I have fallen in love with fishing once again. Growing up in western ND, I fished the Souris/Mouse and Missouri systems frequently. Indeed, my home was about four houses from the Mouse river. With college and summer camp and other duties, my fishing really fell off about twenty years ago. Then began a series of moves for school and work — Princeton, Duke, Germany, Chicago, during which time I barely fished ever.
Now that I’m back in ND, however, in the same part of the state in which I grew up, I find myself fishing regularly again, as much as my other responsibilities to work and family permit. I’d fish every day if I could. It’s to the point where I had a dream about bait the other night.
I’ve been asking myself why. I liked fishing when I was young, but I didn’t try to move heaven and earth to do it. I think the answer is that fishing really puts me in touch with nature, which I’ve found so very important these days in a way I didn’t as a youth, because back then — I grew up in the 80s and 90s — the Internet was unheard of. I remember it hitting my campus (Jamestown College) around 1993-1994. Nowadays, of course, most of us spend much of our day staring at a screen, and not only wasting time on Facebook or Twitter, but working. Tech estranges us from nature.
It’s thus un-natural, if necessary. I find, then, getting onto (or into, with my waders) a river or lake rips me back into reality. I write about it here, my most recent post at First Things.