WELTZ: Fishing boosted self-esteem

“Now let me just start by saying people with bipolar should think long and hard before they decide to pick up a fly rod. The skills needed to fly fish are the same skills that vanish when my mania ramps up…

“Imagine in your mania you are given a fly the size of a mosquito and a fishing line the diameter of a frog’s hair and you must thread the frog’s hair through a hole the size of an ant’s eye on the end of the fly…

“Or the time I spent on the river bank untangling my fly from an evil shrub that sucked it in dam near every time I back cast…

“But there I was in Colorado, standing in 35 degree (Fahrenheit) water… and having the time of my life.”

The words of Christine Stapleton, from her article, Fly fishing and Bipolar.

I have long known about the therapeutic value of fly fishing. Many of the youth who gravitated to our clubs when I was a youth fly fishing club coordinator were labeled problem kids. I did not find one who didn’t respond well to self-esteem building rudiments of tying flies and catching fish with one’s own creations. Aside from the ones who

had anger issues and attention disorders, one stands out from all the others.

When he came to us he talked in an almost inaudible mumbles and would not look anyone in the eye. We welcomed him to our club and taught him to tie flies. He complained that his flies did not look very good. As always I explained to him that looks were not as important as catching fish and that the fish would be the judge. His breakthrough came when we took him fishing. At one point, we heard yelling and screaming, stunned we all looked to see him landing his first fish. Through the simple act of tying flies and catching fish with his flies, we saw his self-esteem grow to where he was looking us in the eye and talking with confidence.

 

The report

Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Try: Coachman, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Baggy Shrimp, or Zulu.

Fishing on our interior lakes is good. Try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Egg Sucking Leach, Pumpkinhead, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback Nymph, 52 Buick, Doc Spratley, Green Spratley, Souboo, or Baggy Shrimp.

The Fraser River is fishing well for spring, pink, chum, and cutthroat. For spring try: Popsicle, Big Black, Flat Black, Stonefly Nymph, Squamish Poacher, or Eggo. For chum try: Christmas Tree, purple & pink or green Wooly Buggers, Met Green, Dec 25,  Holliman, Big Black, or Flat Black. For pink try: Happy Hooker, pink Bunny Leach,

Pink Eve, or Cathy’s Coat. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, or American Coachman.

The Stave River is good for Pink, Chum, and the odd coho. For coho try: Christmas Tree, Rolled Muddler, olive Wooly Bugger, Bite Me, or Coho Blue.

The Vedder River is good for spring, pink, coho, and chum.

The Harrison River is good for spring, pink, coho, chum, and spring.