This past weekend I had the opportunity to go fly fishing for the first time in the past few months. Wading through a mountain stream while trying to catch rainbow trout, I realized that I should write and article about fly fishing. It is a great sport that has health benefits, is relaxing, and has just enough skill-based excitement to keep you “hooked” (pun intended). Enjoy the article!
The Health Benefits of Fly Fishing:
I won’t belabor this point, but fly fishing is a very good sport for people of all generations because of its numerous health benefits. Wading through a river allows you to stay moving and fighting the flow of the water, but without the high-impact on your joints of running. It’s a “soft exercise” that doesn’t damage your joints like running on concrete can.
Furthermore, despite being peaceful and relaxing, fly fishing keeps you active. While a fly-fisherman might look like he is standing still, he is really fighting the current, casting the line(which is a complete upper body exercise), and paying close attention to his fly while mending the line. It requires mental and physical exertion, but is fun instead of exhausting or tiring.
Fly fishing isn’t a quick calorie burner, you only burn about 170 calories an hour while fly fishing. But, it’s a great way to relax while staying active. Rather than sitting at home, you’re out in the woods, moving and trying to outsmart a trout. Also, it keeps your joints moving without wearing them down. It’s great for all ages!
Fly Fishing is Relaxing:
Our current world is fast-paced. It’s full of busybodies and constant mental stimulation. It’s hard to unplug, much less unwind. So, what is a reason why I enjoy fly fishing? It gives me a chance to do both of those.
While I’m wading through a mountain stream, or edging my way to a better spot in a fast-flowing river, I’m not thinking about school or work. Like with writing, I’m living in the moment. Fly fishing gives me the opportunity to stay away from my phone or other responsibilities and just focus on what I’m doing. There is little to no cell reception on the river. Just water, a fisherman, and the fish.
While settling into a rhythm of casting, moving positions, and mending the line, I don’t have to focus on anything else. Just that. It is the main reason why I enjoy fly fishing. I can focus on it and only it, not outside stimuli.
Fly Fishing is full of skill based excitement:
Too many things are easy these days. Technology has made tasks simple and repetition-based rather than skill-based. That means that there are few ways of understanding what it’s like to develop a skill, improve it, and see the results of that improvement. Fly fishing is one of the few remaining ways to do so.
A beginner fly fisher will not catch many fish. He or she might spend hours at it without getting as much as a nibble. I remember those days. I still loved it. The fish can sense when something is wrong, they won’t bite if they can tell something is off. Maybe you plopped the fly down too heavily. Maybe there is too much drag because of the position of the line. Maybe you’re just unlucky. But skill and perseverance can change that. As your cast and mending abilities improve, so will the number of fish you catch. It’s a great experience and a great metaphor for capitalism; the harder you work, the better you do. It’s simply delightful.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a fish rise to the surface and hit your dry fly. It’s hard to do. But when it happens it is so exciting. Working on your cast will let you experience that, and then you will be “hooked.” The skill-based excitement is unbelievably great.
If you can, go fly fishing. If the reasons I gave for why I love fly fishing make sense to you, then you’ll love it too. It’s a great time and a great way to relax while staying healthy.
Read about my favorite books, another great way to relax: https://genzconservative.com/category/book-reviews/
Buy fly-fishing gear off Amazon here:
A Fly rod: https://amzn.to/2ZR5Mbf
Wading boots: https://amzn.to/2vA85l6
Fishing vest: https://amzn.to/2VEzwci