Women Fly Fishing-An Encouraging Series

Women Fly Fishing-An Encouraging Series

Women in Fly Fishing

An Encouraging Series

Our goal with these encouraging fly fishing videos will be to motivate more females to take up the sport of fly fishing. This first video was put together by Todd Moen who runs and operates Todd Moen Creative and Catch Magazine.

Like all of Todd Moen’s Videos; this video catches the true essence of what it means to find peace and solitude while on the river. This video follows a Young Women as she makes her way down a high stream in the hills of Montana.

We hope you enjoy and encourage more women to find out what fly fishing can do to their over all well-being. Please help us spread our love for fly fishing by sharing this with people you care about most. Thank you!

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It has been said that 90% of diseases are caused by stress. More and more women are being diagnosed with stress related diseases because of the major roles they are responsible to fulfill. Fly Fishing has been shown  to lower stress levels and boost brain power.

Women in Fly Fishing

- The River of Life -

“River of Life features the reflections of 3 women dealing with breast cancer while out fly fishing on the waters of the Pacific Northwest. The narrative connects the struggles of wild, native and anadromous fish with the challenges the women face in their own lives, while also capturing the magic and joy of fly fishing. This film is brought to life by the sensitive and insightful cinematography of Todd Moen, whose camerawork captures the vibrancy of the natural world both above and below the water line. The film explores life’s tenacity, and its fragility.

The subject of fly fishing has been covered in many joyous, adventure films, primarily by men. The Trout Unlimited grant that we are applying for represents an opportunity to add a woman’s perspective to the annals of fly fishing films. “River of Life,” reflects ideas and feelings that most fly fishermen share, yet from a uniquely feminine perspective. Breast cancer is, for the most part, a feminine struggle, but when 1 in 8 women in the United States are afflicted, it touches everyone’s lives. Connecting our human stories with the life and health of rivers reminds us of what is beautiful in our world, and how easily it can be lost. It’s a story that needs to be told. We’re counting on your help.” T-Moen

The Psychology of Fly Fishing

The Psychology of Fly Fishing

 

A study in the Psychology of Fly Fishing shows to be one of the best methods to cope with stress and enjoy the human experience.

 

Healing Waters from Brent Foster (Foster Visuals) on Vimeo.

It has been proven that the Art of fly fishing gives one the ability

to focus on the task at hand.The psychology of fly fishing has become a study to help civilians, Enlisted men, women and veterans, cope with stress.

As a Marine Veteran, I have found fly fishing not only rewarding but also a way to cope with the stress of everyday life and that of past experiences.

It has been a motivation of mine to connect others with this amazing sport and reap the benefits it offers. There has been a great amount of work done by the medical field to prove the benefits of fly fishing on the brain. Take a look at this study done by Harvard!

In the mid-nineteenth century, the avid fly-fisherman and physician James A. Hensall, MD, elucidated what for many is the allure of that often solitary form of angling. “Fly-fishers,” he said, “are usually brain-workers in society. Along the banks of purling streams, beneath the shadows of umbrageous trees, or in the secluded nooks of charming lakes, they have ever been found, drinking deep of the invigorating forces of nature—giving rest and tone to over-taxed brains and wearied nerves—while gracefully wielding the supple rod, the invisible leader, and the fairylike fly.”

What is it about this so-called quiet sport, with its incantation of rod and fly, river, and nature, a sport of both stealth and strategy, that helps to lessen stress and calm the brain? Herbert Benson, MD ’61, the Mind Body Medicine Professor of Medicine at HMS and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, says humankind has learned over millennia how to turn off stress by “breaking the train of everyday thinking.”

“What better example of this than fly-fishing,” says Benson, “with the repetitive back-and-forth motion of the rod and line and fly? You’re focusing on where that fly is going to land on the water and that breaks the train of everyday thought.”

Sensing danger

Many fishing historians credit the first use of an artificial fly for fishing to Macedonian fisherman whose technique was described by Claudius Aelianus, a Roman author, in one of his works produced near the end of the second century: “They throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaw, it is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.”

Today, in the United States, more than 38 million people participate in the sport annually, mostly on cold-water rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds west of the Mississippi River.

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the Outdoor Foundation reports that among the people in this country hope to take up fly-fishing and other forms of angling, 38 percent say they see fishing as a means to relax and relieve stress. Many of these prospective anglers think the soothing sound of flowing water and the pull of a fishing line would be enough to drive their stress away.

That stress response is triggered when we perceive threats to our well-being. This protective mechanism has given humans an edge when faced with a life-threatening situations throughout the millennia. Although we don’t face some of the dangers of yesteryear, such as being chronically vulnerable to death or injury, the modern stressful situations of unemployment, financial distress, divorce, or chronic illness, can also be permanently damaging.

When our brain senses danger, it sends signals along the spinal nerves to the adrenal glands, prompting the adrenals to release the hormone adrenaline, which helps activate the fight-or-flight response by affecting certain physiological processes, such as by initiating increases heart rate and blood pressure. At the same time, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland, located near the base of the brain, to release substances that travel through the bloodstream to the adrenal cortex, where a stress hormone called cortisol is produced.

This process is a perfect stopgap measure for dealing with short-term stress, says Benson, but experiencing stress on a prolonged basis can damage our brains and bodies. If cortisol levels remain too high for too long, the immune system can be harmed, increasing our susceptibility to infection and illness and decreasing the number of brain cells, impairing memory and other neural functions.

Relaxing the brain

In 1975, Benson described the relaxation response, a mechanism that can counterbalance the stress response. The relaxation response is the purposeful initiation of a physical state of deep rest, one that changes a person’s physical and emotional responses to stress. When practiced, the relaxation response slows down breathing rate, relaxes muscles, and reduces blood pressure.

A 2008 study by the Benson-Henry Institute, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that more than half of the study participants who practiced the relaxation response experienced a drop in blood pressure values after eight weeks, and 50 percent of those who practiced the technique were able to have their dosages of blood pressure medication lowered. With its meditative-like repetitive motion, Benson says fly-fishing is a “beautiful way” of evoking the relaxation response.

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation describes fly-fishing as a natural stress reliever because fly anglers are surrounded by nature, unplugged from electronics, and distanced from the so-called real world. That notion is buttressed by a 2009 study by a team of researchers drawn from the University of Southern Maine, the University of Utah, and the VA in Salt Lake City. In their study involving combat veterans found that participants had significant reductions in stress and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and improvements in sleep quality after participating in a fly-fishing retreat.

In other ways, fly-fishing has been compared to meditation, in that fly-fishers perform a simple, repeated task, often for hours on end. “The motion of fly-fishing is part and parcel of the activity itself and may contribute to its calming effect,” says Benson. “Besides, it’s achieving something—you might catch a fish!”

 

Scott Edwards is a freelance science writer based in Massachusetts.

Source: Fly-Fishing and the Brain | Department of Neurobiology