Building Confidence Through Fly Fishing

By Melissa Ceren LPCC, M.Ed., Ed.S.

Feb 23, 2024

The enjoyment you will receive from fly fishing far outweighs the struggles you endure on your journey to learn. Building confidence in this sport can translate to overall improvement of self-esteem.

Like any new skill-based hobby, getting started is the hardest part of fly fishing. Learning to fly fish demands time, energy, and money in order to reap the rewards - the barrier to entry is high. However, your patience and effort will pay off when you break through the initial learning phases.


Resilience in fly fishing

Resilience is defined as your ability to recover from difficulties. In fly fishing, confidence is built not only upon your successes, but also on your ability to push through adversity. Common frustrating situations on the water include getting your line in tangles, losing fish, and having knots break. These situations build your resilience and beckon you to persist for a greater goal. You will start saying to yourself - “There were moments from today that were hard, but I pushed through it and am better for it.”


It’s normal to have self-doubt when starting with fly fishing. There is much to learn, but no rush to do so. It is easy to fall into the pitfalls of self-comparison and “impostor syndrome”; however, when you focus on yourself you will enjoy these beginning phases so much more. After all, you will never be a beginner again. I cherish some of the early experiences I had when I was still figuring it all out.

Building confidence

The only way to get better at fly fishing is to continue investing time on the water. As you learn and grow in this sport, your confidence will follow. I have found both for myself and through what others have told me, that this tenacity transfers to overall confidence in yourself as well. It is empowering to have a passion that you are proficient in and find peace with.

Melissa Ceren LPCC, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Melissa Ceren LPCC, M.Ed., Ed.S.

I am a mental health counselor and licensed fly fishing guide. I started fly fishing two years ago, when we moved from the East Coast to Colorado. Growing up, I was outside every chance that I had, and started going on weeklong backpacking trips with my dad at age seven. My other hobbies include painting, photography, birding, and gardening.