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Post Column: Bonds formed while fishing can last forever

Excitement gets in the way of any feeling of tiredness after the short-lived sleep is interrupted by a sounding alarm, displaying a green, illuminated “5:30.”

Pop out of bed, quickly get dressed, brush your teeth, grab some snacks and head to Mosquito Lake.

My best friend Chris and I first began fishing together five years ago, and this was the start to our Saturday mornings every summer for almost two years. We would meet at the lake, set up and begin fishing just as the sun began to appear over the glasslike surface.

I had one rod and reel and very little tackle; the same went for Chris. Nevertheless, during these two seasons, we taught each other the basics of how to fish. This was done mostly by trial and error. Some things we did would work and most would fail. Our inexperience and cluelessness resulted in many fishless days, but the most important aspect of our trips was never lacking: a genuine camaraderie.

Fishing builds relationships that are never broken. Many make those connections with a grandfather, father, mother, uncle, or in my case, a friend. 

When I ask someone if he or she likes to fish, they will rarely reply, “I used to fish as a kid,” but instead will add, “I used to fish as a kid ... with my grandfather.” The connection with that person lasts far beyond the days spent on the water.

In my experience, these red-eyed outings to Mosquito Lake built trust, understanding and respect between us. We shared our knowledge and opinions of almost everything, which resulted in the development of a meaningful friendship. Fishing was something that connected us as friends — the same way people feel connected with the ones who took them fishing as a kid. It’s safe to say a big part of who I am today is attributed to fishing.

Along with the character building that is learned and experienced through fishing with a friend comes strong memories. Some of these include the times when we caught a lot of fish or when I caught the biggest fish of my life, but most are memories of fishing together and sharing the moments.

This, I think, is why so many people love fishing today. We hold on to the bonds that were created from the beginning, sometimes many years ago. It seems universal that every fisherman can attribute his or her love of fishing to someone else.

The goal when fishing is to catch fish, but the result — whether fish are caught or not — is always rewarding. The lure of catching the big one is what baited me in, but relationships that come from fishing are what truly got me hooked from the start.

Ryan Dentscheff is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University, the president of the Ohio University Anglers Association and a columnist for The Post. Send him your fishing stories at Ryan

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