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Reel Recovery: Be Well! Fish On!

Published on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ever thought fly fishing could change a life?  Absolutely!

Reg Tidball of the Michigan Chapter for Reel Recovery can attest to the power of this extraordinary retreat.  During this year’s retreat from June 26 – 28, Reg and his team of volunteers helped the 14 men, age 38 – 78, “find hope, clarity, support and peace with their cancers.”

So what is Reel Recovery?

As stated on the Reel Recovery website (, Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 by a group of avid fly-fishers, inspired by their fishing buddy’s ongoing battle with brain cancer. Witnessing first-hand the beneficial impact fly-fishing provided their friend, they created Reel Recovery to provide the same opportunity for other men battling the disease. Combining expert fly-fishing instruction with directed “courageous conversations”, the organization provides men with all forms of cancer a unique opportunity to share their stories, learn a new skill, form lasting friendships and gain renewed hope as they confront the challenges of cancer.

From this year’s Michigan retreat in Traverse City, Reg relayed this message:

“During the 2 ½ days, we all ate well, slept well, shed tears and laughed often, but most of all they confronted their cancers without reservation and with an open heart and open mind. These men possessed 11 different kinds of cancers and were in all stages of treatment. They readily discussed their treatment, the impact on their families and particularly their fears as related to their spouses, along with how it has changed their life in total.”

A prostate cancer survivor himself, Reg will be the first to tell you about the healing properties of Reel Recovery.  Reg revealed, “This is the 10th retreat I have been involved in and I have experienced only profound results. I believe the process of this retreat is far more valuable therapy than is offered in traditional after care offerings.”

For more information about registering for a retreat or for becoming a volunteer, please contact Reg Tidball Michigan Coordinator for Reel Recovery, by emailing