Fishing Their Stories
by April Archer
Published in Living Well in Lowry, April 2015
The past few weeks have been exciting and inspiring for us at SaraBella Fishing. As we grow our business, we are receiving more orders, more inquiries, and more support. We are also connecting with more people who remind us about why we fish and why we are so passionate about creating smart-beautiful products for women and girls. I’ll share a few stories that inspire our team at SaraBella… hopefully they’ll inspire you, too.
One woman spoke about how her husband, a Viet Nam war veteran, has suffered from PTSD for many years. She told me that he didn’t go outside. Through his experience with the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing organization, he has learned to fly fish. She claims that fishing has “saved his life”. He hopes that she will learn to fish so that she can share his newfound happiness.
A man recently informed me of his current battle with cancer, and on the day before his next chemo treatment, he wanted to spend time with me. He wanted to cast (and test) our SaraBella fly rods. He wanted to provide technical feedback. To cast as far as he could. To do a roll cast on a frozen pond, just for fun. He said that day was best he has felt since starting treatment. While he cast our fly rods with grace and joy, he focused on the performance of the fly rods, not on his cancer.
Every day I feel so fortunate to connect with people, to hear their stories, and to understand why they fish. It’s seems sort of cliché to say that “it’s not about the fish”. But really, it isn’t. The fish is the lure, not the prize. The fly is the dance, not the meal. The rod is the catalyst, not the tool.
Yes, the exhilaration of the tug and the splash of a rainbow trout can last a lifetime. Yes, the en pointe cast can bring a thrill. However, if you ask the aforementioned people about what fishing means to them, you will hear some different answers. They will tell you that fishing means “freedom” and “peace” and “safety”. It also means that the world is good, that nature is beautiful, and that the rivers keep flowing….even when life brings torrential challenges.
Standing in a river or sitting near a pond can aid healing in so many ways. Having a skill such as tying flies or building a fly rod can save lives. I hope that more people find their water, heal their souls, and fish their stories.
Go fishing with April Archer, long-time Colorado resident and fly fisherwoman. For more information, please visit www.sarabellafishing.com or follow SaraBella Fishing on social media. For more information on Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, visit http://projecthealingwatersdenver.org.