From time to time we like to introduce you to some of the amazing women in flyfishing today. Meet Melissa Seyler! Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer and was encouraged by neighbor/friend Dr. Shauna Williams to apply to participate in Casting For Recovery’s annual retreat in Challis, ID. Shauna, a long time CFR volunteer with Casting for Recovery, knew how much support, friendship and flyfishing fun Melissa would benefit from as a participant. In the beginning Melissa was apprehensive but she did apply and attend in 2010.
Getting in the car with the group to travel to Challis held a lot of nervous anticipation. As they arrived at the retreat and begin to meet all of the participants and leaders the tone changed. This group included many women that lead ‘brilliant, adventurous lives’. Getting to know these ladies inspired Melissa to be more courageous. She had never fished before but by the time she got through the retreat, she was ‘hooked’. It also inspired her to think about the life she wanted to lead moving forward.
Needless to say, the retreat itself was life changing for Melissa and she began to understand the healing power in flyfishing. Being out on the water, watching the fly turn over and peacefully land after your cast. It brought a sense of calm to her life and continues to do so today.
Melissa finished her Chemo and recognized that the entire retreat had brought so much to her life; all at no cost to her. Inspiration to get through the challenges she faced, as well as inspiration to live a life she wanted to moving forward. She wanted to give back. She came back in 2011 as a volunteer at the same retreat and stayed involved in the years to follow. Watching others experience the same peace and calm she found is something she really enjoys.
Today she is the Program Coordinator for the Southwestern Idaho chapter as well as an avid angler. If you attend one of the Southwestern Idaho CFR events you’ll know they have all of their ‘ducks in a row’. Melissa is behind the scenes working the fundraising events, organizing retreat dates, equipment, volunteers and participants. She truly wants to share the same magic that she found at her retreat in 2010.
As a first-year volunteer, I could see the magic Melissa and the entire team offered through the 2023 retreat. It brought an opportunity for a great break in a beautiful place, new friendships, information, contacts and of course all that flyfishing offers. Flyfishing always introduces a person to amazing people who do extraordinary things. Thanks to Melissa and this CFR team for making such a difference to those facing serious challenges in life. If you’d like to donate or volunteer you can reach this chapter through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CastingForRecoverySouthernIdaho