I enjoyed school. True, I enjoyed some subjects more than others, but I didn’t enjoy the stress associated with learning. Getting good grades was always on my mind, and I got pretty stressed out. When my grades were bad I’d spend more time in the library, I would get extra help, and I would study with my friends. My approach back then was to work harder.
In one class, nothing I tried worked. When mid term grades posted the “Blame Game” was in full swing. It was the school’s fault, the teacher’s fault, my parents’ fault, my fault, my coach’s fault, you name it. Nothing good came out of that approach, and things were bleak.
One day I just said ‘forget it’ (what I said was much hotter but you get the point). I no longer gave a rip if I failed the class, and since I was good with all of my other classes I decided I would go fishing on Saturday afternoon after my football game.
We won the game and I went to the barn to grab my spinning rod and some spoons. I saw some teal and wood ducks light into the flooded timber on my walk to the pond. I listened to some bull frogs sounding when I reached the water’s edge, and there were small baitfish swimming into the inflow. The sun was warm enough to make me want to forget about fishing and take a nap.
Still, on my first cast I hooked a decent brown trout on a gold Kastmaster. I put on a Roostertail and a few casts later I hooked a small bass. Several casts later I had a small brookie and after that another bass. After releasing the bass I suddenly knew the answer to the question on the homework in the class that I had kicked to the curb. I smiled when I received my next test result.
It wasn’t that the material was too hard, it was that I got too worked up over it. And since then, when I’d get wanged out with school work, with regular work, with anything really, I go fishing. It’s the perfect way for me to chill out and refocus on what is important. I’ve started doing that with my own kids in high school, and they’re studies have improved as a result. If your kids are flat, if they’re having a difficult time focusing, or if they’re high strung, take ‘em fishing. They’ll relax enough in 30 easy casts and the rest will fall into place.