The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented damage for businesses across numerous industries. But for one sector, the exact opposite is happening: Fly-fishing is experiencing a renaissance. What's fly-fishing? We're glad you asked!
In traditional fishing (also known as spin fishing), participants use bait to catch a lot of fish. In fly-fishing, participants use a combination of artificial flies and overhead casting to fool their prey. You can buy premade flies or even make your own at home (this is called fly-tying). Fly-fishing has a special place in the hearts of many anglers; they find that its simplicity and the graceful water casting techniques involved connect them with nature on a deeply profound level.
Fly-fishing saw record growth in 2018 with the addition of 6.9 million anglers. But this beautiful sport still flies under the radar for most people. Considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has given many of us plenty of free time, we thought that we'd dedicate a post to convincing you to try this amazing pastime. Here are 7 reasons to try fly-fishing!
Spoiler Alert: Fly-fishing does happen to be the perfect opportunity for you to rock a fashionable and functional neck gaiter! But we won't focus too much on that here.
1. Fly-Fishing = Peace and Quiet
If you're concerned about crowds due to the coronavirus, no need to worry when it comes to fly-fishing. Social distancing is the norm in this sport! Many anglers prefer to go solo. Those who do fish with friends usually maintain distance from one another to avoid tangling their fishing lines (also known as cross-casting). Basically, you want to maintain at least 75 to 100 feet away from your fishing buddies.
2. It's Affordable
To start fly-fishing, you can get everything you need (rod, reel, line, and flies) for approximately $200. Additional flies are usually $2 or $3 each. Of course, you also need to get a permit. Prices for these vary from state to state. But you can expect an annual resident permit to cost around $50. The best part is that, once you make the initial investment, costs dramatically plummet.
3. Water's Everywhere!
4. You Can Catch Dinner
Tired of the same old options for lunch and dinner? Taking up fly-fishing provides you with an array of new possibilities! Anglers who routinely fish typically practice "catch and release" — they'll throw the fish back into the water after they get them. But as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, many grocery stores found their shelves empty. That caused many people to turn their hobby of fly-fishing into a source of meals for their families.
5. Fly-Fishing Is Amazing for Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chronic stress levels to soar, according to the American Psychological Association. During this time, many people have taken up practicing traditional skills, such as gardening or bread-making. But getting outdoors once in a while can also do wonders for your anxiety.
In fact, time outside is proven to decrease your anxiety levels. Fly-fishing has the additional benefit of being both meditative and calming for your brain. This is because you experience and comprehend nature on a new, more intimate level than most people are familiar with. During these turbulent times, it's okay to focus on your mental health. And fly-fishing may just be the answer you've been looking for.
6. It's a Great Bonding Activity
Are you looking for a new pastime to partake in with your family or friends? Consider taking a fly-fishing beginner's lesson together! Many fly-fishing outlets have reported a surge in parents and kids wanting to get in the water together and fish. With such affordable prices, fly-fishing return-on-investment is a no-brainer — it will give you priceless memories in scenic locations with your loved ones that you'll look back on fondly for the rest of your life.
7. The Joy of Fly-Fishing Is in the Process, Not the Results
With many people having a surplus of time on their hands these days due to the pandemic, it's never been a better time to take up fly-fishing. Best of all, the long learning curve of this pastime means that you'll feel a sense of reward and achievement every time you try it. It may be hard to believe, but some of the best times we've had fly-fishing weren't because of what we caught — it was because of the process.
Just being out in the quiet wild and practicing your casting technique provides you with a sense of relief and calm that's hard to capture in any other context. Honestly, words can't do it justice. But you know what can? Trying it. So get out there and give fly-fishing a go!