I know it sounds cliche, but some of the fondest memories of my childhood are fishing with my father. I didn’t care if it was on the Potomac River in a canoe, on the shore, or at our local pond (pictured). I found it to be a wonderful learning experience about life, about bucking up and doing things that seamed gross (i.e. gutting a fish or baiting a hook with a bloody worm), as part of the experience of fishing.
The time we spent together wasn’t filled with conversation and television-esque “life lessons”; it was about quiet time, “’cause you don’t want to scare the fish.” We’d split up in the river or along the pond, each picking our spot within eyesight of the other but spending most of the time quietly unless we hooked one. I never really cared if we, I, caught anything; it was simply about spending time outdoors in the quiet.
The image of my father standing on a windswept beach in mid-March, his line cast in the water, a cigar in his mouth, his fishing rod in one hand and a beer in another, soaking in the salt air is an indelible image of my youth and one I’ve since tried to replicate on my own fishing trips along the shore.
My grandfather once shared an old Greek proverb with me during a fishing trip, Ένα αλιευτικό κακή ημέρα είναι καλύτερη από ό, τι και η καλή μέρα στη δουλειά. It means “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” It’s an expression that tells us life isn’t worth living if we can’t enjoy the simple pleasures whether it be fishing or bowling or watching the tide roll in. So, in honor of these warm fishy memories of my father I’ve picked out a few great fishing spots where you can spend a relaxing day.
The Saint Lawrence River Valley – The St. Lawrence River Valley considers itself to be the fishing capital of the world with hundreds of lakes, streams and tributaries flowing into the river across upstate New York. You have a chance of catching large-mouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye and salmon to mention just a few of the species you might be angling for.
Salmon, Idaho – The somewhat isolated community of Salmon was ranked by Outdoor Life Magazine as the #2 Hunting and Fishing town in the US. The rivers in the area are big spawning grounds for salmon which provide an amazing fishing experience as well as wildlife watching (spawning salmon attract bears).
Chesapeake Bay– The fabled Chesapeake has seen better times but the good news is that she’s making a comeback. The population of rockfish is on the way up and spending a day on a small boat pulling in small fish like croker and speckled trout as well as large red drum in one of the most picturesque areas of the country is a wonderful way to spend a day.
Kissimee Lakes, Florida – The chain of lakes that populate the area outside of Orlando feel a thousand miles away from the theme-park-driven economy of central Florida. It’s a great place to drop a line.