Three men stand by a mountain river with fishing rods.

A Fishing Retreat in Maine for Men with Cancer

Last updated: April 2022

Dealing with prostate cancer can be a lonely, frightening journey. You might be feeling anxious, frustrated, and isolated, but there are resources that can help. One such resource is Reel Recovery.

A wonderful program

The fly fishing retreats offered by Reel Recovery are a wonderful program for patients with prostate cancer. These retreats are free to men living with any type of cancer, whether it is in remission or not, and take place in some of the most beautiful and iconic fishing locations in the country.

If you are having trouble dealing with prostate cancer, or the side effects from treatments, these retreats can offer support during a difficult time in your life. You will get a chance to talk to other men facing similar issues in a beautiful setting with a chance to fish some classic trout waters. Even if you cannot cast a fly rod, you should consider one of these retreats; beginners are welcome, and personalized casting lessons are available.

A great privilege

On the first day of autumn this year I had the great privilege of joining Reel Recovery in Maine for a retreat for men with cancer. I was there as a reporter, having previously been to a retreat in Montana as a participant.

The Maine retreat was held at Weatherby’s sporting lodge on Grand Lake Stream in Downeast Maine. I was worried I would be considered an outsider to the men at the retreat as I sat down at their first dinner; however, the man sitting opposite me was having difficulties dealing with ADT treatment for prostate cancer. I had the same issues, so we immediately had a connection. As it turned out, most of the men at the retreat were living with prostate cancer.

The camaraderie

The beautiful surroundings, the fly fishing, the moderated discussions and the camaraderie of men tended to bond them together and offer solace. The discussions, called “Courageous Conversations,” allowed the participants to air out their concerns in a mutually supportive environment with other men who are facing similar struggles.

Bill Campbell, a cancer survivor from Virginia, had this to say about the retreat: “Healing happens when I share my story and listen to others. The more I avail myself of that, the healthier I'll become, mentally, emotionally, and ultimately physically. The retreat showed me the healing power of peer support and heartfelt communication.”

Making a difference

For me and others who have experienced a Reel Recovery retreat, we will be forever indebted to the volunteers and fishing guides who run these retreats, plus the donors who made it possible. Most of these highly-dedicated guides took time off from work and families to assist the participants in the Maine retreat. The Orvis Company in Vermont has been a major financial donor to the Maine retreats, as have other organizations and individuals.

If you are having a difficult time dealing with prostate cancer or the side effects of your treatments, consider a Reel Recovery retreat. During a retreat, you will be treated like a king; empathy and kindness, so lacking in many medical facilities, is here in abundance. You will also get to network with other men living with cancer in a beautiful location and fish some classic trout streams. A Reel Recovery retreat made a difference in my life, and it can make a difference in yours as well.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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