Why are the premises of and the results obtained by Reeling in Serenity so phenomenal? As we have seen, the organization’s mission is to support individuals who are in recovery from addiction, through the peace, healing, and community that are to be found through fly fishing in the rivers of the nation and the world. Yesterday we went over the backstory of Founder and Executive Director Becca Sue Klein. Let’s hear from some of the others responsible for this wonderful nonprofit group.
Board member Jason Causey, who has accumulated more than 10 years of sobriety, says,
When you’re out there in nature listening to the water run by and someone is teaching you how to cast a fly line and you hook that first fish, I mean there’s just nothing like it. You’ve forgotten about every bad thing that has happened to you that day or that week.
Program Director Jennifer Gilbert detailed for the group’s website how, when she entered rehab in 2017, fly fishing helped her connect to her higher power. It is her hope that every newcomer in recovery will find the same peace and joy. Outreach Director Sylvia Huron also asserts that recovery and fly fishing go hand in hand. She says she has learned that the dedication required to become a better angler and the commitment needed for leaving addiction behind are mutually intertwined, as are the support and companionship found in the group.
Communications Director Georgia Skuza confides that “the addiction gene runs deep in my family” and affirms that fly fishing has been a vital part of her life and her healing journey. William Henry, Education Program Coordinator, describes how important it is to be actively engaged with nature and writes,
That connection, that mindful presence has been essential to maintaining my sobriety since 2007. It drives me to be grateful and take care of myself, and the environment. Volunteering for Reeling in Serenity allows me to combine all my passions and give back to my sober community, without whom I would not have the life I do today.
Social Media Advisor Erik Clymore had spent his first five recovery years “bouncing around from hobby to hobby trying to find my passion in life” until he discovered fly fishing, after which “everything clicked and I dove straight in.” Since then, recovery and angling have been his dual passions. He says, “Both recovery and fly fishing provide me with a loving community, appreciation for the little things, and a profound sense of purpose.”
Marketing and PR Advisor Kim Ranalla was already into the angling lifestyle because multiple serious injuries had led her to river fishing as a way of healing. She had, coincidentally, also been affected by the ravages of addiction in loved ones, and found that Reeling in Serenity provided “a pathway for me to process my own complicated grief by helping others along their healing journey.” As a volunteer, she wrote,
The organization is significant to me after losing loved ones in my life to addiction. Addiction has touched the lives of nearly everyone, in one way or another, making it a cause that I want to be behind.
Not impressed with what the market offered, she started a thriving business called Miss Mayfly, which produces a line of fishing gear products for women of all shapes and sizes. She says,
Fly fishing is an ideal conduit for physical, mental and spiritual healing. It requires a focus that helps distract from physical pain and emotional stressors, helping us to experience a deeper level of peace and calmness.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “How fly fishing in PA will help people recovering from substance abuse,” GoErie.com, 02/07/23
Source: “Meet Our Team,” ReelingInSerenity.org, undated
Source: “Women Who Make a Difference,” MissMayfly.com, 09/08/22
Image by US Embassy London/CC BY-ND 2.0