Casting for Life Lessons on The French Broad River

Matt Mittan, showing off a recent Smallmouth Bass caught from the banks of the French Broad River, in Asheville, NC.

By Matt Mittan

Let’s take a stroll by the French Broad River in WNC and explore how fishing from its banks can teach us a thing or two about life. This river, with its twists and turns, slow moving deep stretches and rocky rapids, green pathways, and handy boat launches, is like a natural classroom where you’ll learn about adapting, being patient, connecting, and growing – all while trying to hook into one of its many trophy species, which include Smallmouth Bass, various Trout, Largemouth Bass, Catfish and even Tiger Muskie.

The French Broad River isn’t your ordinary fishery. It’s like a puzzle that keeps changing its pieces. One day, it’s calm and clear, showing you everything beneath the surface. The next, heavy rain runoff from the mountains can turn it into a wild, muddy ride. Lesson number one? Adaptability. Life throws curve-balls, and just like changing your bait or gear to match the river’s mood, you need to adjust to whatever life throws your way.

Imagine you’re on the riverbank, casting your line into the water. You might use a flashy lure to mimic a tasty snack for the bass. You might tie on a tiny dry fly and delicately land it in the eddy of a river stone seeking an elusive Rainbow. Sometimes, you get a bite right away, and other times, you might work all day for just one strike. This is where lesson two comes in: patience. Just like in life, not everything happens in a flash – or the way you timed it. You’ve got to wait for the right moment, be patient, and let things unfold at their own pace.

But the French Broad River is more than a fishing destination; it’s a place to connect with nature and others who love the river’s magic. Life works the same way. It’s not just about your destination; it’s about the journey. The sounds of birds, the rustling leaves, the laughter of children playing, and the conversations with fellow anglers create memories that color our experiences. Lesson three? Connection. Life’s better when we share it with others.

Here’s the kicker: the French Broad River keeps changing, just like we do. It’s been flowing since long before any humans fished it, yet it’s never the same. And that’s true for us too – we’re always growing, evolving, and learning. So, remember, whether you’re casting your line or navigating life’s twists, growth is a constant companion. And just like you can’t stop the river from being what it is, neither can we stop nature from shaping and shifting us along the way. So don’t fight it. Go with its flow. Accept that each person is being shaped by currents themselves too. Show grace.

As you stand there, casting your hopes into the river’s twisting ebbs and currents, keep these lessons in mind. Adapt to change, be patient, connect with the world around you, and embrace the growth that comes from the journey. Life, much like fishing on this riverbank, is about learning from each experience and reeling in those moments that make you feel alive.

Matt Mittan is a Licensed Guide in NC and is Owner of BizRadio.US, an online commercial talk radio station devoted to entrepreneurs and community businesses. He lives in Asheville, NC.