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There is a wondrous simplicity to fly fishing that yields great peace. The beauty of the environment, connection with nature, exercise, and thrill of the catch provide a sense of wellbeing like none other.
I first witnessed the benefits of fly fishing in my early years when lifelong memories were just starting to form…
The fly line whipped around in the air just over my father’s head and out over the water. I don’t remember a single catch. I only remember the rhythmic movement of those casts. Though I wasn’t fly fishing myself, I shared in the experience.
Let’s look at the physical, mental, and relational benefits of fly fishing that improve quality of life.
Fly Fishing Promotes Physical Fitness
Fly fishing doesn’t always involve wading in a river though it’s what we typically envision.
Fly fishing is an angling method. You can stand on land, in the water, or utilize a fishing kayak, fishing float tube, or other boats.
No matter how you fly fish, the subtle yet constant movements will give you’ll a low-impact aerobic workout that at minimum includes casting, reeling, and hopefully landing a good number of fish.
Let’s look at some of the physical exercises that accompany different fly fishing styles.
In a River or Stream
Balance and coordination along with leg and core strength are developed when fly fishing in a river or stream. Careful footing and stability are required when wading over slippery rocks in moving water.
Hiking may also be required to get to your fishing spot.
From a Fishing Float Tube
With a fishing float tube, you might be using the tube’s backpack straps to hike with your tube to a remote fishing spot. Once in the water, you’ll use your flippers to paddle to that perfect spot.
This fly fishing from a float tube will provide a great aerobic workout that incorporates your legs, core, and arms.
We have you covered if you want to learn about fishing from a float tube.
From a Fishing Kayak
Unless you have an inflatable fishing kayak you probably won’t be hiking into your fishing spot like you can with the float tube. You’ll unload your kayak at the put-in and paddle off to your fishing spot.
Though still aerobic, fly fishing from a kayak can be more strenuous than fishing from a float tube.
You’ll be working your arms and core while paddling to your fishing spot. Once there you might fly fish from the comfort of your seat or you might stand up and fish.
Yep, if you weren’t aware, you can stand up and fish from many of today’s fishing kayaks. You’ll work your legs and core as you develop a greater sense of balance and stability standing up.
Fly Fishing Improves Mood
Fly fishing incorporates nature, water, physical activity, and often fellowship with family and friends. These decrease stress and elevate mood by lowering the body’s stress hormones like cortisol and raising mood-elevating hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Want a natural high that will provide an escape from the distractions of technology and the stress of everyday life?
Feeling drained and want to recharge?
Need to let your thoughts settle?
Go fly fishing.
Fly Fishing Improves Social and Familial Bonds
Fly fishing with friends, family, and loved ones can be a great bonding experience. It’s not just for adults either. Kids can fly fish right alongside you. Or if they’re really young give them a cane pole like my dad did when I was little. I felt like I was part of the action.
Sharing in experiences create lifelong bonds and memories. Some of my best memories are camping-fly fishing weekends with friends… Joking around, sharing in the beauty of nature, celebrating in the joy of a catch, and learning from more seasoned anglers.
Words are often overrated. There won’t be a lot of talking while fly fishing. You don’t want to scare the fish and you’ll have space between you for casting. It’s the time spent in the shared experience that creates the strongest bond.
Bonus: Fly fishing alone may be a great escape but it’s safer to fish with others in case of injury. Use the buddy system when you can.
Fly Fishing Promotes Environmental Awareness
The benefits of fly fishing aren’t all physical and emotional. There are environmental benefits as well.
Environmental awareness often stems from our immersion in outdoor activities. As your knowledge of fly fishing grows, so will your interest in the conservation of our rivers and the species within.
I encourage you to minimize your impact on the environment while enjoying yourself to the fullest. If we all leave our environment better after each visit, a vast improvement can be made. Whether I’m hiking, fishing, paddling, or walking our dog around the block, I pick up a little trash in hopes of a better tomorrow.
However you choose to better our world, I commend you! We all want future generations to have the enjoyment of our natural resources.
The benefits of fly fishing are many. Few activities are both thrilling and relaxing, include exercise, allow mental restoration, and provide a connection with nature, family, friends, and loved ones.
Want added joy from your fly fishing weekend? Combine it with camping. They go hand-in-hand. If you aren’t catching and releasing, it’s a perfect time to cook up you catch.