Fishing: When I Was A Kid

Fishing: When I Was A Kid

Have you ever sat back in adulthood and reflected upon the memories of those who have impacted your life? As you read, you will see that I have been reflecting back to my childhood lately and remembering those dear and near to me. Reflecting upon memories of fishing when I was a kid, many people have spent their time and energy passing along traditions and wisdom to me throughout my lifetime. I am so thankful and feel blessed to have experienced this. Today’s world can lead to one’s insanity, however, sanity can be found again as you look back in time and remember how you developed into adulthood.

Fishing was always a big part of my life thanks to my mom, dad, and grandparents. Heck, it gave them a break from the chaos in the summertime. By this I mean, early bedtime for my cousin and I, on our own wishes. We had to be sure to have enough sleep to be up at the crack of dawn and be in the water dressed in our old sneakers and shorts. Every night consisted of the same routine. Grab the Maxwell House coffee can, two flashlights, and off we went into the darkness hunting the illusive night-crawler. We would head into bed, covering our heads, when we figured we had enough to last us all day through the snags, bites, and accidental tree catches. Fortunately, we were overachievers in this department never running out of our favorite bait. The day “of ” had its own routine as well. Of course, we never actually got the sleep we needed due to our excitement lasting the greater part of the crucial hours in the night.  Fortunately, our willpower led us to be up everyday on time. Brush our teeth, get dressed, grab our gear, and off on a fishing adventure we would go.

This was all possible thanks to the love of my parents and grandparents. Passing on the outdoors tradition had been their dream for forever and a day. They didn’t skimp out either sharing so much more than just fishing with me. Thinking back to this time in my life I giggle, laugh, sympathize with them, and cherish them.

My grandpa taught me life lessons as well as how to fish. If it hadn’t rained for a while and my cousin and I couldn’t catch our night-crawlers, he would put us to work. We would do yard-work and maintenance in and around the house earning enough money to buy our bait at the local store. Not realizing it at the time, we learned about hard work, dependency, responsibility, earning money, and even managing money. He was very tactful at his approach being the very intelligent man he was. We would even be responsible for getting the boat ready, making sure all the food and gear was on board, and cleaning out the boat at the end of our summer fishing trips to the dam. These life lessons, along with all the memories, will be in my heart til the end of my time.

My mom was also a huge influence on my love for the outdoors and fishing. No matter how hot, cold, muggy, or buggy it was outside, or how tired she was, she always made the time to take me fishing whenever I wanted. Oh, the fun the two of us had catching trout and small mouth bass out of the creek behind my grandparent’s place. We would use all sorts of lures and baits to catch our prizes. Some wonderful conversations and quality time spent together were derived all from her taking the time to introduce me to the outdoors as. It must have been so hard to manage work, family, and pleasure as she did. Thanks to all of her outstanding efforts, she also highly influenced my love for fishing and the outdoors.

Unfortunate for dad, the fishing trips my mom and I enjoyed led to the cleaning of the fish for him when he got home from work. Another life lesson was taught then: If your gonna catch and keep them, CLEAN THEM! He put up with it for a while, longer than I probably would have. I also drug my poor dad into every single chub whole in every single creek we fished. You see, as long as the tip of my fishing pole was moving from a bite, I was overly content. It didn’t matter that they were just chubs, my adrenaline would fluster at he site of a moving pole tip and anxiously awaiting to find out what was on the other end of the line. Then there was the time in which I lost a little rope key-chain, yellow in color, that I would loop through my belt loop and back through itself as it would then hang from my waist. At least an hour and a half, probably more, was spent looking for that darn key-chain. I couldn’t stand the fact of losing it. For one thing, I really liked it, and the other is I couldn’t bear the thought of losing a gift someone had given to me. Ambition filled my dad. Dad was a trooper. We covered miles and miles of creeks and hours upon hours of days, but it never got old for either one of us. Time and time again, days were spent bonding and forming the tremendous relationship we have today, in those creeks. Each and every person mentioned had their own way of introducing me to the outdoors, teaching me about life itself, and being such a huge influence on my character today. I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

J.D. Arp

J.D. Arp





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