During this time of year when we pay extra tribute to our mothers and fathers, my thoughts turn to the fond memories of my childhood and our various family fun activities. I also think about how these early experiences eventually brought me to discover my passion for kayak fishing.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

While my parents were making sure that my five siblings and I were exposed to art, music, ideas, cultures, literature and other intellectual horizons, they also felt that play and the discovery of our natural world were equally important pursuits. All of these things helped shape my lifelong interests and my well being.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

I am so appreciative of the many weekends we spent fishing and playing at the beach. Fishing was not the end all; it was just part of the good times. I still smile at the smell of campfires and the sweet simplicity of our outdoor trips. Oh, the delights of discovering the secrets in creeks and under rocks and marshy nurseries. I am thankful for canoe trips that took us around bends that we hungered to see and the walks in the woods that were much more than just walking. How I loved getting down to eye level with bugs and plants and dirt and observing how the world worked. I am grateful that my parents allowed the myriad of pets that taught us responsibility and compassion.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

Those feelings of accomplishment, autonomy and adventure that we all crave, especially as we are growing into independence and forming our own identities, are often formulated in outdoor pursuits.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

When I had my own child I was determined that she also have the exposure to the wonders of the outdoors. Our experiences together in nature were so good for both of us, just as it was for me as a child. Through our play the importance of caring for our environment and our resources became a natural given.
When we finally got kayaks our world expanded greatly! Unlike the old, heavy family canoe, we could load and launch the kayaks with ease. Shore fishing turned into wider and more diverse venues. Our kayaking adventures took us to further destinations and greater independence whether the trips were solitary or in groups. We paddled and fished and photographed and camped and found our bliss.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

Those early outdoor memories come flooding back to me each time I go out in my Jackson kayaks. I am at once an explorer, a brave adventurer, a scientist, an observer of life cycles, weather patterns, animal behavior, and I am a part of nature. I’m reliving those wonderful days of discovery, finding sanctuary on the water and realizing a healthy perspective of life’s pressures.

So, when I am asked,
“How did you get into kayak fishing?”, the answer is that it took a lifetime of living and piecing together what I love and the happiness I pursue to find this practically perfect activity.

Kayak Fishing and The Great Outdoors: A Parent’s Influence

Here’s to many more years of the pursuit of happiness in my kayak! Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, for playing such a big part in providing us such great opportunities to flourish and find joy. That’s quite a legacy.

-Jean Wilson
Jackson KayakFishing Team