Fishing Is Open—Pay It Forward

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Pat Ahern Fishing at Dawn

This morning I was relieved to see the Province of British Columbia exercising sound, thoughtful judgment when it announced the decision to allow public freshwater fishing and hunting to continue. The Province reasoned that people could still participate in fishing and hunting activities while practicing safe social distancing.

It’s OK to go Fishing!

Allowing people from the same household to go fishing together just makes sense. Individuals who get out on the water are encouraged to practice social distancing, and the rules are supported by practical enforcement tools: The Province implemented $1,000 fines for those who do not follow the guidelines.

Social-Distancing Fishing Techniques

Fishing is an excellent activity that provides people with opportunities to recreate and enjoy the all the benefits of getting outdoors. Those benefits are physical as well as mental and emotional—running the gamut from getting practice tying your gear to sharing your experiences with others by safely sharing stories and photos online. Now is a perfect time to buy tackle and tie up gear. That’s time well spent being creative, experimenting with new ideas, or just cleaning up and organizing your tackle boxes, boats, and sheds.

Speaking of gear, I was so relieved that fishing would remain open that it got me thinking about the need to shift my time and attention towards positive ways to make a difference. In times like these, it is so easy to be overcome by all the bad things happening around us.

How To Pay It Forward

And then I received a timely inspirational lifeline in the form of an email from a good friend with a terrific idea. His company, SeaFirst Insurance in Victoria, has started a program to encourage employees to help local businesses by paying it forward. The SeaFirst Pay It Forward program encourages staff to support local businesses by purchasing local goods or services, even pre-paying for future services. He will reimburse staff who buy locally as a way to provide incentives for his team to help keep our economy strong. That is an epic community-minded idea.

That inspired me today to reach out to our favourite ski shop, Freefall in Sun Peaks, to pre-purchase ski-tuning services for next season. Do I need my skis tuned today? No. But what a great way to do something today that will help a great business stay afloat. We just love the great service and the difference Freefall makes in our ski experience. It’s a great way to help ensure that they can stay viable and be here next season. Pay it forward.

My wife was planning to get new tires for her vehicle, but as we try to limit our trips in public during the COVID-19 crisis, she put it off. But after I shared my buddy’s idea, she called the tire shop. The employee explained all the measures they have in place to keep staff and customers safe, and she’s now booked for new tires tomorrow. Pay it forward.

Buy What You Need and Buy It Now

I have pulled out a bunch of my gear and started tying up tackle. Making a list of items I will need, I will pay it forward locally by supporting my local tackle shops. I’m putting together an order for Pacific Net & Twine, getting boat gear from Harbour Chandler, and ordering a new electric outboard for bass fishing from Cabela’s. My son just picked up some ammo from Gone Fishin’. Pay it forward.

Rather than sitting back and hunkering down, now I have a fun focus preparing for the fishing season. When the weather turns, I will be ready to rock. I also have a lot of boat work to get done, but now have more time to be creative. Sitting back looking at my boat and thinking about little ways I can be more efficient on the water has been really inspiring. I’ve come up with new ways to organize tackle and better places to mount rod holders. Noticing the little things that need attention has been a great way to turn this into a highly creative and productive time.

Sure, my wife probably won’t appreciate me sending shopping lists to my favourite tackle shops, but what a great way to do my small part in keeping our economy moving along. And if my wife is reading this, please don’t fuss over the cash I’m spending. I’m just trying to take lemons and make lemonade.

As a community, we can pay it forward to make a difference. Stay safe, everyone.

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