Salmon fishing for me is holistic and absolutely the best thing I do for myself. Some look to meditation, breathing, exercise, and religion to soothe their bodies and souls. In the past I have tried to find the thing that makes me complete but had not felt like it was enough until I caught my first spring chinook.
The fish that started my trip down the rabbit hole was a life changing experience. My husband and I decided to go fishing one day at a spot we found in the off season. We were clueless about what we needed to do to catch fish in that hole. Luckily we meet Cliff that day and he was kind enough to help us out. He helped me catch my first spring chinook and gave me a life changing gift.
As soon as I got that first spring chinook in the net I knew that all other hobbies and interests were going to be cast aside. Finally I found the thing that brought my brain, body, and soul together. The kindness of a then stranger and now friend opened the door to the thing I needed most.
My priorities changed the moment I felt the power of that fish. I knew that all of my spare time was going to be devoted to being the best fisherwoman I could be. I make it a point to learn something from each fish and trip I go on. Whether I am learning about fishing or growing personally, I know that I am becoming a better person and fisherwoman.
Physically fishing has made me stronger and sometimes broken. I enjoy knowing that I continue to push myself harder to keep chasing fish. After that first spring chinook I started to notice that I liked myself more and felt beautiful after fighting a fish. I was completely surprised by this because the thought of being covered in dirt and egg cure does not sound like the normal picture of beauty. This new feeling of beauty and strength is incredible.
Knowing that my soul is now shining and my smile is a reflection of what is happening on the inside is a huge gift. I have experienced a lot of loss in my life and I did not shine for a long time. Grief had become a constant and the idea of finding something that helped me heal from all of the sadness seemed unattainable. Finally I had found the once unattainable that continually gives me the opportunity to shine again.