Beneath their flat caps and waders, the anglers casting off along America’s rivers are no longer all portly old men. One in four people who fly-fish – the fastest-growing category of fishing in 2019, reports the Outdoor Industry Association – are now aged 18-to-34, exemplified by the trio of Ontario creatives who run hit podcast So Fly.
Manhattan millennials are flocking to the Catskills’ creekside glamping village, Livingston Manor Fly Fishing Club (LMFFC) for weekends of angling and wild dining; or nearby boutique hotel The DeBruce, which has its own Tackle Room and fly-fishing-themed nine-course tasting menu. The sport’s uptick can, like hiking or pottery, be linked to a craving for manual, analogue activities as digital detox.
“Fly-fishing is very much an active meditation,” says LMFFC co-founder Tom Roberts. “Rewards don’t come from chasing frantic dopamine hits, but rather from patience, immersing yourself in nature… Permission to switch to a totally different pace and environment.”