Ed Nicholson was on with Larry King this week as a recognized hero. I’m not a big Larry King fan myself, but I did like the message they got out about the therapeutic nature of fly fishing.

Here is a link to the video: Ed Nichols with Larry King

It’s true that some people fly fish because they think it gives them some special status, just like the way some people join fancy golf clubs to show how important they are.

But I think the comparison with golf is actually a good one. For those people who truly enjoy these activities as sports, versus improving one’s social profile, there are many aspects of each that are worth promoting. Neither one is a team sport, so the goal is to challenge yourself, but also to enjoy the process. Pediatricians will tell you that at a young age, children often benefit more from individual sports like golf, tennis, etc. because it can quickly establish the foundations for self confidence and self esteem.

That’s where I think this video fits in, although I think Nicholson only hints at what the real healing value is for these veterans, when he talks about an “emotional break” and being out in nature. As a former soldier with permanent injuries, trying to fit back into the real world,  there have to be serious issues to overcome regarding self confidence and self esteem. Learning something new, improving upon it; growing; taking that first step and finding out that you have the ability “achieve”, despite your perceived shortcomings, can do wonders for our self worth.

That’s what I think fly fishing, or any sport that challenges (and rewards) oneself, provides for its practitioners and why it transcends age, gender, social and economic inequalities, race, nationality, etc.  In other words, anyone can do it, anytime, throughout their lives. It makes us more aware of ourselves, more aware of our environment and our interaction with it.

If you’ve never done it, ask someone to intruce you to fly fishing. You’ll love it! Then “pay it forward” and invite someone else… you’ll never regret it.