The previous post, about Reeling in Recovery, was the prologue to the recent and exciting occasion (March 13) of the nonprofit group’s name change to Reeling in Serenity. The press release issued on that date affirmed the basic tenets of the 501c3 organization:
Reeling in Serenity celebrates life free from drug and alcohol addiction by embracing nature and the spiritual connection that fly fishing has brought so many. We do this through free fly fishing retreats that are open to those who have chosen to live their personal truth — a life without alcohol and drugs. We also serve as a safe space and resource for the sober fly angler who is doing the work one day at a time.
The group can be found on Facebook and of course, has its own website, where various other declarations, affirmations, and mission statements can be found. Healing comes from spending time among healthy people, and some are guided to Reeling in Serenity by their recovery mentor or sponsor.
New members do not need any previous experience with fly fishing. The whole point is to tune in to something new that can displace the unsatisfactory result the person had received from their addiction. Even more, rewards can be reaped by volunteering their services to the organization in some capacity.
But let’s get down to cases, beginning with that of Founder and Executive Director Becca Sue Klein, for whom committing to recovery and the discovery of fishing were almost simultaneous life events. In 2019, she wrote under the pseudonym of “A Greatfull Recovering Alcoholic” about coming to the realization that fishing was the best therapy she could have wished for:
In recovery, we learn that our physical health — in addition to emotional sobriety, a spiritual connection, and good mental health — is so important to our program. And all are connected. They are like the four corners of a chair. If we lose sight of one of these elements, we topple over.
As the AA program puts it, Klein was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and desperately wanted change, but knew she could not do it on her own. Rather than someone who only wanted to stay up all night partying, she became the person who went to bed early to get up and go fishing. She recommends to others a short film called “One Cast at a Time.”
A couple of years later, Klein told journalist Kim Ranella,
Fly fishing soon replaced my daily whiskey and wine consumption. It was a reprieve from the stresses of my day-to-day life, and showed me the importance of slowing down. When I’m fly fishing, I’m not thinking about my lists of things to do, money or family struggles, or my stage IV breast cancer diagnosis. When I’m standing in a stream I’m able to live in the moment… [S]omething I could never do in my days of active addiction.
Klein had been participating in environmental work since 2007 and later connected with Casting for Recovery, a group that “brought women managing a breast cancer diagnosis out for fly fishing retreats.” Her concerns also encompassed the importance of leading women and girls to a consciousness of the importance of conservation efforts that would preserve America’s waterways for both fish and humans. This led to the founding of Reeling in Recovery in 2022.
(To be continued…)
Source: “Reeling,” DunMagazine.com, 12/05/19
Source: “Women Who Make a Difference,” MissMayfly.com, 09/08/22
Image by Intermountain Forest Service/Public Domain