I had the pleasure of helping with the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited Kids Fishing Day in Cave Spring a couple of weeks ago.  The smiling and excited faces of the kids and their parents are still fresh in my mind.  Go to our web site and look at the pictures and see what I am talking about.  As I was remembering the day, I started thinking that some pretty good fish where caught but the biggest catch of the day where the good memories that those kids took home with them.  The memories of fun with family and friends, the connection with nature with that tug of the fish on the end of their line, memories that they can take with them the rest of their lives.  Fishing builds those kind of memories that I believe help build a place of peace and contentment that one can go to.  The more of these memories, the better the defense one has when times get tough.   A place of peace that they know they can go to physically and mentally to help in tough times.  There are several programs that use fishing as therapy to help people that are experiencing troubles, programs that build good memories and gives a place of peace and contentment to go to.  Casting for Recovery for breast cancer and Fly Fishing for Vets are two that I know of , programs that are supported and sponsored by the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Maybe one could think that for kids a lot of these memories could help them when they are tempted to harmful actions or give them a place of peace to go to when the world seems to be closing in on them and they need to strike back, sometimes with tragic outcomes.  Studies have shown that outdoor activities such as fishing contribute to the overall well being of a child, which leads to less chances of getting into trouble and crime.


     When my son was eleven we went fishing on a mountain stream that we both enjoyed.  He as always wanted to go off by himself, to find the best holes.  I was comfortable with his abilities and the location, so he went one way and I went the other.  After a while I needed to go check on him.  I came around a bend in the stream and was able to watch him without him knowing I was there.  He was sitting on a tree that had fallen over a deep hole.  He wasn't fishing, just sitting on the tree with his legs dangling over the stream.  I watched him for quite a while and by the expression on his face I could tell that he was at peace with the world and content and at peace with himself.  We didn't catch many fish that day but my son still has good memories of the trip as he has mentioned it often in the years since then.


     Parents, take you kids fishing, on a stream, a pond, a lake, just spend time with them.  It's up to you to help build those good memories and build a place of peace and contentment that they can go to and call upon in life.  If I hadn't taken my son fishing that day he would not have had that memory.  He would not have had that place of peace to go to the rest of his life.  "We had a good time, didn't we dad."  And you too can go to that place of peace and contentment and respond, "yes we did.  Yes we did!"


                                                                  Jody Fincher

                                                                23 June, 2014


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