Exercise Awesome: Fly-Fishing


This ain’t no sitting in a boat waiting for your bobber to sink, and it’s a lot more fun, too.

David Chorpenning, fly-fisherman of 16 years, and two-time winner of the Eleven mile Canyon Fly Fishing Challenge, knows how to catch a fish. I was lucky enough for him to give me my first lesson.

  • Fly-Fishing: “You are constantly scrambling over rocks and boulders. When fishing in the river, the water is flowing 10-500 cubic feet per second, which requires steady balance and strength to not get washed away. Your arm is also constantly in motion with a 5 pound+ rod, reel, line and fly.”  
  • Why you should try it: The quest to hook your catch brings a level of excitement, adrenaline, and satisfaction that you don’t get leaving the gym.
  • Muscles used: From all the trudging in the water and hiking to find an uncharted spot, you’re really working your quads and cardiac muscles, in addition to the arm strengthening you receive by carrying all of the gear and the constant casting. 
  • Highlights: Being by the water and getting to be in the forest allows you to really get in touch with nature. You get to hear the soothing sound of the river and the birds, see butterflies go by, and you get to get muddy without ruining your clothes (thanks waders!). When your hard works pays off and you get a few minutes with what David refers to as a, “wild beautiful creature,” it really is an unforgettable moment, unlike watching bad reality TV shows on your exercise equipment. For proof of my lucky catch, click here.
  • Calories burned: 150-300 per hour (to get a more accurate account of measuring calories based on your weight, check CalorieLab).
  • Equipment Needed: Waders (waterproof rubber pants and boots combo), rod, reel, line, dry flies, vest, assorted tools. 
  • What to Wear: Dri-FIT tops like the Nike Dri-FIT Knit Half-Zip are good because they’ll dry quicker if you get a little wet from the water splashing you. For bottoms, try the Nike Legend 2.0 Tight Dri-FIT Pants under your waders if they’re overalls (if they’re not, you’ll want jeans so you can hook them to your belt loop).
  • Hurdles: The bugs can be annoying. There is a reason dry flies are used as bait, because they swarm over the water.

Other Exercise Awesomes:



Stay tuned for next week’s post: let’s boogie on down. If you have an Exercise Awesome idea, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to feature it.