value of a pastime that brings a quiet and still space into our minds is truly priceless. I have fished my entire life, and I began fly fishing at age 17. Fishing has always brought me inner peace and mental clarity like nothing else can. Whether you are an aspiring angler, a beginner, or have a lifetime of fishing experience - I know that you, too, find peace in the shelter of this sport.
My childhood was spent in the woods and on the waters with my parents in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. My mom and dad brought me up to know these places as my friends, and to find solace in their space. Reading water, paddling a canoe, putting a worm on a hook, wearing sunscreen, identifying tree and flower species, and fishing farm ponds, local creeks, and rivers – these were the languages of my youth. This “toolbox” they gave me is one that I have carried with me everywhere I’ve lived, studied, or traveled, and one that I add to as I go.
Photo by Lila Warren
I attended boarding school within the Washington, D.C. beltway. There, I was the 1% - but not in the way that the media presently defines the term. I was one of just four students in the entire school who had a fishing pole! On a Saturday afternoon I could walk down the hill to the school pond with my box of jig heads and rubber worms, cast a line out, and reel in a bass or bluegill. Being able to take time to be quiet, watch the water, and focus only on fishing brought me peace amidst the pressures of boarding school life in an urban environment.
Photo by Tyler Hern