Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A New Hobby

Not long after turning 30, I started to get kind of antsy.

I had a harder time with 31 than I did with 30. At that point I started talking about the desire to try new things in my life and find things I'd enjoy that would somewhat take me back to my roots.

Perhaps that's why I get a bit misty-eyed every time I pass a horse.

I went shooting with my brother and dad and to the batting cage with my dad and best friend Tracie on my dad's 60th birthday in Oct 2010. That really got me even more fired up for more new stuff. It was all soooo cool and a great return to my roots!!!!

Now here's the thing... I've talked about wanting to try something like fishing for a while. For some reason it wasn't something we did growing up, but since I'm not near the woods and can't attempt hunting, playing capture the flag with my cousins, etc, I'm trying something I didn't do as a kid but that still takes me back to the country-like living with being outdoors, by the water, etc.

I'd managed to talk about it just long enough that last Fall my dad bought me a starter's fishing book. He also programmed his phone to remind me this May to take a class at a local outdoors store that would be holding classes. While those classes were cancelled for the year, I did learn of their Spring fishing weekend a few weeks ago. I'd been mulling over whether or not I'd be able to pop in to give it all a whirl.

At this point, I knew I wanted to try something new and outdoors-y, and I knew all I had to do was briefly mention it to my dad before he started pressing the subject and encouraging me to go and give fishing a real try.

After all, it's something he's always wanted to do but never did {and is now enjoying living vicariously through me!}.

So I went to L. L. Bean's big Spring fishing weekend where they had seminars, a big sale, and so on. I watched a guy do fly-tying for a while and he really helped me get into it, despite that it was overwhelming. I kept telling him and the other guy standing there that I was a beginner, but it didn't stop them from using a gajillion terms I didn't understand.

I admit I was thankful when I got to walk away from that craziness. Talk about baptism by fire - yipes! As a beginner I quickly learned starting with fly fishing would NOT be the way to go, no matter how much the guys at work talk about this as if it's the ONLY way to fish.

That ain't happening... at least not to start!

After doing some exploring and asking questions at L. L. Bean, I walked away, thought some, and I called to check with my dad to see what he thought and we had a good long talk about it. He said if I didn't end up liking it, he'd even buy the stuff off me. I'm doubting that'll happen, but still it's good to know, thanks dad!

So I went back over, determined to proceed before they closed at 6 for the night. I had an hour, so I thought I was good. But then Carl, their mega-into-it dude started teaching me everything he could in an hour. This guy was more my style as he slowly walked me through teaching me about the spin rod, helping me get the line into the rod, taught me how to tie several types of knots, tested me and had me keep redoing them, and finally ended with a parking lot lesson on how to cast. We barely wrapped up before 6, but thankfully they didn't mind me hanging past closing.

I seriously love that place. When I'm bored or homesick, all I have to do is walk around that store.

I was super excited but my head nearly wanted to explode by the time it was done.

But I still got to talk to my favorite manager there, Michelle, who helped talk me into it last Fall along with my dad, and she helped finalize my purchases, talked to me about going fishing with group outings there, etc. So I felt better and determined.

Next up, learn what to do after catching the fish since all they did was teach me what to do leading up to that point. 

And I bought some goods to get me started! :) Whoop whoop, sooo excited!!!!

To answer some questions I've been getting on Facebook... yes, I'll gladly touch the fish, gut them, do whatever, I don't care... but since around here the only recommended form of catching fish is catch-and-release {too much gook in the water and what not - and yes "gook" is the technical term....}, I think I'll be waiting a long time before I get to explore all that. Besides, I'd probably manage to leave a bunch of bones in there, which would be interesting but not fun for whoever is with me eating it! 

Tim is convinced I'm going to hate fishing since I hate watching baseball because it moves sooooo slowly. Trust me, there's a difference. And no, he does not want to go with me, not interested at all. 

I'm determined to love it but I was hesitant to get my fishing license for some reason. 

But this past Friday night after work I decided on a whim that I just had to do it. 

Now I'm legit! Look out fish!!!