Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Pretty Fly Way to Be Well

                You stand by the side of a slowly moving stream as it meanders over a set of ripples established by the rocks in the riverbed. The bald eagle soars above as it calls to its mate as they attempt to teach their eaglet how to catch fish to eat. A river otter swims by as it curiously bobs its head up and down in wonder of what you are doing in its home. You smell the freshly cut alfalfa and feel the gentle breeze brush across your face. You are the only person on the entire stream, almost as if it is your own piece of wellness in the moment that is meant just for you. This visualization is just a taste of what a basic fly fishing experience can include should you choose to give it a try.
One of the most important pieces to wellness that I encourage others to consider is to progressively seek out new ways to develop their mind-body-spirit connections. Fly fishing is one activity that can arguably improve all three areas of health simultaneously.
                Fly fishing is a form of fishing that involves the use of a rod and reel combination that allows the fisherperson to imitate specific prey items to lure fish into biting. The premise of this form of fishing is to observe insects in- and outside of the water and then cast a similar-looking hand-crafted fly to catch the desired species. Many people associate fly fishing to trout, thanks in large part to A River Runs Through It, where trout fishing is a main component in the character’s lives.   However, it is possible to catch fish ranging in size from a farm pond bluegill to sharks while fly fishing.

                While it is always a terrific feeling to come home with a limit of trout after having an experience similar to what was explained in the opening paragraph, it is not the fish that draws me to fly fishing, but instead it is the process. The process involves a significant connection of mind, body, and spirit while feeling as though you are part of something much bigger. Your wellness too, can stem from maintaining a sense of complete tranquility that leads to a humbling interaction with nature and all of its wonders while fly fishing.

Mark Maule
Health and Wellness Instructor


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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