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Fly Fishing

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

In this seven-week expertly guided program, members are taught to observe the ‘mysteries beneath the surface,’ cultivate a mutual respect for and understanding of fishing and the natural habitat of river fauna, forge a meaningful connection with nature, and understand the basics of fly fishing. Members are encouraged to apply the deeply meditative aspects of nature and the sport of fly fishing to their own needs and life experience. No experience is necessary. Supplies, including fishing rods are provided.

“To apply your knowledge to interpret the clues, and to be able to place the right fly in the right place, with the right presentation to tempt the fish, can lead to much satisfaction in our pursuit of happiness.” – Dennis Little, program leader

What to Expect at a Session

After an introduction to the many benefits of this enthralling sport, participants are taught some basics about fish and their food sources, as well as characteristics of water as it relates to fish habitat and activity. In subsequent sessions members learn about fly fishing equipment, watch a video, and enjoy first-hand casting lessons. The program culminates with a daylong group activity, fishing at one of the many nearby locations.

Benefits and Impact

Research has demonstrated that exposure to nature can be an important factor in the health of people living with cancer. Nature-based activities, such as fly fishing, have been reported to improve quality of life, fatigue, and anxiety in those with cancer (Blaschke, 2017; Nakau et al., 2013; Ray & Jakubec, 2014).  One trial studying the effects of a fly fishing retreat on breast cancer survivors observed benefits related to learning, camaraderie, healing, and nutrition (Henry, 2017). 

Program Frequency

In person


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