For many years I took for granted having family or friends to go fishing with. Then a recent conversation with an older angler brought me back to reality.
He was sharing how tough it is for him to go fishing now – especially since a good fishing buddy passed away last year.
He’s not the only one. Several older anglers have told me how devastating it is for them to lose one buddy after another until they no longer have anyone to go fishing with. They say it leaves them lonely and unable to do the things they love to do. There are more of these folks out there than I ever imagined who just want to go fishing with another kindred soul.
The guy I took out awhile ago told me about how lonely it is for him and that no one in his family fished, so he had to depend on trying to find someone to go with. He was a tough guy who had been in the military. The now-gaping hole in his life left him feeling desperate for fellowship. He missed the outdoors, the wildlife and all the raw beauty that I tend to take for granted. I could tell he was depressed.
It made me realize that if it was all taken away from me today, it would be a heavy blow. No more time on the water with good friends, just savoring the experience and a chance to exult over a good catch. Being able to just be who you are with someone else who also deeply loves what you do is something that’s hard to measure or explain.
Many of these folks are from the “greatest generation” and it’s not in their nature to complain or throw a fit if they don’t get their way. I think it’s easy to discount the suffering these proud people go through since they’ve lost something dear to them – but many around them don’t understand why.
Factors go beyond losing a fishing buddy to include physical and health restrictions, mobility issues, a limited fixed income and safety concerns, any one of which can restrict the options these folks have. Add in the diminishing list of buddies to go fishing with, and their world begins to shrink. No wonder they feel hopeless and isolated at times.
Maybe you know someone who’s in a spot like this and can help them make new contacts and friends who can turn the tide. We all need help, hope and to keep our dreams alive.
Never give up!