Opening Day: A Fisherman’s Rite of Passage

By Matt Mittan

As I sit here, reminiscing over the countless fishing columns I’ve penned, one theme resonates deeply within me: Hope. Opening Day embodies that feeling more than any other. For anglers like me, it’s more than just a date on the calendar; it’s a sacred occasion, a rite of passage into the heart of why I even fish at all. Opening Day isn’t merely about casting lines and catching fish; it’s about rekindling a connection with nature, embracing tradition, and immersing oneself in the beauty of the great outdoors.

Every year, as the anticipation builds, I find myself eagerly preparing for Opening Day with the meticulousness of a jeweler and the intensity of a doomsday-prepper. Tackle is organized, rods are meticulously inspected, and maps are scrutinized in search of the perfect fishing spot. There’s an undeniable sense of excitement in the air, an electric energy that courses through every angler’s veins as they gear up for the dawn of a new season.

But Opening Day is also an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As I launch my canoe out onto the tranquil waters, I’m enveloped by the serene beauty of the wilderness, my senses awakened by the sights and sounds of nature. The crisp morning air fills my lungs, and the gentle lapping of the water against the boat soothes my soul, reminding me of the inherent tranquility that can only be found in the great outdoors.

As I cast my line into the shimmering depths, I’m filled with a sense of anticipation and possibility. Each tug on the line sends a thrill coursing through me, igniting a primal instinct that harkens back to our earliest ancestors. In those fleeting moments, I’m transported back to a simpler time, a time when our connection to the land was unbreakable, and the rhythm of life moved in harmony with the natural world. It’s the perfect mix of adventure and serenity.

But perhaps what makes Opening Day truly special is the sense of hope that permeates the air. Whether I’m fishing with friends or strangers, there’s an undeniable bond that forms among anglers as we share stories, swap tips, and revel in the joy of an anticipated catch. It’s a reminder that, in a world filled with division and discord, the simple act of fishing has the power to unite us all.
As the sun begins to set on another Opening Day, I will find myself filled with a profound sense of gratitude – of this I’m sure. Gratitude for the opportunity to immerse myself in the splendor of nature, gratitude for the camaraderie of my fellow anglers, and gratitude for the timeless tradition that is Opening Day. For me, Opening Day isn’t just a date on the calendar; it’s a celebration of everything that makes fishing not just a hobby, but an allegory for life.

So as I pack up my gear and head out, I will carry with me the memories of other successful Opening Days, knowing that no matter what the future holds, I’ll always have the memories of this annual tradition to look back on—and hold hope that I will have many more to come. Because like I said, for anglers like me, Opening Day isn’t just a day; it’s a state of mind—one that fills our hearts with joy and our souls with a deep, abiding appreciation for the beauty of the natural world – and reacquaints us with hope.

Matt Mittan is owner of Serenity Outdoors Guide Service and Owner of BizRadio.US. He also co-Hosts Matt & Michele Outdoors, an outdoor themed travel radio show. Learn more at