A guest at the Livingston Manor Fly Fishing Club, a retreat space in the Catskills. Credit George Etheredge for The New York Times
Step aside, goat yoga. The chic way to unwind now is fly fishing.
That’s right. For some of the same reasons millennials recently flocked to bird-watching, this sport — long dominated by old white men — is gaining popularity with a younger set.
For those who can afford the leisure time and some rudimentary equipment, it offers a reason to be outdoors, a closer connection to nature, an avenue for environmentalism, built-in community, opportunity for creative expression, and a lifetime’s worth of niche expertise. Fly anglers who are not vegetarian nor vegan, nor otherwise bound by the code of “catch and release,” see it as an extension of the farm-to-table movement. Plus, it’s very Instagrammable, even as it encourages people to put down their phones.
And where millennials go, hospitality brands follow. Guided fly-fishing excursions are now offered at many trendy boutique hotels, including The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo.; Tourists, the eco-friendly lodge opened by indie influencers including the bassist of Wilco, in North Adams, Mass.; and Sage Lodge, a new nature resort just north of Yellowstone National Park in Pray, Mont., which has a stand of fly tackles and nets in its lobby, and daily “Fly Fishing 101” courses at its backyard casting pond overlooking the Absakora Mountains.