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Casting for Recovery Goals

The goals of Casting for Recovery are to:

  • Give each participant a respite from familiar surroundings and routines in a natural setting, where well-being can flourish

  • Provide a welcoming environment to help participants take charge of their own wellness

  • Provide a weekend of fun and support incorporating the wonderful sport of fly fishing

  • Allow participants to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the outdoors and to be in the moment

  • Provide the opportunity for participants to practice fly fishing skills

  • Provide participants with an opportunity for healing at no expense

  • Offer the opportunity to meet new friends, network, exchange information and have fun.


Who are the ACT Fly Fishers?

ACT Fly Fishers Inc. is a Canberra based fly fishing club focused on the needs of freshwater and saltwater fly fishers. It was established in 1978 and has around 130 members, of which 10-15 % are women. Women play an important role on the Council, in the organisation of the Club and in determining future directions.

The club is an Incorporated Association within the Australian Capital Territory. Its Council ensures the Club meets its obligations under the Incorporated Associations Act. This includes submitting audited annual financial accounts to the ACT Government.


The Club is very active; it meets twice a month with guest speakers and skills nights and meets once a month for fly tying. Club fishing trips are scheduled throughout the year.

The Club has supported the Casting for Recovery initiative as a means of supporting women with breast cancer and also giving something back to the Canberra community. 

More details are at

The ACT Fly Fishers Inc. is the first club in Australia to affiliate with the Casting for Recovery USA organisation and has exclusive rights to offer the Casting for Recovery program in the ACT.










Casting for Recovery was founded in 1996 by two women in the USA, a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. They combined their skills to develop the initial Casting for Recovery program.

Casting for Recovery has expanded internationally and can be found in Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and since 2016, in the Australian Capital Territory.

Casting for Recovery’s innovative program focuses on women recovering from breast cancer and improving quality of life. It has attracted endorsements from medical and psycho-social experts.

Why Fly Fishing and Breast Cancer?

The concept is unique. Fly fishing and the casting motion provide a movement for joint and soft tissue stretching. Fly fishing uses a whole range of body movements. Post-surgery, a mastectomy scar has a tendency to adhere to the nearest tissue possible, thereby limiting movement. Casting a rod opens up the chest area with both arms in use in differing directions and a range of shoulder, back and hip movements.

On a social level, women are given the opportunity to experience a new activity in a safe environment amongst a supportive group of peers. The retreats provide a new outlet – fly fishing – as a counterbalance from the everyday stresses and challenges of living with cancer.

Fast Facts

In the ACT, every day a woman is diagnosed with cancer. The main purpose of the retreat is to provide a new, entertaining experience through the sport of fly fishing in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and to create a pleasant diversion for attendees from every day life challenges.


Experience with the programs internationally shows the Casting for Recovery opportunity can be therapeutic. Occasionally, participants have taken up fly fishing as their main leisure pursuit!


Casting for Recovery USA has compiled research projects attesting to the power of the Casting for Recovery mission. Data show a significant reduction in emotional, physical and spiritual concerns for women post-retreat.


In 2011 and 2012, Casting for Recovery USA was the subject of a National Comprehensive Cancer Network study. It found that Casting for Recovery participants had experienced a statistically significant reduction in anxiety and other distress symptoms associated with recovery from breast cancer. The study’s conclusion was that Casting for Recovery is a valuable program to reduce and/or identify areas of emotional distress for women recovering from breast cancer.


Casting for Recovery co-founders Dr Benita Walton and
Gwenn Perkins Bogart

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