"The grass is always greener on the other side, but what you don’t know is that grass may be fake. Even though it’s greener, doesn’t mean it’s real.”
That’s one of my favorite quotes these days. There are lots of people out there wishing for different situations right now. Wishing to get out of the house, to travel, to stop homeschooling, to find a new job, to eat at a restaurant, to hang out with friends, to visit loved ones who are ill - even wishing for a break from very long hours caring for others who are sick and need attention. Our situations are all different and so many are dealing with great loss. It’s really hard to pull any positive thoughts out of the most devastating situations, but maybe one of the lessons we can take from this is to have a better appreciation for what is real.
In tough situations like these there are two sides of the coin, and I’ve always been a person who chooses to look on the positive side. When you lose a big fish, you can either dwell on the fact that you lost it, or you can focus on the fact you have clued in on a technique that produced a big bite. I’ve tried to take that approach to daily life during the last few months.
This time of year means running 100 miles an hour for professional anglers, and we can’t think about anything else but fishing the current or next tournament. Like so many others, we’ve had to accept not being “busy” as we normally know “busy” during a “normal” time. With such dramatic change, it’s natural and even easier to think negative thoughts. It takes a lot more energy to be positive, but choosing that path can be more rewarding. I’ve had to take a step back and realize that many of my constant efforts are really insignificant in the overall quality of my life. During this time, I’ve been able to do so many things I don’t normally get to do and I realize these things, which are easily forgotten as routine, contribute greatly to a full, rewarding life.
I’ve fished my home waters this spring for the first time in more than 10 years. I’ve fished with my dad and worked with him to build my tackle room we’ve been talking about for the last two years. He’s a great carpenter and the time I’ve spent working with him has been a real gift. When you are on the road schedules can get so busy, sometimes it’s hard to even connect by phone. Though we can’t all be together, I’ve had more time to just communicate with my family. My grandparents are on lockdown, but I’m calling them to check in more and enjoying the more consistent conversations.
I’ve even enjoyed doing little things like changing my own oil and gear lube in my boat, making different tweaks and doing small maintenance jobs. I really like
doing those things that are sometimes too hard to do myself when I’m on the road. These “little things” have even inspired more content creation with different ideas and approaches to life as a pro angler – maybe even a more human side of the story.
From an angler community standpoint, I think everyone has a sharper realization that, on some level, we all need each other. I’m not talking about anglers only. The leagues need the anglers and the sponsors, the sponsors need the anglers and the leagues, the anglers need the leagues and the sponsors. And we all
need the fans. For me, these circumstances have created a better understanding of those relationships and the reasons our sport is so incredible. The fishing community is not competitive right now but instead, its members are doing their best to take care of the fans, the industry, each other and themselves.
The appreciation for the little things goes both ways. You appreciate the things at home, but it gives you the time to think about those things you take for granted on the road. On the flip side, life on the road can feel like a grind and make you miss home. There’s appreciation to be found on both sides. While the other side might look greener, the side you’re on is what’s real – and that’s where I choose to keep my focus.
As we work toward the official delayed start of our season, we’ll all bring permanent changes with us to the water. I hope to remember this perspective of living in the moment and not just for what’s ahead because those plans are not guaranteed. That green grass in the future is bright, but our reality can be as well. There is as much hope in today as there is in tomorrow.