Using nature to help combat breast cancer

Unique program combines fly fishing and counseling

“Casting for Recovery” is known across the nation, with chapters in every state. It’s made appearances on national network news and other media outlets.

Annette Morris and her husband founded the Iowa chapter five years ago.

“My husband and I read an article years back about the recovery program and decided we wanted to help out,” Morris said. “I love fly fishing, it’s one of my passions.”

She will be coming to the Grimes Farm & Conservation Center on July 10 to talk about what the program is all about from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Participants can stay past 12:30 p.m. if interested in continuing to cast a line.

Her visit next week is a microcosm to what the program does at the state level.

Every year a retreat is organized, free of charge, for 14 women. A weekend is devoted to having discussions about the women’s situations along with fly fishing.

Nurses as well as psychosocial specialists are also on hand to help the women have a relaxing weekend while learning a new skill.

“A lot of women who come are generally afraid at first,” Morris said. “By the time we wrap up Sunday they don’t want to leave.”

Participants can be at any stage of their cancer diagnosis. The idea is that regardless of diagnosis, treatment, etc., the program provides support for those that need it and connect with peers.

“One lady passed away a couple months ago and she said this was one of her best experiences,” Morris said. “After we were done she went for a hike, something she’d never do alone prior.

“She was full of life again.”

The event in Marshall County is one of few that Morris does on the side, to help spread awareness about the recovery program.

“This will be the first one where the women actually get to fish also,” Morris said. “It’ll be interesting and I’m excited.”

Local fly-fisherman Dean Elder will be present to help teach, additional fly-fisherman are encouraged to volunteer.

Anyone interested is encouraged to call the Conservation Center at (641) 752-5490 before Thursday to sign up. As of now the event is scheduled to go on, rain or shine, but double check on the Center’s Facebook page.

More information on the program’s mission can be found at


Contact Mike Burvee at (641)-753-6611 or