Numerous studies show that you can re-wire your brain. And, for me, fly fishing is a big part of that.

We live in a golden age for neuroscience, as brain-scanning technologies have become cheap and ubiquitous. They’ve given science an incredible view into our inner brains. A few key takeaways:

  • Neurons that fire together get wired together. Our brains are incredibly efficient, and if we’re prone to worry and anxiety (understandable, given 2020), those neural pathways get stronger over time. Worry begets more worry.
  • Neuro-plasticity. The brain can be shaped. We’re not as hard-wired as we think. We actually have the ability to rewire our brains and make them more optimistic.
  • Gratitude is key. Studies show that spending time in the evening before bed and accounting for the things for which you are most grateful that day will make your brain more optimistic and less anxious.

As I’ve written before, fly fishing is good for your brain (here and here). For me, gratitude has been a key part of trying to get through 2020.

To that end, I am grateful for this blog community and group of writers:

  • We are nearing one million cumulative page views!
  • We have nearly 2,000 social media and email subscribers.
  • We continue to donate 100% of our profits and will shortly send donations to Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery.
  • We appreciate your thoughtfulness in the blog comments.
  • Whenever I fish with the blog team, I am in awe of their angling prowess as well as their kindness towards other anglers. I am really looking forward to fishing again with them. Guys, we need to rent a house and fish Maine!

I was thinking about all this as I stalked for browns on Sunday while armed with experimental dries. It was a slow-and-cold outing, but I really want to improve my winter dry-fly game.

I was grateful to land two fish, one 14″ and 17″; the latter was a beautiful buck. Miraculously, I didn’t over-set, the 7x held, and the new flies seemed to work, at least for one day. Sizes 26 to 30 dries worked the best.

So, during this holiday season, I wish only the best to you, your families, and your communities. It has been such a trying year, but know that we always have the power to choose our responses and see the bright side of things.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a joyous New Year to all! Let’s strive for more joy in 2021.


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4 thoughts on “Joy

  1. Interesting post. Iv been trying to re wire my brain to catch more big trout for years.. hasn’t payed off quit yet though. Lol. To all the writers who post, Thank you!! You all make my days a little brighter after ever read .. wishing all of you a merry Christmas and happy new year!!!

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