Intermittent Rewards

Published Jun 30th 2012

A Fish On blog post from Reese Ferguison who will be participating in the September Reel Recovery Retreat in Idaho


This week's "Fish On" blog post comes from my good friend and fishing buddy Reese Ferguison. Reese will be participating in the September Reel Recovery Retreat in Idaho and will be one of the central stories in this documentary. You can learn a bit more about Reese by viewing our Kickstarter fundraising video here. -travis
Intermittent rewards. It is why people play slot machines. It is the anticipation of a payout; but never knowing when it will happen. It could be that next pull. It can be addicting for some; they hit a small reward and the coins clank in the metal tray, the bells ring, lights flash; excitement wells up in their chest. The endorphins are released in their brain and they continue to seek that excitement and that feeling of winning.

Sort of reminds me of fly fishing without all the annoying bells and whistles. I'm addicted to the intermittent rewards of standing in a river throwing a bug and watching it bounce on the riffles in the perfect seam and seeing that dark shadow rise and slurp my presentation. I feel the heat rise up in my chest as I see that flash of color in the water and feel the quick tugs in my wrist as the fish devours the fly and swims for an escape. My brain is filled with energy as I begin to assess the fish and create a plan for playing the fish and locating a spot to land and release the fish. For the moment, all else in the world is gone and my senses are alive.


The beauty of fly fishing is that between these intermittent rewards are other rewards; constant rewards. I feel like I have won the day when I get to spend a few hours standing in a river with a good friend pursuing trout. There is something about sharing the outdoors and appreciating nature with a good friend or even alone that releases us from any mundane daily tasks. If I happen to have one of those fishing days without experiencing a lightning flash fight with a trout; I am still excited about a day of fly fishing.

I think all fly fishermen get this; it is why we care so much about not just the fishing, but the fish themselves and the environment that they live and thrive. It is this feeling and joy and peace connected to fly fishing that has brought Travis and me together to create a film that will help others know what deep down all of us fly fisherman experience on the water. With the help of contributions from individuals and organizations we hope to show in this film the healing and rewards of fly fishing and educate those who would like to also participate in this most rewarding sport.

All entries in Travis' diaryThe entries are being published as the project progresses.
When new entries are ready, they are announced here and then linked when they are published.

The Kickstarter page for the project.
The Facebook page for the project.
The organization Reel Recovery.
Our first blog entry about the project.

User comments
From: Megan · Megan_plantenga·at·  Link
Submitted June 12th 2014

I just watched Fish On. Real men are the men in Reel Recovery. God ,our Creator, made us perfect and then man fell. The greatest challenge is knowing God did not give these men cancer. It is a disease that was produced in the fall. But Jesus is a Fisher of men and I pray as these men continue to see the awesomeness of God and that they will each have a Divine encounter with God who gives eternal life through His son Jesus. God bless these brave hearted men. Fish on. Many thanks to Reese.

From: Dad & Mary · mmferguison·at·  Link
Submitted July 13th 2012

Reese we're very proud of you Travis. We wish you the very best in this project.

From: Travis Swartz · fishonmovie·at·  Link
Submitted June 10th 2012

Hello Raymond. Thanks so much for your comments. Would be honored to have you sharing our decal. Currently we offer the decal on stickers, t-shirts & hats through our Kickstarter campaign (link is on this page). The "rewards" are listed on Kickstarter on the right side of screen. Later in the summer we will likely have them for sale directly from the website we are creating. We definitely want to get you something whether or not Kickstarter works for you. Please feel free to email us at Good luck teaching your girlfriend to fish! I'm taking my wife out this summer!

Comment to an image
From: Raymond Richard · mww·at·  Link
Submitted June 10th 2012

it is so true that fly fishing brings them therapy that no one can buy,i also have a few fly fishing friends who are fighting to beat cancer ,and they forget that they are sick when they fish ,i would like to know where i cold purchase a decal like yours to offer them and show them they are not alone,i also am suporting and fighting with my girlfriend who was diagnose with breast cancer,i want to introduce her to fly fishing when possible,she is doing good and hopefully it will be over soon with healling, thank u so much for this i also fly fish and it takes me to another world even if only for a few hrs,an if she feels to it,she will be learning how to fly fish this summer with me.

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