Avid anglers will often attest to fly fishing being one of the most calming, satisfying, and rewarding experiences they engage in. Some would even say that the serenity, ease, and artform for fly fishing can be quite addictive.
So why is fly fishing so addictive?
Fly fishing can relieve and energize us by releasing positive endorphins, which trigger feelings of positivity and happiness. It is an experience rich with both physically and mentally stimulating components that quite simply makes us feel good.
Fly fishing affords a much-needed escape from life’s rigors, allowing us to engage in a genuinely peaceful, mind-calming art form.
Fly fishing affords us the mental ‘time-out’ from the non-stop overstimulation of a busy world, allowing us to think of all of these important things more clearly.
We all hunger for a break from the hassles and rigors of daily life, seeking an activity to put our minds at ease and let us be at one with ourselves in the serene outdoors.
Why Is Fly Fishing So Addictive?
There are many appealing features of fly fishing that can undoubtedly be enjoyed by anyone regardless of being a novice or a seasoned fisherman. With many intangible benefits and stimulations, anyone can find an aspect of fly fishing that is relaxing and appealing to them.
Tranquility And Serenity
Lives get busy, and these days there is such vastness of stimulation that it can be challenging to give our mind enough of a disconnect to feel relaxed and at ease. We always have something going on in life: some errand to run, things to remember to do, household matters to attend to.
We tend to schedule our own lives into a hectic barrage. Even when it comes to things we enjoy, we always seem to be playing catch up on things that we want to get done but feel there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish. Our minds spin, going around the clock to process all things going on, so it is no surprise that a break from all of that, by the sheer nature of removal from such an environment, can be so utterly appealing.
Not sure where to start fly fishing? Read “Can You Fly Fish Anywhere?”
Instead of running ragged with to-dos and responsibilities, it is just you, a fishing rod, maybe a boat, and nature. Sounds of nature offer a near primal sense of ease for humans. That is where we came from, so it has a psychological effect of peace and tranquility.
The mental clarity we are afforded can help us calmly think of solutions to some challenges in our lives, do some planning, make important decisions, and think through changes we can make.
Fresh Air And Time Outdoors
We spend a lot of time indoors, typically stuck in homes, offices, grocery stores, or workshop sheds. But the appeal of the great outdoors is hard to pass up. Not merely walking from your house to your car, or even driving with the windows down. The appeal of the outdoors draws us because it is something we so rarely do willingly.
Nature calls us with a sense of adventure and beauty, but we choose to be outdoors that we benefit from the most. Scientific studies have long affirmed that being out in nature leads to reducing stress, fears, and anxiety, producing less stress-based hormones, reducing muscle tension, and lowering our blood pressure.
Add this to the refreshing getaway from city air and pollution and a visit to the fresh air water holes and hills, it is no wonder people get addicted to the relief and escape of the great outdoors. Fly fishing adds a mentally stimulating component to the physical health benefit of outdoor presence.
Some of the most unique fly fishing locations are closer than you think. Read “Beginners’ Fly Fishing Destinations”
While it is true that fly-fishing clears our minds, putting them at ease, it is also stimulating in the sense that we are engaging our minds in the fun activity of learning. While it is not hard to get the hang of the basics, it is learning techniques, timing, and the nature of fish that can be extremely interesting.
Great Physical Workout
Fly fishing allows us to engage in physical activity that is far less rigorous and yet thoroughly fulfilling. Irrespective of its calm nature, fly fishing indeed contains many workout properties.
It’s simple to start. Instead of parking too close to your fishing location, park some distance away and encourage yourself to take a walk through fresh air, giving benefit to both your core and your lungs.
If you fish from a rowboat, it has to be rowed to the place where you will fish. Rowing is a great physical exercise that does not feel like one because you are heading out to do something you enjoy. Once you hook a fish, reeling it in is its own form of exercise, as the fish resistantly combats your efforts to capture it. This activity can work your upper body muscles.
Another beauty of fly fishing is its variable social nature. Some like the ‘get-away’ aspect of the activity and seek to step away from everyday life’s non-stop hum. Solitude is a key appeal to many looking to achieve mental clarity and a sense of inner peace. However, not everyone achieves such inner peace independently, with many preferring to share the relaxing time alongside company.
Adding a social element to fly fishing is easy. The community of fly fishing enthusiasts is quite vast. So if you don’t have any friends who are into the activity, try looking up popular fly fishing locations, and you will likely find many regulars with whom you can befriend and interact.
If you hit it off, you can always hang out at a nearby pub or grab a coffee after. This could result in a semi-regular arrangement where you benefit from engaging in an activity you enjoy with new friends.
We are social creatures. While we sometimes seek our solitude, for many of us, the stress-free company of others, sharing a mutually appealing experience is more of a relaxation than anything.
Yes, fly fishing is mainly addicting for its ability to let you engage in a mental getaway from the rigors of life. But just because you are escaping daily concerns, it is no reason not to view this through a prism of fun and excitement. The thrill of the chase is an element of fly fishing.
You don’t know what or how much you will catch, so a tug on your line is often a thrilling experience as it is not something that is a very regular occurrence in any type of fishing.
Even if the fish ultimately gets away, you have experienced the thrill of trying it and nearly succeeded. You will undoubtedly hook a fish for a ‘win’ one day. Also, this is a lower risk thrill. You are not plummeting to the ground from a plane, nor are you risking life and limb through the thrill of racing cars or motorcycles.
However, you get just enough of an adrenaline boost from the rush of excitement when you have made the catch. That feeling is hard to achieve with so little effort and so much peace.
Competition With Yourself
There is no reason a calming activity cannot engage you in the sense of self-competition. In other words, you engage in a growth mindset. You learn how to get better every time you go fly-fishing, and as you begin to see some success, try to beat your record from before.
Everyone can always improve in their activities, even relaxing ones. As you grow and get better at fly fishing, you will be able to head home feeling satisfied and fulfilled at your new accomplishments. It will also serve as an excellent motivator for your future attempts in this low-key, high satisfaction, and extremely relaxing activity.