Having friends is an important part of life. No, I’m not talking about how many Facebook friends one can amass, or how many people show up to your birthday party. I’m referring to those closest to us with whom we can spend time doing things we enjoy. Whether it be sports, video games, movies, or the outdoors, having companionship and a common interest with someone and sharing that interest is an amazing blessing. One of my best friends is the person who first introduced me to fishing years ago, and to this day, we still find time to get out to the water and get away from things to share the activity we both love.
Fishing really is one of the best bonding activities ever. Where else but the seclusion of a lake or river can you truly just talk and connect with someone? Sure, you can meet for lunch or head out to a movie with your friends, but when it’s just you, the water, and the fish, that’s when the true bonding starts. You don’t have to have deep, heart-to-heart, life-altering discussions each time you hit the water, but I have had some great talks with my buddies on the lake about things we’ve never before touched upon. It’s like fishing has this power to connect people and allows them to be more like themselves than they could elsewhere.
Enjoying a day on the water with your buddies is also a great way to support and grow as friends. By helping each other land fish, assisting with different tasks around the boat, and offering encouragement or advice, the already strong bond you have is only reinforced with each assuring comment or high five after landing a big fish.
Let us not forget one of the main reasons we grab our buddies and head out to the lake: it’s a great way to relax and just hang out. Sometimes gathering around the TV for a football game or starting a pickup game of basketball at the park is the way to go, but there are times when packing a cooler with some food, grabbing the fishing tackle, and hitting the lake is the perfect way to wind down after a long week. Sharing funny stories, giving each other a hard time, and just being yourselves is what hanging out with friends is about and sometimes it’s exactly what we need.
There are times when I want to head out to the water alone, just for a few hours of solitude and reflection, but my favorite memories of fishing are times I’ve spent on the water with friends and family. My first fishing trip, my first keeper, my biggest fish—these are all moments that I’ll cherish forever and what makes them so special to me are the people with whom I experienced them.