Fly fishers; in general, believe their sport to be an
easy, relaxing way to escape the grind of everyday life.
While it is an escape, it's seldom easy. We push
ourselves harder than we ever would at work because,
well, this is different. This is fly fishing!
We walk for miles lugging a vest loaded down with every
gadget and fly box we own - just in case, wade tough - sometimes
treacherous - currents, cast over and over again without
ever giving a thought to proper body mechanics, and to
top it off we seldom, if ever, take any food or water
with us, that would just be more stuff to carry.
All this extra exertion without the proper fluids and
nutrients is quite a shock to a body; generally resulting
in pain, stiffness, and fatigue. We'll discuss nutrition,
hydration, body mechanics, first aid, and a few other items
later, right now let's go over some ways to get in shape
for the coming season. What, now? Yes, now!
First of all it's important to understand you don't need
to be Lance Armstrong or Arnold Schwarzenegger to fly fish;
far from it. In most cases all that's needed is some light
off-season cardiovascular conditioning to get the most from
your outings without the lingering side effects.
First, diet is just as important as exercise. Meals
should be regularly scheduled and consist of a small portion
of meat with the majority of the plate filled with veggies,
preferably steamed or raw. Snacking is okay, just try to
make it something healthy like fruits. Try it for a week
and see how much better you feel.
Go for a walk with your spouse a few times a week. They'll
love you for being romantic, you'll get some exercise, shed
a few unwanted pounds, and it's a great cure for cabin fever.
Bring your heart rate up gradually but don't over do it,
you're not running a marathon.
Get on a light aerobic program like skiing, ice skating
(when's the last time you did that?), swimming, racquetball,
speed walking, jogging, etc…consult your healthcare
professional if you not sure of a program best suited to you.
Become involved in a tying and/or fishing club in your area.
If there isn't one, start one. Conditioning the mind is
just as important as conditioning the body. You'll keep
focused, fuel your desire for better health, make new friends,
and have a ton of fun!
The point is do something physical this winter in addition
to restocking your fly boxes. Your body will thank you.
And that relaxing day fishing this coming season will be
just that…relaxing. ~ Mike MT
Michael Flagg is a Total Body Modification Holistic
Healthcare Practitioner, Neuromuscular Therapist, and
Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
He lives in Kalispell, Montana.