Whether you live here year-round or you have just popped in for a visit, one thing is clear: There’s a lot to do in Jackson County. So, when trying to decide what to do with your time here in Western North Carolina, you’ll want to carefully consider your options.
Fly fishing is certainly one of the best options, and it represents one of the most enjoyable ways to spend the day. However, fly fishing isn’t just a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors – it is actually a healthy way to spend some time. Some of the most notable ways in which fly fishing (and fishing in general) helps your health include:
1. Fresh air helps support lung health. Polluted city air is horrible for your lungs, and your body will thank you for the chance to enjoy a little fresh, clean air. Few places provide a better chance to do so that the Western Carolina Mountains and the trout streams that bisect them. The fresh air will provide plenty of immediate benefits, but the effects will also last for some time after you leave.
2. Fishing helps accelerate the healing process. Researchers have long known that views of the natural world help shorten the time it takes for hospital patients to heal, and they’ve incorporated views of trees, mountains and rivers to help take advantage of this fact. Few areas provide better views than Jackson County’s trophy trout streams, so you’ll enjoy similar benefits while fly fishing.
3. Fish is a healthy protein source. Catch-and- release is a pretty good policy for anglers, and you’ll always want to follow North Carolina’s laws and regulations, but it is usually fine to harvest the occasional fish or two for your dinner table. Fish is an incredibly healthy protein, that is both delicious and lean. Many cold-water fatty fish are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a wealth of health benefits themselves.
4. Fishing can help lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common problem that often requires a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to manage. You’ll have to talk to your doctor about the best medications, but we’ve got a great suggestion for a lifestyle change: Fish more often. Time spent in natural spaces helps to reduce your blood pressure immediately, as well as for a brief time after you call it quits.
5. Fishing can help support your immune system. Exposure to natural, unfiltered sunlight helps to keep your immune system operating at peak efficiency. This will help your body fight off illnesses and keep you feeling your best, so you’ll want to make sure you spend plenty of time outdoors soaking up the sun. Fishing provides a wonderful opportunity to do so – just make sure that you use a good sunscreen while doing so.
There are many more ways in which fishing helps support your health and well-being, the ones described above only represent a handful. If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of fishing, check out Outdoor Empire’s comprehensive review of the subject. While many of the health benefits of fishing are relatively obvious and intuitive, you may find a few of the benefits surprising.