A Functioning Fishaholic Explains the Natural Connection between Camping and Fishing

Throughout April, I felt bombarded with news about Trout fishing season; every interview with a Trout fisher I heard or read oozed with excitement to wait in line and get a spot on the lake. It sounded a lot like camping enthusiasts I know who get ready for that first spring weekend where the camping tent can come back out. To get a better understanding of this, I turned to a blogger who loves both fishing and camping. A self-proclaimed fishing addict, Matt runs The Functioning Fishaholics website, where he readily expresses his love of the outdoors and the fishing experience, Here, Matt lets us in on the amazing connection with nature that comes from a fishing-camping trip.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Matt and I am a Functioning Fishaholic.  No really…  I run The Functioning Fishaholics web site.

I’m married, I have two dogs, I sometimes sing along with the radio in the car. For the most part I’m a pretty normal guy, except for my little fishing addiction.

How did you first start fishing?
While I’m not sure the exact age I started fishing, I can say that one of my earliest memories was the time my mom put a bluegill I caught down my diaper.

My mom’s from northern PA (Potter County), I guess stuff like that is normal up there…

What is your favorite type of fishing and why?
The kind that happens when I’m supposed to be at work…

I enjoy conventional tackle fishing, fly fishing, bait fishing, ice fishing, and I’m going to try salt water fishing for the first time this summer.

Fly-fishing is really starting to grow on me.  There is an extra element of challenge in tying your own flies and using them to fool fish.  I also find fly-fishing alone to be one of the most peaceful experiences one can enjoy

What are your favorite fish to catch and why?
My favorite fish to catch are wild Brown Trout.  Although I’ve been outsmarted numerous times, catching a nice wild Brown on the fly every now and then always brings a huge smile to my face.

What about fishing makes you love it?
Fishing is my therapy.  Some people may meditate or practice Yoga; to me, nothing is more relaxing than being on the water looking for fish.

Fishing is always a puzzle.  Finding – and hopefully catching – the fish can be an intense mental workout.  I also love figuring out puzzles, especially outdoors!

Did fishing or camping come first for you and when did you start combining the two?
This is really a chicken or egg type question…  You’d have to ask my mom.  I can honestly say I’ve been doing both since well before I can remember.  I can’t really imagine camping without my fishing gear.

What do you enjoy about a camping-fishing trip that does not come when you are enjoying one of the activities separately?
While I don’t normally keep many fish for the table, I enjoy eating them while I’m camping.

There is an amazing synergy between camping and fishing.  The idea of living outdoors, catching your own food, existing completely within Mother Nature’s bounty… It gives me chills.

In the next few years I’m going to start kayak fishing.  My dream is to go on a multi-day camping, kayaking, and fishing trip.  I don’t think it gets much better than that.

When you’re on a fishing trip, do you rely on your fishing skills for dinner?
When camping sure.  Most other times I’m a catch and release kind of guy.  If I do keep fish it’s mostly stocked trout or non-game species like Bluegill.

No offense to those who fish for food, but we all need to be responsible stewards of our resources.  Keeping only what you need and whatever is most plentiful in your area will ensure there more than enough fish for everyone to enjoy!

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