Stokes: True contentment is fishing

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Stokes: True contentment is fishing

Published Sunday, February 24, 2013   |  609 Words  |  

A realization came to me as I was preparing for a day on the water. Every move seemed a rush to be somewhere else, and then I thought, of all the activities that have engaged me during my lifetime, a day of fishing bears the closest resemblance to total contentment. Every fishing day is different, a nostalgic repetition impossible to improve and one I wouldn't change even if I could.

Fishing reminds me that the most important things are the wonders of faith and spirit, the beauties of nature and human creativity, and the love of friends and family. These are the things that really matter. Everything else just gets in the way.

I've reached the stage of contentment, but I still have a few reservations. With all things in life, unless it is experienced you really don't know what you are missing.

My main reservation is that I may no longer wish to challenge new things ... and then in the space of the moment, the twitch of my fishing rod punctuates the peace, and I am reminded that every fishing day is a perfect day.

"No amount of artificial reinforcement can offset the natural inequalities of human individuals." -- Henry P. Fairchild


  • Sportsmen's Classic -- The 29th annual Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia on March 22-24. Times: March 22, noon to 8 p.m.; March 23, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; March 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 803-734-4008, email or go to
  • Hilton Head Harbor Wahoo Shootout -- The event will be held April 5-6, with the captains' meeting at 6 p.m., April 4, at Hilton Head Harbor Marina (43 Jenkins Road).
  • Sea Island Fly Fishers -- The club will be sponsoring a casting clinic March 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Islands of Beaufort. Tony Royal's crew of Instructors will be on hand to answer questions, demonstrate the new and assist on casting skills. Barter for trades and sales at the swap meet following the clinic. For more information, email Jack Baggette at
  • Safe Boating Course -- Hilton Head Sail & Power Squadron will be hosting classes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 23 and March 30 at the Hilton Head Boathouse (405 Squire Pope Road). The course covers boat handling, seamanship, equipment, navigation aids, radio use, and more. An optional on-the-water training activity is available. For a full course description, go to, or contact Leslie Gilroy at 843-785-8876 or
  • Tackle Tip

    Many folks are having to make adjustments due to the economy. Outdoor enthusiasts are also finding cutbacks and compromises necessary.

    One way of saving a few bucks is to reverse your fishing line. Larger reels can be expensive to spool and fly lines come with a curse. Instead of paying a premium price for new fishing line, simply remove and retie the opposite end. Most of the line has not been used or stressed and reversing can release a few funds for other needs.