“Before you even hook some of these saltwater fish, there is so much that has to go into it. Things all have to align: the moon, the tides, your fly, your cast. It is exciting, it is intense. But there is nothing like it.”
That is part of the answer that Abbie Schuster, founder and owner of Kismet Outfitters, gave when asked to describe the feeling of chasing fish in the salt. Her response to the same question, only pertaining to yoga, was a little more concise.
Based out of Martha’s Vineyard, Schuster can put clients on some of the best striped bass, false albacore, and bluefish water in the nation. The quality of the fly fishing just off the idyllic Massachusetts island provides one more option for an already bustling tourist destination.
With such a diverse group visiting the Vineyard, Schuster wanted to broaden the appeal of a day on the water. “There’s no need for fly fishing to be intimidating. But in my experience, so many clients’ spouses wouldn’t travel with them because they thought that they have to be a hardcore fly fisher to just be on the boat.”
As a certified yoga instructor, she facilitates a whole other recreation option while on angling excursions.
The combination of her passions, and even their contrast, makes perfect sense to Schuster. “Fishing is super relaxing. It is easy to enjoy being outdoors. Then there are these moments when you turn psycho; when a fish swims by and you have to cast to it right then and there.” At the same time, something like a fishing trip entails much more: “Of course fly fishing is about being outside. That’s also why we do yoga outdoors. It’s one more way to expand that appreciation of being in nature.”
If they so choose, clients can start or end the day with yoga. Or, they can take a midday break from the fast-paced, high-pressure saltwater game. If there are multiple people on the boat, Schuster can set up one member of the party to walk and wade a beach while she instructs the other in yoga. There are endless options that can be customized for her guests.
It isn’t just non-fishing travel companions or people who are already into yoga that can benefit from instruction. “I believe yoga will actually help you become a better angler. Standing on a boat or wading all day is a lot of work physically. I’ve had clients who have gone from being wiped after four hours to being able to do full day trips after incorporating a routine.”
Undoubtedly, it is the rush from long casts, blazing runs, and powerful fights that gets fly fishers back in the saltwater over and over again. The inherent tension – the peace of the surroundings punctuated by intense angling – gives fly fishing in saltwater its appeal. But seasoned anglers know that you’re not at your best when everything is high-octane all the time.
Shuster agrees: “To be a better angler you need to slow down. Really, that means slowing down, taking a breath, and making that cast to a striper or bonefish. I’ve found that practicing yoga is a great way to prepare for those moments.” With something like yoga on the beach, preparation for those narrow windows in fishing can be as enjoyable as the cast or the fight itself.
Abbie Schuster wants everyone who fishes with Kismet Outfitters to realize how rich their outdoors experience can be. It could mean including a friend or family member who would have never gotten on a fishing boat. It could mean improving health and wellness. It could mean someone learning to enjoy their surroundings and the tranquility in the moment. In each of those cases, there is a lot more to be gained than just a good cast to a big fish.
Kismet Outfitters is a lot more than just saltwater fly fishing and yoga. Visit the website to learn about freshwater fishing, casting instruction, and even more that is offered in New England and around the world.
Here is what Abbie has to say about one of her favorite things to do with clients: “I love hosted travel. On these trips to places like Mexico and Scotland I get to work with local guides. Since I’m not guiding myself, I can spend time with guests however they want. The people who want to fish can fish all day. The people who don’t can split up their days with fishing, casting lessons, and yoga.”