Pardon the pun, but Jim Swartz truly is hooked on fishing.
It began when his dad taught him how to fish at a young age. And now that Swartz is a father himself, he is passing down his love of the sport to his four children.
For the Ashe, Rafuse & Hill partner, it's more about the way time is spent and the surrounding environment than it is about reeling in the biggest catch. Swartz relishes learning and observing the intricacies necessary to be an accomplished angler.
He spoke to the Daily Report about why he finds fishing so satisfying and the bond it has forged between him and his father.
You have four children all under the age of 9. Do you ever go fishing by yourself anymore?
Yes, I still do. I really have to carve out time for that. I got to go up to western New York earlier this summer on my own and went on a fishing trip up on Lake Erie for a couple of days with some friends of mine who I grew up with in Buffalo.
I go to the Midwest frequently because my wife's family is from up there. So when we go there, I usually get to sneak out and fish on my own, which is nice.
Do you fish for a particular kind of fish?
It sort of runs the gamut, but I fly fish for trout and salmon typically. When I'm around Atlanta mostly I'm fishing for bass up on Lake Lanier.
Do you eat the fish or do you catch and release?
I'm almost exclusively catch and release because my spouse, Mary, isn't that fond of me coming home and filleting fish in the kitchen.
I think really why I do it is the connection with the outdoors. I know a lot of people hike and hunt and do all those different things, but for some reason I've always loved being on the waterwhether it's the boat or wading a river. For some reason, to me, that's the most calming thing imaginable.
You grew up fishing. Tell me a little bit more about that.
When I was a kid my dad was a salesman for a pharmaceutical company so he was on the road a lot. Buffalo, N.Y., obviously gets a bad reputation because of the cold and snow, but it's really a sportsman's paradise.