The 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, is credited with the quotation, “To go fishing is to wash one’s soul with pure air.”
Hoover was in office from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression and a time when virtually every family took advantage of any opportunity to feed their family as inexpensively as possible.
I can’t even count the number of stories from my father and grandfather about having a can of worms or grasshoppers in the car along with a rod and reel so they could fish for dinner on the way home after work.
It has been a tradition in our family to teach the kids to fish early in their childhood.
I really don’t want to get too technical about the subject because fishing goes way back in history to what the encyclopedia calls the Upper Palaeolithic period, which began about 40,000 years ago.
I guess if the activity, whether for survival or sport, has lasted that long there must be some positive benefits related to it.
We can pretty much take for granted thatmankind has fished throughout its existence and it still continues to satisfy some vital needs.
In fact there is research that has focused on benefits other than simple physical sustenance and has investigated and documented that the act of fishing can also meet an individual’s psychological needs as well.
There are several published articles about stroke victims who have experienced the benefits of fishing in aiding their recovery process.
Also, people with depression, disability and the ageing have found fishing to be therapeutic to their condition.
I think we all knew fishing was good for our health just by the effect it had on us, but now science can back it up.
A medical journal declared, “Angling can improve the condition of your heart, body and mind. Some of the health benefits of fishing include improving muscle dexterity through reeling and casting; absorbing fresh Vitamin D while outside; and relaxing your mind through unplugging from our high-stress world.
Perhaps there is actually a good idea behind not charging for a fishing license until a child reaches the age of 16.
Young people in the Almanor Basin flock to the streams and lakes to try their hand for a successful day of angling.
The local Boy Scout Troop always asks to go back to the camp locations that offer the best fishing.
Every town that sponsors a youth fishing day is assured of a successful event if only for the crowd of youngsters that appear.
As a parent it is hard to explain that special connection you feel as you spend time with your child and then see that glow on their face as they catch their first fish.
To tell the truth, I think I get more excited when any kid catches a fish than I do when I hook one, but both are great.
It would be very hard for me to believe that anyone who has gone fishing, even a few times, could deny the peace and serenity that comes with being immersed in God’s creation and listening to the sounds of nature that are arguably the most important part of the experience.
It has been said, “Fishing is good for the soul and general well being.”
Personally, I’m not going to leave the state of my soul to fishing, but I certainly do agree with the adage: “The worst day fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
We should never feel guilty about taking time out to do what’s good for us and especially if we can benefit someone else in the process.
Positive and encouraging time spent with a child, whether it’s your own or not, is for me one of the most rewarding occasions I can think of.
It summons a feeling of satisfaction while enjoying the tranquility of being in tune with nature and in many cases the added reward of sharing a tasty fresh fish with your protégé.
So here’s a final quote from me, “Take a kid fishing, that’s a good thing!”