The first light in the sky reaches across the water and casts a soft glow on everything. It catches the drops of water on my kayak as I cut across the glassy expanse. I’ve yet to make a cast, yet to experience the moment of contact with a wild, silvery fish… but that is only the zenith. It starts with daydreams. It unfolds in a sunrise and it plays out on a shimmering canvas that envelopes untold fortune. This fortune is counted in moments, memories and friendships. It lives in stories, photographs and sparkling eyes. This fortune is the kayak fishing lifestyle. For those of us that piece the world together on the water and come home complete, it is a passion that will never wane.
It is different in certain ways for all of us. Our stage could be a winding river, a peaceful pond or a mighty ocean. Our finned objects of pursuit could be a petite trout to rival any work of art or a toothy beast to rival any monster. For all of us though, there is an element of adventure and camaraderie that acts as a strong bond. There is an unspoken understanding between us. There is the rush of adrenaline and the timeless relation of human and fish. There is great respect and gratitude.
So we journey on, driving through the night across state lines. We study maps and strategize. We stop to document the sights and sounds of new places. We drink gallons of coffee and camp in parking lots. We sleep in truck beds, hammocks, tents and even our Hobies. We survive on jerky and granola bars. We constantly smell of fish slime and we are okay with that. We’re okay with all of it. Nobody needs to understand because we do and this our lifestyle.
We experience the same obstacles and hardships everyone else does but we know that our therapy awaits. As that morning sun reflects on the water, we reflect too. We reflect on our life, our love and past sunrises. All the noise goes away and when that first strike pulses down the line and makes our heartbeats rapid, it in the same moment stops time. In that moment nothing else exists except us and the fish. As that tail slips from our fingers and waves goodbye back into the depths we are already thankful.
When we are not on the water our thoughts are. Somewhere in the back of our minds we are afloat. There are signs to remind us everywhere. There are lures dangling from rear view mirrors, there is sand in the carpet and our thumbs are torn and raw. We tattoo fish on our skin and dangle whale bone hooks from our necks. Our bookshelves contain work ranging from Mike Iaconelli to Ernest Hemingway. We can trace our style way back and we can see its future, all the while it constantly lingers. This is the way of fish and fisherman in our age. Our legacy to our grandfathers and theirs. We are quick to preserve it and to be conservation minded. We are quick to share it. We are generous in showing our friends and our children the happiness that can be derived. This lifestyle is broad and diverse but it is indeed one love. It is the Hobie Way of Life.
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