Keep Your Tip Up

Leslye Leslie // May 15

We all get down and out on occasion, right? Are we ever going to get what we want? Are we enough? If you let your inner naysayer speak, you can quickly find yourself in the black hole of self-doubt and despair.

I have never had such a moment of clarity as this weekend when my husband and I were fishing with a dear friend. We had been trying for years to organize a sturgeon trip with our friend, and things never worked out until this one magnificent and perfect moment.

My husband had already caught a river monster of 6 ft 8 inches in a 150lb sturgeon, so in my mind, we had won the day already. It had taken hours to get that bite, and I just knew that I would be perfectly happy celebrating with him. We do that for each other. Any friend, loved one, or acquaintance needs to know that you celebrate and cheer for them. There is so much misery and negativity in the world, so make sure to give a hug and pat on the back every chance that you get.


As fate would have it, my friend made a call to change locations. He powered up his jet boat and we plowed through the rapids to a very calm and serene spot. We only had 30 minutes before we all needed to hit the road, so a deadline had been established. ONE CAST of that first rod was all it took!  

My friend set the hook and looked over to me with an eyebrow cocked. “Are you ready to fight? This one is yours!” I never expected such ferocity and rage from a FISH!  Kid you not, I shook and battled with that sturgeon for what felt like an eternity. I started to breathe hard, my knees were shaking, my forearms were on fire, and I could feel myself getting exhausted.

“Keep your tip up” was all my friend had to say. He gently coached me that when I got my tip low and allowed the slack in the line, I lost control of the fish. I could lose it all! He simply said, “Reel on the way down but don’t get too low. In order to stay in the fight, you have to keep your tip up and tension on the battle.”

I honestly had to rest a few times and my husband and friends took turns letting that sturgeon run the line and then fight back towards the boat while I stretched and tried to recover. In the end, the sturgeon was amazing!  That was truly a moment that I can never forget.

The funny thing is that I had no idea how closely that simply fishing analogy fits into living life. If you really want something you have to fight for it. It is okay to get down but take a break and keep your tip (chin) up.  Always reel when the fish is resting and take away any power it gained over you. Every little step is doing something positive.

With any struggle in life, I can see this moment and now it resonates in my soul. I encourage anyone reading this to focus on the fight and keep reeling. Your prize awaits, and it is worth it!

What is a hunting or fishing analogy that you have heard or experienced? Share your stories with us!  

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About the Author

Leslye Leslie

Leslye has always been a Southern woman, but learned to love shooting, hunting, and fishing after a cancer diagnosis. She now loves both rifle and archery hunting for big game, waterfowl and pheasant hunting, and fishing the amazing waters of Utah with her husband and two daughters. Leslye is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist with the University of Utah hospitals. She enjoys shooting competitions with her custom CK Arms pistol, and teaching others how to shoot makes her happy! Leslye is a Krytpek Ladies Legion member as well. She loves camping, backpacking, hiking, trail running, and the barbell rack at the gym is her favorite bar. She has taken her passion for hunting to a new level in 2019 by becoming a Hunters Education Instructor with the Department of Wildlife Resources for the State of Utah.