(CNN)In 1853, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal: "Now I go a-fishing and a-hunting every day, but omit the fish and the game, which are the least important part. I have learned to do without them."
Mark Sanford reflects on his comeback from scandal
Thoreau, like many sportsmen, came to understand that fishing and hunting aren't just about the catch, but the transcendental experience of communing with neighbors and nature. In short, it's just good for the soul.
I was reminded of this recently when I went fishing off the Charleston, South Carolina, coast with Rep. Mark Sanford.
Just five years ago, Sanford was Governor of South Carolina, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and a much-touted potential Republican candidate for President. All that changed when the married father of four revealed he'd been having an affair, and used state money to do it.
But what a person does after he falls is sometimes more interesting than the fall itself. And there was no better place to hear Sanford's story than on the water, chasing speckled trout.