Fly fishing is a sport not everyone is familiar with. Sure, you probably have an idea of what fly fishing is and have seen images or videos of people flicking a line across the surface of a creek or river, but you’re in good company if you’ve never tried it firsthand. Maybe you should, though.

5 Reasons to Try Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is more than a hobby or recreational sport used to catch food. Ask those who have devoted time and energy to it and they’ll tell you that fly fishing has a positive impact on the mind, body, and soul. Still not convinced? Here are some of the top reasons why you need to give fly fishing a try.

  • Easier Than You Think

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the sport of fly fishing is that it’s expensive and difficult. While it can be expensive if you insist on getting all of the best equipment and gear on the market, it’s possible to get started with a very small investment. And thanks to YouTube videos and other online resources, you can master the basics of the sport without having to pay for professional lessons.

  • Natural Stress Reliever

In a world where medication and therapy are always the go-to stress solutions, maybe you just need to spend some constructive time in nature.

“Those who fly fish say that being out in the water is a great way to release everyday stressors,” Sportsman’s Finest explains. “By simply focusing on the peaceful waters and the joy of fishing, you can forget about what is troubling you and escape the woes of everyday life. Many people say the act of casting and retrieving is a Zen-like experience that is calming and relaxing.”

  • Gives You a Mental Workout

Fly fishing is easy to learn, but difficult to master. For many, this is one of the top reasons why they love the sport. When you fly fish, you have to think about every little decision. From the time of day and location on the river to the type of fly and fish feeding patterns, everything requires careful thought. This forces you to stretch your mind and provides a mental workout that keeps your brain in shape.

  • It’s the Perfect Fitness Routine

When Betsy Andrews first learned how to fly fish, she figured it would be fun. What she didn’t know was that it would be such good exercise.

“Reeling and casting exercises your arms and shoulders without taxing your wrists, which I was taught should stay fairly stationary,” Andrews points out. “I also used my back, core, and leg muscles to steady myself in the moving water in the correct standing posture. But the activity is fairly low-impact and can be done from a stationary position, so it’s good for all types—even couch potatoes like me.”

  • Builds Longtime Friendships

Making new friends can be challenging when you’re an adult who tends to follow the same routines week after week. The great thing about fly fishing is that it’s a tight-knit community in most areas of the country. Once you start fly fishing regularly, you’ll begin building new friendships that will last a lifetime. In many cases, these will be friends that you’ll spend time with outside of the sport.

Discover Your Definition of Fly Fishing

At the end of the day, fly fishing can’t be neatly categorized. For some, it’s a competitive sport. For others, it’s a social hobby that cultivates friendships. There are even some who use fly fishing as an excuse to spend more time in the great outdoors. Give fly fishing a try and discover what it means to you.