Anglers look at life a little differently than others.
There should be a Twitter strictly for anglers, so that every time a fishing related thought pops into our heads, and every time a normal, everyday occurrence reminds us of our angling life in one way, shape or form, we can quickly share it with others.
Thankfully, we usually don’t have to wait too long before our next trip out on the water. Anglers know how to live, that’s for sure.
View the slideshow to see 10 lessons learned from fishing that many anglers use to help navigate day-to-day scenarios.
Patience will win most battles
In fishing, patience isn’t just a virtue; it’s a damn necessity. You’re never going to catch a fish if you cast your line, wait five minutes, grow frustrated, and reel your line in to change your lure or boat off to another area.
In fact, by doing all of those things, you’ll merely be creating ripples and noise that will send any fish bolting. If you want to land a fish – especially a big, old, and wise one – you are going to have to understand that the waiting game is an important part of securing a victory. This is true in virtually any other part of life as well, from school to work to personal relationships and beyond.
If you can’t be patient, you are going to miss out on a lot of great opportunities and you are going to live your life in an anxious and generally unhappy and unfulfilling manner.
More time can easily be found by getting up early
They say that the early bird catches the worm. The early bird also catches the fish.
Not only are mornings a great time to get out on the water – that’s when the fish are actually biting, after all – but they can also provide an illusion of there being more hours in the day. Too often, people get stressed out and exhausted because they are trying to fit all of their obligations into a finite number of hours.
Getting up earlier doesn’t solve that problem per se – there is still the same limited number of hours to be had – but it does pave the way for a more relaxed and leisurely distribution of the daily agenda. When we’re young, we think that sleeping in is the greatest thing in the world. As we grow up, we begin to recognize the mornings as a time to get things done, and that’s a lesson that fishing can teach early.
Relationships are built from sharing time, not necessarily sharing words
Spouses in happy marriages often remark on the fact that they can spend lots of time together without necessarily needing to talk. From sitting together and reading to sharing each other’s company on a long road trip, camaraderie and connection can sometimes be built through silence just as much as they can through words.
This lesson counts for double in fishing, where generations of parents and kids have ventured out to the river together, only to fish side by side in silence. It’s not surprising that anglers are often less likely than others to express a distaste for “uncomfortable” silences.
There is no stress that can’t be conquered by some quiet time alone
Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all and unwind. Anglers aren’t just good at catching fish, but they’re also remarkably adept at beating back stress, mostly because they know that, even at the end of a long and exhausting work day, the can still head out to the lake for an evening fishing outing.
Life is about the processes as well as the results
A lot of people look at life based on results and accomplishments, whether it’s getting into the right school, landing the right job, getting married at the right age, or whatever. But life isn’t about the results; it’s about the process.
It’s how you reach your life’s big milestones that really makes those milestones mean something. Sure, it’s easy to say that fishing is all about the end result of catching a fish, but the best anglers, the ones who really love the sport, love it for the process – the waiting, the long escapes to nature, the mastery of different baiting solutions, the endless casts – as much as for the endgame.
Law of averages plays a big role in finding success
The “law of averages” dictates that the more opportunities you give yourself to achieve success, the more your chances of success improve.
In fishing, this law definitely holds true. Sure, sometimes you can just pick the right spot at the right time and be rewarded with a cooler full of fish as a result, but most days, the level of your success is going to be directly proportional to how long your line was in the water.
Flexibility and willingness to learn is more important than being right
Look at your fishing rod: it’s strong and durable, but it needs to flex to be able to fight and conquer a big fish.
The same must be true for a good angler, who is confident enough in his or her skills to learn from mistakes or to take lessons from other experienced fishermen. The world could do with more people like that in the workforce.
Imparting your knowledge to another person can make you better
How do you become better at something? Study harder? Practice more? If you’re an angler, you probably know that both of those courses of action can be vital, but you also probably know that the best way to improve your own skills is to start teaching them to someone else.
An experienced fisherman who takes on a pupil not only learns from having to express strategies and fishing methods in words, but also from watching a first-timer experience and learn the art of fishing firsthand.
There’s no use crying over snapped line
Forget spilt milk: the biggest tragedy in an anglers day-to-day life is a snapped line or slipped hook. Losing a fish – especially a big one – is never easy. However, being able to get over it and move on is an important quality for anglers to have, whether they’re on the water or off of it.
Holding out for the right opportunities is worth it
Sometimes, you’re going to hook fish that aren’t really worth writing home about. Some anglers literally take anything they can get, but some decide to toss smaller specimens back in the water and to wait for something better to come along.
Who knows, those small fish may come back around later on and be much bigger and more impressive. This behavior, of “holding out for the right opportunities,” is one that often bleeds over into an angler’s everyday life, and why not? Whether you’re holding out for the right job or the right person to share your life with, there’s something to be said for never settling for less than you think you deserve or are capable of achieving.