Last week when we posted the article about Pig Farm Ink’s upcoming Iron Fly competition, I was chatting with some friends afterwards when Pig Farm’s #flyfishingsaveslives hashtag came up. Long story short and they didn’t believe that fly fishing really can save a life. No matter what I told them, they wouldn’t buy it, but I blame that on the beer in their hands.
To set the record straight and prove that yes, fly fishing really does save lives, I’ve gathered up five ways that show it to be a scientific fact. Why five? Well I probably could’ve listed about 1,000 but I wanted to sneak out and go fishing after writing this article…after all, I need saving too.
1) It Keeps You Healthy
You have two options, either you sit on the couch with a beer in your hand watching some mindless tv show, wasting the hours in a day with nothing good to show for it, or you spend countless hours busting your ass wading, hiking, rowing, climbing, walking, jumping logs, scurrying down banks, with a beer in your hand with nothing to show for it.
Not only are you constantly moving when you’re on the water, except for those minutes you spend cursing while tying on that 7x tippet, but you’re also constantly thinking. The more you move and the more you think the healthier you’ll be for years to come. Sure you might have a few bruises, cuts and this weird pain they call a fly caster’s elbow, but at least your butt isn’t the same shape as your couch.
2) You Appreciate The Little Things
Life’s not all about the big, sweeping gestures, the instances that scream, “Appreciate this, you’ll remember this forever!” To really enjoy this precious, fleeting moment of a lifetime, you have to be able to enjoy the tiny little things that most people would probably overlook. The things that’ll just make you stop, smile and know that you’re were you’re supposed to be in the world.
Laying down that perfect cast, mending like you knew what you were doing, choosing the right fly that actually matches the bugs floating on the surface, or even just the simple way the light of the sun is bouncing off the leaves as it sinks in the sky–all of these things are precious. Some people might walk up to a river and see water and trees. A fly angler walks up to a river and sees more than could be described: life everywhere.
3) It Finds You New (And Better) Friends
There are a few different levels of friendship. There are the friends you see occasionally, your work friends, your good friends, maybe even a few true best friends (BFFFFFF for life, bro), and then there are the friends you fish with. The fishing friends may never see you other than on the water, or even just a few longer trips a year, but they’re going to know you just as well, if not even better, than your closest non-fishing friends.
Spending time on the water with a common goal, whether you’re only there for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks, will bring you closer together with a person faster than marrying them. Spend a seriously torturous trip with someone and they’re instantly invited to your wedding and the godparents of your future children. Fly fishing will also weed out the friends you shouldn’t be hanging out with faster than splitting a bar tab.
4) It Keeps You Dreaming
How does this save your life? Imagine spending all day, every day during the work week stuck inside, baking under fluorescent lights and wanting to bang your head against the desk to end the misery. Oh that’s what you do? Well now imagine that same life without being able to dream about fly fishing? Exactly.
I have a few friends that have some pretty mundane jobs. They probably make triple what I make (still want a job in fly fishing? I don’t blame you), but they also don’t have an outlet like fly fishing to let off a little mid-day steam, which makes them pretty prickly by Friday night. Excuse me while I go daydream about setting the hook on a new personal best rainbow…
5) It Makes You More Interesting (And Also Just A Little Weird)
Do you want to be that co-worker that spends all of lunch going on and on about the great weekend you had cuddling with your cat? Instead, you’ll be able to bore the people you work with by telling story after story that they probably don’t believe. “This one time I caught a brown that was so kyped up it…” “I found this dead bird on the side of the road last weekend, didn’t even smell, it made the best hackle feathers…” (see what I mean? Just a little weird).
It’s good to be different though, because then you’re THE ANGLER in your office, maybe even the only one, but then that’s your thing. You’ll go down in work place history as the only person that can tie a knot, the one that’s probably got a knife handy if something needs cutting, and the one who most appreciates the phrase, “you can work from home tomorrow.”
Fly fishing saves lives, so why aren’t you fishing more often. Join the Postfly Tribe right now to make sure your flybox is stocked full of the best flies to make sure you can get on the water more.