Fly Fishing For People With Disabilities

When my editor first suggested the title of this article, I thought that he might have taken further leave of his senses. Not the most grounded of human beings to begin with, he has of late exhibited some worrying signs of the mid-life crisis or some similar form of mental aberration. Fly fishing, as many of us well know, is a delicate art and not a suitable pastime for the dilettante or uncommitted among us.  Fishing is a frustrating pursuit for the larger part of the able-bodied population. Tangled fishing lines, flying hooks, casts gone astray and a dozen other calamities just waiting to happen.

Fly Fishing For People With Disabilities

All of these situations do not bode well for the newbie fly fisher, whatever his or her state of physical or mental ability. However, recent studies have found that outdoor activities for disabled people show surprising and positive outcomes for those tacking the tasks. Disabled bodied people are pushing back the boundaries in recreational activities all over the place. They are skiing down challenging slopes and doing just as well as more able-bodied people. Brave hearted people with disabilities are jumping out of aeroplanes and skydiving.

Now, grizzly old fly fishermen, would probably mutter to themselves, “yeah, but that stuff is easy compared to fly fishing.” Standing immersed up to your genitals in a stream with lengthy rod in hand and sensing the delicate pull of current and possible fish, is another matter altogether. This is the confluence of man and nature, where the two meet in a suspension of time. Where the human intellect is out of its depth, so to speak, and it is a meditation of living things operating in harmony. Well, the surprising results are that disabled fly fishing folk are succeeding at the pursuit and, more importantly, enjoying it to boot.

Many individuals, living with a disability, have the patience and sensitivity to excel at fly fishing. Some, have shared, that their disability has forged a patience within them, which is brilliantly attuned to pastimes like angling, and in particular fly fishing. Being outdoors with all that fresh air and nature around them is, also, a wonderful part of the equation. The great outdoors is, now, becoming their playground, where they can express their humanity and enjoy its benefits. Many individuals, with a disability, are hungry to commune with nature and be free of the overly protective constraints of ‘so called’ care. The lure of fly fishing is attracting a new dedicated band of brothers to its charms.