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Unfortunately, the above statement is true for me on many levels not just with fishing.  I am addicted to more.  More of many things.  Some of those things are not exactly healthy for me .  As an addict, there really is no rhyme or reason to why I obsess about things.  Fortunately for me , I am aware of my addictions and I have a program I follow to help we with them.  By the grace of God, I have been clean from my more destructive addictions for a number of years now, but if I were being completely honest, I would have to admit that when it comes to fishing, I’m still in active addiction.  Now, I don’t find myself missing work or heading off to fish on a day when I have other things that I ought to be doing, I don’t disappear for days on end without letting anyone know where I am and then showing up as if nothing is wrong.  I am not out breaking any laws and I’m certainly not out poaching fish , but if I were being exactly honest, I’d have to admit to some behaviors that are darn similar to those of an addict in active addiction.

Drug addiction is all about the obsessing of drugs.  You spend 70-80% of your time thinking about getting, using, and figuring out  the ways and means to get more of your drug of choice.  Well let’s break that down a bit with regards to fishing.  First, there is the magazines and websites and all the time spent pouring over the gear and tackle articles.  I must have read some of those articles a hundred times each and still I go back to them, especially the ones about techniques.  I can’t get enough about learning how the pros rig up and fish their favourite techniques. Then there are the websites.  Before I go out, I’ll spend time the day or two before watching YouTube video after YouTube video trying to pick up on some tip that is going to make my day on the water that much better.  Let’s not forget the webpages for all the fishing stores with all of their wonderful gear, all just sitting there for a guy like me to dream about owning and having for myself.  Then after spending all that time figuring and learning, there is the trip to the tackle store in order to refine the search.  Luckily, when I go to my local tackle store, it is full of guys just like me – it’s kind of the same as addicts seeking addicts and surrounding themselves with other people just like them.  Then I usually buy something – anything I can afford at the time.  Sometimes a new lure, or sometimes just some new hooks, but every now and then, I get myself a new treat.  Now, there is a rhyme and a reason to most of my purchases.  Usually, I am only buying gear that I know I will use, but every now and then, I will do an impulse buy.  After spending time at the tackle store sharing and swapping stories and learning about what others are doing with their addictions, I go home with my new purchases and my new knowledge and I begin the readying of my equipment.  I will tie knot after knot, making sure that I am well practiced for when I am on the water.  I want my gear ready for the moment of the first cast and I want options set up and ready to go.  I check the rods and reels, lubricating, cleaning, and just spending time with it to make sure that I am ready to operate it when the time comes.  I organize the tackle I will be using, I make sure that everything I need is coming with me and I set up my game plan, my plan B, and my back-up plan just in case nothing is going the way it’s supposed to.  If I am planning on using roe for trout fishing, I’ll be tying bags the night before.  Tying roe bags can be a bit of a lengthy process so I usually leave it until the last because I know that I can always tie more down at the water.  By now, I will be so excited and worked up about going fishing the next morning, that I can hardly sleep from the anticipation.

So do you see the parallels?  By the time I actually get out to fish, it is almost secondary to everything else that has gone into the experience.  I get off on all of the ritual that goes into the preparation for the using, I mean fishing.  I also notice that the gear and the prepping is like using.  Often drug use means using an apparatus and fishing certainly has a lot of apparatus. Now, I wish that everyone that is out abusing their body with drug use wasn’t because addiction is an awful scourge on society and the toll it takes on your personal and spiritual life is one that not many people will ever recover from.  I wish that addicts could find a much more healthy focus and I believe that there really is nothing wrong with finding a hobby that takes the place of your using.  I don’t know too many people that have overdosed on fishing and honestly getting out and getting some sun and exercise is a positive  thing.  If you are an addict in active addiction, please find the strength and courage to seek help.  There are many clean addicts in programs all across this country that would readily share their experiences with you so that you can get and stay clean.  And, if you are an addict and you’ve just gotten clean, please keep it up!  Find something you love and do that instead

 

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