You got yourself a good topic here. I don’t see why fly fishing can’t help those with PTSD. Fly fishing is ethereal, calming. And where you fish takes your mind away. It can help anyone not just those with war damage
I love catching fish. Early days of the Pandemic I was in 10k. Islands and EC 3-4 days a week fishing. Wife was furloughed and we both found ourselves without jobs. I sold the skiff and we packed up our lives and moved north to Tampa area. By the time I got my life together again and painfully waited a year and half for my Evo to be built, I had been off the water for almost 3 years. I didn't really miss the fish. I missed being out there. That's one of the things that moved me towards fly fishing. My friends kept telling me it enhances their experience on the water and interacting with nature and the fish. I was craving more of that.If you want guaranteed mindfulness while fly fishing, try Spey fishing. You rarely catch fish, you're usually surrounded by some amazing scenery, and you have the sounds of the river rushing around you. Sometimes I almost fall asleep!
Amishi Jha helped pioneer that mindfulness training for the military. She talks about it in her book Peak Mind. It's a bit of a tough read if you aren't big into research but the mindfulness exercises are very useful and have become part of my morning routine. She also did a podcast on the Joe Rogan Experience that gives you the cliffnotes.At the risk of sounding like a hippy, I'm just going to plunge into this...
I see a specialist at the VA to help me cope with long term effects from a blast injury/head injury from combat. One of the best techniques/aids I have found over the years is mindfulness meditation.
We were discussing the different ways mindfulness can be practiced other than just sitting down to meditate: mindfulness walking, mindfulness eating, etc...
For those unfamiliar, it's basic premise involves hyper focusing on a single task such as the movement of your breath in order to clear your mind of all other clutter and thoughts. This allows the mind to focus on the current moment in time. It brings your mind into the present and allows it to actually relax and heal itself.
I am new to fly fishing and just starting to learn to cast. It dawned on me today that I may be able to achieve similar effect of clearing my mind by focusing on technique and movement of casting.
I did a quick Google search and found several articles discussing similarities and connection between fly fishing and meditation. I'm sure many in this forum love fly fishing for all sorts of different reasons.
Any of you avid fly folks find any relation to this? Is it "hippy" nonsense? Or do some of you actually feel a palpable change in mood just from casting? Part of me thinks there is potential here, but also wonders if the frustration of learning a new complicated technique might run counter intuitive to the relaxing effect.
Small world. You just convinced me to buy the Tibor a few weeks back 😂. We have talked twice about getting together for casting help and you keep telling me to call the shop and set it up. After reading your post, you might be just the right person to help me progress further into this hobby.Amishi Jha helped pioneer that mindfulness training for the military. She talks about it in her book Peak Mind. It's a bit of a tough read if you aren't big into research but the mindfulness exercises are very useful and have become part of my morning routine. She also did a podcast on the Joe Rogan Experience that gives you the cliffnotes.
Mindfulness training is all about understanding when your attention leaves what you should be focused on, then being able to shift your attention back from distractions to the important things. I figure if being better with it helps me be more attentive throughout days with customers it would be 100% worth the cost and time reading the book. Using the ideas and techniques in mindfulness training for your job and/or hobbies will definitely help you improve what your working towards. Whether it be a fly cast, finding fish, tying knots, or just enjoying your day.
Well that won’t be the last time your tangled on everything and I’m not sure it’s more or less frustrating now 25 years later.@TarponBum I was thinking the same thing. I think initially I'd start small, such as instead of sitting down to meditate for 15 minutes, try transferring that to a short walk to the pond by my house and just practice casting and enjoy the casting for 15 min.
I know all too well how quick it can get frustrating. I still remember awkwardly trying to cast a fly rod solo from skiff for the first time with Tarpon all around me and tangling my line on EVERYTHING
Agree, check out PHW, great organization and lots of fellow vets attend that are dealing with PTSD.