Earlier this week The Washington Times wrote about the famous shad fishing madness that comes to Fredericksburg, VA every April. The Rappahannock River — which is among Virginia’s best fishing waters for spawning shad — is less than half an hour drive from my home, and yesterday evening I decided to join the “shad fanatics” in the excitement of shad fishing. I landed close to 50 fish within 3 hours. I am not kidding you! It is that much fun.
But today when I think of all this shad in the Rappahannock, I can’t help but admire them. Yes, I admire the fish! Hickory Shad “spend the majority of their life at sea and only enter freshwater in the spring to spawn.” [source] It is not unusual for them to go between 200 and 300 miles upriver before they find the perfect spawning grounds, deposit the eggs and go back into the ocean. I also couldn’t help but recall my last trip to the Scottish Highlands where I fished for Atlantic Salmon in the River Ness. Did you know that salmon spawns only in the river in which they themselves were hatched (aka “home river”)? And “sometimes this journey spans up to 2500 miles of open sea” [source] and then hundreds of miles upstream as well!
We definitely have something to learn from the spawning fish. How often do we complain (even if only in our mind), or chose a less painful way (deeming the task to be too difficult, or the river flow too rapid) when the task at hand is completely incomparable to what the fish goes through? I hope it inspires you as much as it does me.