Having an off-day of fishing? Here’s how to put your mind at ease
Psychologists have long touted the mental-health benefits of fly fishing. Some see the repetitive back-and-forth motion of casting as a way to induce a transcendent, near-meditative state. Others say our intense focus on presenting and fishing the fly reduces stress by breaking the train of our everyday thoughts and worries. If you’ve spent any time fly fishing, you know all of this is very true—except when it’s not.
Fly fishing has a higher level of difficulty than other angling styles, and when everything is clicking, the highs are pretty high. The flipside is that when you’re fishing poorly, the lows are painfully low. And they come for all of us. We’ve all had those miserable days when we’re blowing casts and spooking fish, and everything we do seems to create an ever-worsening muddle.
When you get the fly-fishing yips, instead of despairing—or, heaven forbid, taking up golf—remember the eternal sporting wisdom of Yogi Berra. As with baseball, fly fishing is 90 per cent mental; the other half is physical. When you’re having a rough day, here are a few tips to get your mental game back on track…