Fly fishing

FISHING FOR MENTAL HEALTH: Gone Fishing: Fly Fishing and Its Link to Men’s Mental Health

DENVER (KDVR) – Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy fly fishing for the beauty of nature and its serenity. But it looks like the sport is reaching deeper waters than you might think.

Jennings Hester knows her stuff when it comes to fly fishing – and more. Hester discovered that outdoor sport is more profitable than fish, it also helps with anxiety and depression.

Hester noticed a connection between his love for fly fishing and maintaining his sanity. That’s why he started Fishing the Good Fight, an organization that supports the development of men on their journey to mental health. The organization takes men on weekend retreats to fly fishing and group therapy.

“I had a lot of trouble between the ages of about 18 and 30, until I finally got help,” Hester said of her own experience with mental health. It takes about 12 years for most men after they first experience symptoms of anxiety and depression to seek help. Less than 20% of men with mental health issues received professional help.

After about 10 years of suffering alone, Hester sought therapy and the appropriate medication. But that wasn’t all that helped him heal.

“Getting out into nature – and especially fly fishing – it made me mindful, present,” Hester said.

For more information on Fishing the Good Fight, visit www.fighingthegoodfight.org.