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Why Do We Fish?

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Did you ever wonder why people go fishing? After a life time of fishing, I have observed five stages of a fisherman’s life: 1) catching the first fish—any size of fish will do; 2) catching lots of fish—the more the merrier; 3) catching bigger fish—bragging rights; 4) catching fish with lighter tackle and by fly fishing—it’s the challenge that counts; 5) catching fish is not as important as the experience. Applying these five stages to my own life, I note: 1) catching blue gill in a river near the farm where I grew up in the 1940s; 2) catching perch, bass and walleye in Lake Erie in the 1950s and 1960s; 3) catching black marlin and tuna in Australia in the 1970s; 4) catching salmon in the 1980s and sailfish and tarpon on a fly in the 1990s; 5) now, as an experienced charter captain and fly casting instructor, teaching others how to fish rather than catching them myself.

Initially all of us go fishing to catch fish, but as I have pointed out, it is not the entire story. Why would people pay a sizeable charter or guide fee to catch fish that they could purchase at the fish market for pennies on the dollar? Being with family and friends, enjoying the scenery, learning how to fish and quality of the experience also rate high on customer surveys. Fly fisherman often rate the challenge of hooking a fish on a fly at the top of the list---the experience more than the catching.

There are also those who own their own boat, but once again the cost per pound of each fish caught is likely higher than the fish market. And what about those folks that spend hours fishing from shore? I have witnessed fisherman in Florida lined up on fishing piers and waiting hours for a bite, why are they there? Part of the answer is that all people that fish don't move beyond stages 1, 2 or 3 and that is ok too.

I think there is another factor, harder to define but perhaps most important---the spiritual experience. A connection with God's creation. If you search Google for "Quotes about Fishing", you will be amazed at the number you will find. One of the best known is by Henry David Thoreau, "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after". How about one from Dennis Blue, "If you wish to know a persons true character, take them fishing". The movie, A River Runs Through It, helps explain the almost religious experience many of us have about fishing.

Please let us know your thoughts, why do you go fishing?  

A PLACE TO DISCUSS THINGS THAT MATTER

Posted on November 26, 2018 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

My early years on the farm, high school and college passed quickly. They were great years, experiencing what life had to offer, no worries expect where my next dollar was coming from and playing baseball. I received a scholarship from Michigan State University in 1951 and my dream of becoming a professional baseball player was well on its way when a major life changing event occured. Following my sophmore year at MSU, I was drafted into the US Army. It was then I began to realized life was more than fun and games. My goal of playing professional baseball had suddenly been interruped, or had it? As it turned out  I was sent to Europe where I played baseball on an Army team. An excerpt from my book:

"Upon completing my Signal Corp training at Fort Lee, I was assigned to the SixtyNinth Signal Battalion at Camp Roeder in Salzburg, Austria, to play baseball in the European Region. There were five other US military bases scattered around southern Germany and Austria with baseball teams. These teams competed in a sixty-game schedule for the European championship. The season, running from May through September, provided entertainment for the military personnel and for the local communities. In fact, the teams played to crowds of about several hundred to over a thousand per game. During the baseball season, the players were assigned to a Special Services unit, the entertainment branch of the Armed Services, and spent their time playing baseball. In the offseason (October thru March), we were assigned regular duties in the Signal Battalion. Most of the players on my team had been playing professional baseball before they were drafted into the army, and I could see the skill it took to play professionally. Several of my teammates played Triple A minor league baseball, a step below the majors. I was clearly at a lower level than these teammates, but I was undaunted by that realization. It only spurred me on to improve my skills and so I kept my sights on a baseball career when I returned to Michigan State" - Running the Good Race.

After my return to MSU in 1956, I played varsity baseball but a major change had taken place. God had used my time in the Army to come to the realizaion that I didn't have the talent to play major league baseball and if not, what was I to do. My focus changed from baseball to academics. I earned a degree in Economics, went to work for Ford Motor Company and embarked on a life trejectory I could not have imagined a few years earlier. The passage of time has a way of smothing out the bumps in the road. Looking back over the years it is amazing to see how God has used difficult and seemingly insurmountable events in my life for my benefit. The question is not will we have difficult times in our lives but how we deal with them.


A PLACE TO DISCUSS THINGS THAT MATTER

Posted on November 15, 2018 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)


The topic of my second blog is based on the last photo in my Photo Gallery, a time span of eighty-two years from the first photo. Age has a way of putting things in prespective. Dottie and I were at the 2015 Manistee County Sport Fishing Association annual banquet. The date was May 4, 2017.

An excerpt from my book, Through the Eyes of a Fisherman---"Following dinner and a speaker, the program turned to announcing the award for “Unprecedented Commitment to the Manistee County Sport Fishing Association.” The award, given periodically to recognize outstanding service to MCSFA, was an honor to receive. No one, other than the nominating committee, knew the name of the person who was about to receive the award. Kevin, the master of ceremonies, read through the list of achievements of this year’s beneficiary. Catching large salmon, fishing internationally, catching peacock bass in Venezuela—wait a minute, that sounded too familiar. I looked around the room, all eyes were turned on me, as Kevin completed the list of achievements and then looked at me and said, “Congratulations, Denny, you are the recipient of the Unprecedented Commitment Award.” I was totally surprised and humbled as I gave a few extemporaneous remarks of how grateful and blessed I have been to be part of the MCSFA and to have met so many fine people over the years. On the way home from the banquet, I asked Dorothy, “How did Kevin get so much information on my fishing background?” She replied, “You gave it to Luanne. Don’t you remember when she called a couple of months ago and asked you to send information about your fishing experiences so Grace (my granddaughter) could write a class report?” Yes, I remembered and had to admit I had been had by my own clever daughter and “scheming” wife!"

Of course, I was proud to receive the award, but the point I want to empahsis is how quickly the years go by. Don't let a day go by without asking yourself, "am I doing my best with my God given abilities?" It doesn't matter the task, give it your best. It's not all about fame and forturne, its also about the lives you touch along the way. "Lord teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of widsom" Psalm 90:12. On a posiitive note, I have heard it said that every day of fishing adds a day to your life!


A PLACE TO DISCUSS THINGS THAT MATTER

Posted on November 9, 2018 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome to my blog. From time to time I will post short stories behind the many photos in my Photo Gallery, I think you will find them interesting. Browse the photos and if you see one that interests you let me know and I will use that for a topic, I didn't number the photos as it takes up too much space on the pages, so just count from the top row, left to right to identify the photo you want to discuss. Also I welcome your comments on the topic of the day and any suggestions you may have to improve our time together.

To get started, I chose photo number 1 (first row, first photo) of me setting on a shock of straw with my granddad, Dennis S. Blue, in 1936. My parents, brother Tom, and I moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to my grandparents farm in 1938 where I spent my young adult life. An excerpt from Running the Good Race describes it best---

"With its possibilities to roam, play and grow up slowly, my parents couldn’t have picked a better place for Tom and me to spend our early years. There were few friends and activities outside the farm to influence us, apart from the radio, and there was little to do in the evening so we read, talked with our parents and grandparents and played games. Nature was our playground. Observing wild animals in the woods, catching frogs, snakes and insects, picking wild berries and mushrooms, we experienced something new each day. Tom and I liked playing in the red barn, hiding in the hayloft and climbing to the top of the silo on a metal ladder attached to the silo. On a clear day, we could see—as they say—forever. On each end of its roof, the barn had a copper lightning rod that also served as a weather vane and was shaped like a rooster. Tom and I would shoot at the rooster with our B-B guns—you could hear the ping when we hit the target. We had our bumps and bruises falling from beams in the barn and swinging from ropes suspended from the rafters. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. It was while working and playing on this farm that I acquired my love for animals and the outdoors".

Those were great times and memories of a much simplier way of life. Not necessarily better with no running water or plumbing in the house, just simplier. Growing up on the farm is where I learned about hard work and responsibility. It was also during those early years that my faith began to take root and when God placed his hand on a young farm boy that guided him throughout his life. 



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