Fly Fishing Is Addictive: Why It’s a Good Thing
The short answer is: fly fishing is good for you, good for the world, and it makes everyone a better human being. Not buying it? Keep reading.
As you know, addictions are generally bad. And make no mistake, fly fishing can be very addictive—but in a good way.
And perhaps in a way that just might lead to the betterment of all mankind. Anyone who saw the movie A River Runs Through It knows that fly fishing is about much more than just catching a fish: it’s also about solving the struggles of life.
Here are six reasons why the addictive sport of fly fishing is, not just fun, but beneficial to society.
- Fly-fishing could be the answer to world peace. At least, if Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the U.S., was correct when he said, “Lots of people committed crimes during the year who would not have done so if they had been fishing. The increase of crime is among those deprived of the regenerations that impregnate the mind and character of the fisherman.”
Hoover was likely referring to the fact that fly fishing requires patience, diligence, strategy, and concentration. The Grand Old Man, as he was known, was a rabid fisherman and was reportedly hell on wheels when it came to catching trout in mountain streams. He’s also been quoted as saying, “All men are created equal before fish.”
- Fly fishing can keep you from having a heart attack. Two ways. First, avid fly fishermen can’t help but stay in shape. Walking through waist-deep water, against strong currents, and over the slippery, rocky riverbeds can help you burn unwanted calories, increasing your longevity and quality of life.
Plus, after a long day of wading and casting on the river anyone feels the workout their upper and lower body has experienced. And let’s not forget the fact that fish can be a great source of lean protein for those that enjoy dining on them. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends them as a regular part of a healthy diet.
Secondly, fly fishing brings a level of tranquility and peace to your mind that many other activities cannot produce. While you might come home physically exhausted from a 96-hour fly fishing trip because you fished 82 of those hours, you will also come back with a rested mind: refreshed, invigorated, and ready to charge into your week.
- Fly-fishing can save your marriage. Spending a few hours out on the water can help bring back life’s perspectives that get beaten down and lost in a world filled with violence, politics, and interaction with people who—there’s no other way to say it—are just plain crazy.
Ridding the body of stress and irritability, and rebuilding personal reserves puts one in a better frame of mind, which makes anyone a better teammate for their partner. And, if handled correctly, life partners usually end up encouraging more fly fishing excursions as they see and enjoy the benefit for both.
Another added benefit of fly fishing is the “forced” unplugging from the busy-ness of everyday life. Cell phone coverage is limited to non-existent when you’re fishing in most fly fishing venues. The simple luxury to be “disconntected” can be a huge load off of ones shoulders.
CAUTION: When fly fishing becomes too addictive, it can also ruin marriages. Remember all things in moderation.
- Fly fishing makes you a better friend. Well, at least a more interesting friend. Why? Because of all the great fly fishing stories that occur. Who hasn’t been around a fishermen who doesn’t like to tell stories about their fishing adventures. Like the time they caught bonefish in the Bahamas. Sure, they were on smaller side—two or three pounds—but they went 0 to 60mph in seconds. Or landing giant steelhead on the Babine that took them into their backing more than once while making acrobatic arial displays.
Anyone’s friends who aren’t enthralled by stories like these, well let’s face it, they just need new friends.
Another way fly fishing makes you a better friend is when you help a buddy out with the realization that utilizing the proper gear is far more important for stream cred than actual fishing prowess.
Steer them in the direction of quality breathable waders, for instance, so they won’t select neoprene and risk looking like the Michelin Man. And let them know their fly box needs to have hundreds of nearly identical dries that hide the streamers and nymphs he actually uses to catch the majority of his fish.
Advice on selecting a rod will likely be that it’s always a safe bet to go with a well-known brand like Sage, Loomis or Winston, for instance. And to get more than one. Because, as the old saying goes, “one rod is no rod. Two rods are better, but four rods mean that you really have everything under control.”
- Fly fishing makes you smarter. It’s true: tests show that fly fishing improves brain performance. What tests? Well, I can’t put my finger on them right now. But common sense tells anyone it’s true.
While any blind squirrel can eventually stumble upon a nut, consistency in landing fish with a fly rod requires skill. And a great deal of patience. As well as an aptitude for selecting the appropriate fly and completing the necessary cast that is on-target to the unsuspecting quary.
Fly fishing is a battle of wits. It’s man against fish. Of course this battle sharpens the brain and boosts the IQ, tests or no tests.
- Fly fishing can actually help solve life’s struggles. Well, at least some of them. How? When fly fishermen purchase fishing licenses and pay special taxes, they help fund many of the U.S. wildlife and conservation programs, support thousands of jobs, give the local economy a boost, and preserve the environment and natural habitat. Think about that the next time you’re wetting a fly.
There you have it. Yes, fly fishing is addictive. But you, and the rest of the world, are better off because it is.
Share your views about the good fly fishing brought to your world? Share your thoughts below. We’d love to hear from you.