"I get asked why fishing is so important to me...
...simply put, it's just a part of me.
growing up in a small midwest town the outdoors were where we hung out. we played every sport, threw dirt clods, built forts, and rode our bikes but there was something special about wetting a line that got into my blood.
maybe it was about buddies or maybe it was about the fresh air but honestly i believe it was mostly about the memories. today, those trips on our bikes to Six Mile Creek with our zebco 33's and five and a half foot garage sale rods or cane poles tied on them are as vivid as the day we did them. i honestly don't remember about what we caught but i sure remember where we sat, the cold bottle of pop and a sack lunch we brought along with us. no question those were some of the best bologna sandwiches i have ever eaten and it really wasn't about the fishing as much as it was the experience. the time was special and it helped shape me. although i tried to be the best at everything, honestly the only real thing i was best at was being loyal. loyal to my friends and town but even more loyal to humbleness and having the small things meaning more. that was and still is very important to me.
those buddies that rode their bikes to that trickle of water are my same buddies today. honestly, they are not really friends but rather brothers. i didn't have a real brother but if i did i would want them to be like doug and mike. we had each other's backs and still do today. those friendships culminated out of our common interests and that time getting dirty and "blowing the stink off" as our mother's always said.
worms,grasshoppers, crickets and crappie killers made from deer hair and a lead head our baits. line never got changed and we always took everything home we brought with us. "don't be a litterbug" was engrained into our brains through school and our teachers. we always got to go back if we didn't leave a mess. we knew that.
the times at Blakeman's grocery getting a frozen "zero" candy bar, a bottle of "nehi" grape, and sitting on the front step after each trip are what i remember most. kids don't look for trouble where i lived, we looked for fun. to us, the outdoors was fun.
our makeshift forts were made from scraps and tarps, our tackle didn't amount to much and we carried it in a paper sack. when one of us got a new bait like a "mepps" spinner, we all talked about making our own. not sure if we ever did but we had plans.
fishing has never been about winning but rather the storytelling that accompanies it. it's about the time with our dad's at "harold's pond" and the big one most always got away. trutles, muskrats, beavers and dew worms were add-ons and cutting through multiflora rose and sticker bushes was routine. the pond was always better when it was hard to ge to and we knew that.
i get to throw a line all over this country but the best times were those fishing, heading to "hump's gas station" and taking deep breaths of clean air as a kid.
those experiences i will never forget."
"...i'm the dude on the left," Terry Brown