Gone Fishin’

I know it’s hard to tell from my writing, but I can tend, on occasion, to be somewhat obsessive. I know what you’re thinking: “Really, Dude? Someone who seems as laid back, as accepting, as laissez-faire as you are obsessive? No.”

Alas, ‘tis true.

My periodic obsessiveness explains why I don’t play golf. If I can’t be Tiger Woods, I’m staying home. It explains why guitar-playing is a constant source of frustration for me. If I can’t be B.B. King, George Benson, or Eric Clapton, I’d rather use my guitars for kindling wood. It also explains why I don’t fish. If I can’t be John Gierach, Jeff Ikler, or Eric Clapton, I’d rather swim, surf, sailboard, scuba dive, drown, or do anything else in the water, rather than trying to pull fish out of it.

But that’s not to say I don’t recognize the soothing, meditative benefits to be derived from fishing if one happened to have the congenital temperamental predisposition for it. Since I can at least conceive of such benefits, I wondered if I might experience them through the power of my imagination. I wondered if I could mentally transport myself to a scene of stream-side tranquility and communion with nature. I wondered if I could conjure the feeling of landing the big one, of fooling a big bass into falling for my fly, of having him take my hook, of reeling him in, of reminding him of who, after all, is boss around here, and of releasing him back into the cool water whence he was plucked, frustrated and wriggling.

I imagined fishing might be the perfect activity to undertake during the oppressive restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. And all that imagining led me to create this video:

Yeah. Well … so much for that obsession. Maybe I’m better suited for motorcycle jumping.

Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.


  1. Ha, ha! I love this piece, Mark. I think I’ll head down to the river now, but not to fish. Instead, I’ll put my chair in the water, and watch Henley hunt for treasures – only after he takes a few swims and cools off. And perhaps I’ll cool off too.

    Thanks for a lighthearted read. It is what I needed this afternoon.