Is Fishing Good for Mental Health? It Sure is For Mine!

This morning I was in my local gas station getting a cup of coffee. As I poured it into my cup, I overheard a guy telling his buddy how fly fishing is the only way he can cope with the stresses of his daily life. “Watching the fly intently and looking for the next place I want to cast, instantly takes my mind off my problems” he said.

I wrote last year about the other health benefits of fishing, you can find that at:

After hearing this I started thinking back to the times when I was struggling with life issues and was pulled out of my stressful dilemmas by partaking in fly fishing. One instance was during a big breakup several years ago. After breaking off the relationship, the first thing I did was drive to Northern Michigan to spend a couple days trout fishing. By the end of a couple days of hardcore fishing, my mind was clear and I came to the realization that I was a lot better off now than I was within the relationship. Had I sat home and thought about it too much, it would have been much worse and I likely would have made a phone call and the relationship would have continued. It inevitably would have ended again with perhaps more pain than the previous breakup. Chilling out in nature allowed me a fresh perspective. I remember the exact feeling I got in sort of a huge Aha! moment.  Watching nature go on about its business, while I sat there worrying about a terrible relationship made me feel pretty stupid. I realized the entire world awaited me and there is so much to explore, I didn’t need to be tied down anyway. It was these moments that triggered me to move to Idaho to become a fishing guide and pursue my dreams. Essentially, one fly fishing trip changed the course of my life forever. Otherwise I still might be trapped in that relationship in misery.

A road/fishing trip that helped me get through a bad breakup last year.
I had another bad breakup last year, so I took off on this road trip to Northern Idaho. Weeks of sitting home didn’t make me feel better, so I went exploring. Within a day I was feeling better than I had in a while.

In short, if you are struggling with some sort of issue, a fishing trip might just be the best thing for you. Better yet, take a road trip and go fishing all over the place! Just sleep in your car and fish your butt off!  When I am having some sort of problem that nags me, driving long distances and fishing new areas keeps my mind busy. Not only that, it gets you away from areas where you might be triggered to remember the problems you are trying to get over.  Meeting new people, exploring new areas and in general feeling totally free will always bring about a new perspective.

As if there was any doubt, read about how fishing has helped mentally ill patients here: