Angling Fitness Part 2

Angling Fitness Part 2

Andy Dear | Monday, 24 January 2022

Last week I sent a message through Facebook to Viking Lars expressing how much I enjoyed his piece on dubbing loops. We exchanged some ideas regarding our dubbing loop set up, and then somehow found our way in to a discussion about fitness and health. Turns out Lars and I are about the same age, and find ourselves in a similar position of trying to shed a few unwanted pounds and regain some lost strength and mobility.

  Last month I wrote a piece called "Angling Fitness" which detailed the exploits of big wave legend and all-around waterman Laird Hamilton. Laird, who is well into his late fifties, is still performing at an extremely high level in his sport, due to his extreme fitness regimen.

  Since I wrote that article, I too have been contemplating the ways in which I can continue to perform at my sport at a high level as well. And although angling is nowhere near as demanding as big wave surfing, it does in many cases require a certain level of conditioning and ability. Case in point; last month some friends of ours went on a trip to Belize to celebrate a wedding anniversary. The husband...who does fish a fair amount with conventional tackle, decided that he wanted to try his hand at fly fishing for Bonefish. In spite of the fact he had never fly-fished before, he did manage to land a few fish. However, the aftermath of sore muscles and joints from trying to cast a 9wt rod in a stiff breeze for the first time while maintaining balance on a tippy skiff in a 20 knot wind was in his words "miserable".

  To be honest, I've never really thought about what kind of fitness level it takes to perform our sport at a high level. For some, their style of or otherwise means standing in one calm spot casting a moderately tapered cane rod at a relaxed and leisurely pace. For many of us, including myself, that style of fishing just isn't an option, at least not if you want to catch anything!

  So a few weeks ago, I began exploring some exercises, both traditional and outside the norm that could improve our ability to perform our sport at a high level as we age. And in the process, become an overall healthier more fit version of ourselves. Over the next several Front Pages, I'd like to share these, as there have been some very interesting insights (at least for me) as to how this can be accomplished.

Hope you're all staying safe and healthy