Cancer Survivors Cast For Recovery At Sapulpa Event

Saturday, January 15th 2011, 7:00 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

SAPULPA, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma's fly fishers are reaching out to victims of cancer.

Dozens of anglers met Saturday to encourage anyone fighting the deadly disease to seek therapy by grabbing a rod and reel.

With a steely eye and nimble fingers, fly fishers gathered in Sapulpa to tie fly's and pass on their secrets.

This Fly Tying Jamboree is more than just a get together for fishermen and women. More than 400 flies will be donated to two special groups that use fly fishing as therapy for cancer patients.

Ken Richards is with Reel Recovery and a cancer survivor.

"When you're on the river fly fishing there's no worry, there's no cancer, there's no problems," Richards said.

He takes nearly 300 men out every year on a fly fishing expedition, each one is either fighting cancer or already beaten it.

"Everything is supplied. They show up with their meds that they have to take and their clothes. All the fly fishing gear, the waders, the boots, the vests, rods, everything is taken care of," Richards said.

Fly fishing is not just for men recovering from cancer, Cast 4 Recovery helps women battling breast cancer and organizers say just the motion of fly fishing helps build up muscle in the breast area.

"I had some prostate cancer and I had some cancer on the back of my tongue," said cancer survivor Mike Lanning.

Lanning is now cancer free and an avid fisherman. He made his own trip with Reel Recovery and says the fly fishing was great but the chance to meet other men fighting the same fight made it life changing.

"Men don't set around and talk about, 'Well, I got this or I got that.' They don't talk about that, they're all closed inside but they made us open up and it was a great experience," Lanning said.