A new study by Boom and Wilde reveals something else can release the same chemicals in our brains as sex. They found it can happen while spey fishing for steelhead. You are probably coming off a serious high after Valentine’s Day, and if you’re looking for your next fix, look no further than your closest steelhead river.
No surprise was that a dry fly steelhead came out on top as the most euphoric feeling in the Boom and Wilde study, and researcher Dr. Fairbroker said, “Steelhead sipping dries showed a massive oxytocin response when viewed at the end of an angler’s line, thus the anticipation is likely to provoke a similar response.” I don’t think any of us were surprised to hear this one.
The study found that watching an aggressive steelhead taking on the surface had the biggest impact when it came to inducing feelings of love. The subject steelheaders who viewed the feat showed levels of oxytocin increase by 80 pg/ml. Next time you have an opportunity to take a steelhead on a dry fly, don’t waste it by being too lazy to switch over to your scandi. Get that oxytocin.
Sight casting for a steelhead and catching it
I think anglers are very visual, and so nothing is more stimulating than watching a steelhead open its mouth to your fly. The Boom and Wilde study is good news for all the spey guys who like to spot and stock fish. If you spot one and get it to take, you can give yourself an increase of 65pg/ml in oxytocin. It is also never a bad idea to walk the beach looking for a fish holding on to the inside lie.
Picking someone’s pocket
The study found that 54% of millennials would say that catching a fish behind their much older counterpart is just as pleasurable as sex. If you happen to have a millennial coming through behind you, make sure you don’t miss a fish. They will flog that water hard to pull one out of your pocket and release a huge rush of oxytocin. In fact, 35% of millennials would choose picking someone’s pocket on the river over action between the sheets.
Catching a fish on a fly you tied
I fully wave the flag for those new anglers who are trying to get their first fish on a home tie. Tying flies can be a rich source of mental preparation—almost a foreplay of sorts. While people tie, they’re naturally visualizing how they’ll use that fly in the water and, in doing so, they’re also visualizing that grab. When it finally happens on the water, the rush can be intense. Custom ties can make a huge difference on a busy river.
Middle of the river grab on a bomber cast
For accomplished spey casters, launching out 100-footer can give them a momentary euphoric buzz. However, when a fish grabs out in the middle of the river, it causes an oxytocin overload. A study conducted by Casterbators[MTJ2] Anonymous found that 49% of spey fisherman said a catching a fish on a long cast brought them more happiness than their wedding day, while 51% said they preferred spey casting lessons with Simon Gawesworth over going on a date with their partner. These are some serious statistics right here.