Free Fly Fishing Retreats Offer Respite for Breast Cancer Patients

A unique program that introduces breast cancer patients to flyfishing offers women a respite from their ordeal.

From this story in the New York Times:
The South Platte River in Colorado ran cold and clear that Sunday, clear enough even for Rhonda Carey to see the fish she was trying to catch. The wind was so strong, she recalled, that the volunteer who was helping her had to hold on to her hip-waders to keep her upright. And yet three exhilarating hours flew by in what seemed like five minutes, with Ms. Carey keenly spotting bugs flitting above the river's surface and the branches of the trees bobbing in the wind. Even before she caught a fish, she decided her first time fly-fishing would not be her last.
_
_"I discovered this Zen feeling about fly-fishing that I never would have experienced otherwise," she said in a recent telephone interview. "But I got hooked on it." Ms. Carey was one of 556 breast cancer patients participating this year in the 42 free retreats coordinated by Casting for Recovery. Lori Simon, the group's executive director, said the program had grown significantly; in 2005, it had 331 patients in 30 such events. Casting for Recovery, a nonprofit support and educational program founded in 1996 and based in Manchester, Vt., now is looking for a ripple effect, so to speak. Ms. Simon said the group, which will have retreats in 34 states in 2011, would eventually like to organize 100 retreats a year across all 50 states.