top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fly fishing?

Fly fishing is a method of catching fish through imitating their natural food, such as insects and small fish, by using flies that are presented using a fly line and fly rod. Flies are hand-tied from feathers, fur, fabric, or whatever will make them look to a fish like the real food t sees on or under the water. These materials are fastened to a hook with wraps of thread. Many tied flies, such as a pattern representing a mosquito, are virtually weightless and therefore require some means of presentation, or getting them to the fish. This is done by casting a weighted line through the air so the fly will land naturally on the water. In a good presentation, the imitation fly not only looks but also acts like the real insect. It sounds simple in theory but involves a lot of skills, from figuring out what fly to use and developing an accurate cast to finding out where the fish are feeding and what they are eating.

Why fly fishing?


         Fly fishing is just plain fun

        Fish live in beautiful places

        Fly fishing involves all the senses

        Fly fishing is a “time-out” from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day living

        Fly fishing is a challenge

        Every fly fishing outing is a new adventure

         Fly fishing can be a lifetime sport

        Fly fishing is an entire process and all of it is interesting

People who fly fish enjoy it at many different levels - be it for the outdoors & breathing in the fresh air, sharing anothers company, having time to reflect, or simply catching a fish. Everyone’s experience will be unique. Go out there and make it the experience you want.

Why fly fishing and breast cancer?

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 movement.

Being in the outdoors and having to walk to a lake or river, even just standing in the cool moving water will increase fitness. The New Zealand experience has about 30 percent of participants taking up fly fishing after a retreat.

Turning your total attention to the activities of fly fishing can provide relief from everyday stresses. Studies on quality of life for women recovering from breast cancer confirm that outdoor activity, exercise and social support can help survivors live longer and thrive.

What does it take?

Fly fishing is a activity in which both men and women can excel because there are so few physical barriers. Regardless of age, body type, or muscular condition, virtually anyone, who wants to, can learn to fly fish. So many aspects of the pass-time, particularly casting and playing fish, have to do with skill and experience.

What do participants say?

“I can’t thank you enough for such an amazing experience.  Everyone was supportive, friendly, caring and genuine.  I haven’t laughed so much for ages.  Truly unforgettable”

- Helen, CFR Victoria retreat, Ballarat 2022

"I call the organisers "Angels" because that's what they are.  An amazing experience"

- Pat, CFR Victoria participant, Eildon 2019

Wonderful to meet other women gone through similar journey and sharing your stories”

— Bernadette, first Australian CfR retreat 2016, ACT Fly Fishers Inc.

“It has been a fantastic weekend, everyone is so caring, we feel like princesses”

— Andrea, first CfR retreat 2016, ACT Fly Fishers Inc.

“It is great to focus on something totally new. It is quite technical and not as easy as it looks, but there is fantastic support and tuition, a great experience. Where has this been all my life?”

— Sally, first CfR retreat, ACT Fly Fishers Inc.


“A CfR retreat, it's an amazing experience. You learn that you're not the only one dealing with this disease, but you learn it in a beautiful, peaceful setting, surrounded by wonderful, strong women. The best part is that you get the chance to experience a new skill that provides a challenge and hope to move forward. I've thought numerous times about standing in that stream with my river guide trying to cast my line to catch the elusive fish, and the sheer awesomeness of it all. And that gives me hope.” 

— Debbie, 2014 Georgia retreat participant

Am I eligible?

Participants, who have had their treatment in Victoria, are eligible at any age and stage of recovery from breast cancer. Medical clearance from your doctor is required acknowledging that you are medically fit to attend the CfR retreat.

What is the selection process?

Participants are selected in the order of registrations received.
Those who have registered will be notified whether they have been successful or not. Those successful will be asked for additional personal information as well as dietary needs and details for sizing of fishing gear. They will then will be supplied with all the information they will require prior to the retreat weekend. Those who have not been selected will be notified and placed on the short-list for the next available retreat.

What personal information does CfR Vic collect?

We need your contact details and some personal information, like your shirt size and possible physical and mobility limitations.

Why do you need this personal information?

So we can contact you about the retreat then customise the experience to your own personal circumstances and accommodate any special requirements you may have.

How is my information stored?

Your personal information is stored in a secure container. If you emailed us your application form it will be printed and the email deleted. Only contact details are stored electronically.

Who sees this personal information?

CfR Victoria operates on a ‘need to know’ basis so only people associated with running the retreat and its activities.

What happens to my personal information after a retreat?

Within fourteen days of the completion of a retreat your personal information is destroyed. We will keep your contact details unless you specifically ask us not to.

Where can I get a full copy of your privacy policy?

It’s available HERE or you can request a copy by email or post.

bottom of page