Iowa’s first “Casting for Recovery” retreat was held on October 11-13, 2013. Women with breast cancer & survivors attended seminars, counseling sessions, an entomology class, fly casting & knot tying classes, were treated to good food, and finally, enjoyed a few hours of fly fishing with a “river buddy”. The retreat was held in Decorah, a small, scenic town in Northeast Iowa, and the attendees fished the clear, spring-fed water of Trout Run.
Women, who must be Iowa residents, signed up to attend the no-cost retreat and 14 were randomly chosen to participate. Volunteers included social workers, other health care workers, fly fishing instructors and fly anglers. On the final day, the ladies were paired up with a River Buddy to stream fish for trout. Afterward, the ladies and the volunteers were treated to a luncheon.
For the retreat, the women were provided with everything they needed to fish, including a fly rod, waders, vest, tippet materials and flies. I’ve been told that at least a couple of the women have since purchased their own fly rods & plan to continue fly fishing. Of course those who caught fish were thrilled to do so and others also said they enjoyed the peace of listening to and being on the water.
For more information about Casting for Recovery in Iowa or in another state, including how to sign up, how to volunteer or where to send donations, see the link below.