Of the few things I like taking pride in, being a good fisherman is one of them. And unlike most anglers, I did not grow up fishing. It’s a skill I’m really proud to have learned.

I began teaching myself to fish two summers ago. I didn’t even anticipate it to be something that would really be something of my own, and offer me so much outdoor therapy.

Two years ago, I began feeling really down and alone despite being with a great girlfriend, and enjoying the company of really good friends and roommates. And if theres one thing I’ve learned about depression, it’s to get up and do anything when I begin to feel unwell.

So I grabbed an old rod and reel that I inherited, and began visiting Oquirrh Lake, which was a short drive away from my house. I spent all of that spring, summer and fall at that lake. I took myself there every day and began trying to catch bass. Psh, l quickly realized how hard it was to catch Largemouth Bass, because I got skunked by those fish all summer long. Looking back, it was really god damn pathetic how I did everything wrong, and lost every fish I caught because of a rookie mistakes. But because I learned everything by doing the wrong thing first, I got good at fishing. The next summer was a prosperous summer of bass fishing.

Those years were before I started college, so unfortunately I cant fish as frequently as I used to, but I do go quite often with friends and siblings. For me, fishing way to escape my demons. Anyone who thinks fishing is boring doesn’t realize that its so much more than waiting to catch a fish. It’s being outside. It’s smelling the water. It’s seeing all the other life. It’s being with your thoughts, it’s listening to music. It’s being with friends, smoking weed and soaking up rays.

If you’re reading this from Salt Lake, go to Oquirrh Lake in Daybreak. Even if you dont fish, it’s a really nice place to kick back. And if you’ve been there, tell me your favorite part of the lake in the comments.

Erik Hight