Now that my spring chinook season is over, I have realized that my house is a mess and my body is sore. I have been fishing hard for the past year with not many weekends off. Between working full time and fishing three days a week I have not had much time to do anything. Looking at all the tackle that is in piles, a dirty boat, and a house that needs to be organized has made my decision to take a break fairly easy.
My mentor and friend, Brown Bear, has always stressed to me the importance of taking a break from fishing. He told me that he needs to take a break from fishing that is more than a weekend or two to make it something special again. I had never taken this seriously before but my body and personal life were screaming at me to take a break. His advice was easy to ignore for a few years because I could always justify one more trip. Fishing is fun and why would I not want to do what I love as much as possible? In reality it had become such a normal thing to do that I was missing out on some of the beauty and magic of the experience.
Once I decided to take a break it felt very strange to stay at home and do “normal” weekend things with my husband. I was constantly checking Facebook and staring at other people’s fish pictures with envy. After the first two weeks of my break I relaxed some and was able to stop staring at fish pictures. The house was finally in order and I had had enough weekend experiences at the grocery store to make me swear to only go weekday shopping. Fishing was finally on the back burner but I had started to miss watching the sun rise from the riverbank. Early morning conversations with my husband about nothing and everything were sweet moments I had started to take for granted. I was beginning to miss some of the most wonderful parts of fishing that had just become routine for me. The sounds of the water and jumping fish had become background noise.
Fishing was still special to me even when I was tired and falling behind on responsibilities. This break helped me realize how special the rituals surrounding fishing and fishing it’s self really were to me. My mind and body were ready to get back on the water and appreciate all that fishing brings to my life.
After a three week break I asked my husband if he wanted to go for a float on some new water. He quickly answered yes and was very excited to get back to fishing. New water is always an adventure and it was the perfect way end my break from fishing. Unfortunately we only hooked sucker fish on this trip and got some pretty amazing sunburns. It is good to be back to fishing and enjoying all that it brings to my life and family.