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Casting for Recovery: South Retreats

Class of 2018

Class of 2018

Casting for Recovery (CFR) provides retreats at no cost to participants, which allow people whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather in a beautiful, natural setting and learn to fly fish.

It offers participants an opportunity to experience the peace and solitude and the chance to be in the moment that fly fishing provides. The retreat also incorporates a range of other services to promote well-being. The 2.5 day retreat weekend is one of fun and support with the mission of our trained volunteers being that of empowerment and achievement to what ever level you are capable of.

2019 Nelson retreat

At Owen River Lodge in the Owen Valley near Murchison.

26 - 28 April 2019

2019 Southern retreat

At Lime Tree Lodge Lodge, Wanaka

26 - 28 April 2019

Applications for the 2019 retreats are now open.


Download the brochure for the 2019 Nelson retreat.

Download the brochure for the 2019 Southland retreat.


Sally Robertson

Email: sally@castingforrecovery.org.nz

Phone 03 528 6289

Southland Coordinator Lisa Brits

Email: castingforrecoverysouth@gmail.com

Phone 021 994 711

Eligibility and selection

The Casting for Recovery retreat accommodates 10 participants who have or have had breast cancer. You need not ever have picked up a rod in your life and only need to get to the location. Once there, you will be outfitted with fly fishing gear from head to toe for use for the duration of the retreat.

The selection of the 10 participants from all those applying is through a random lottery. The only condition is that you provide a medical certificate that confirms you are fit to participate.

Staffing Retreats are staffed by trained men and women volunteers. Our fly fishing instructors, medical and hospitality team are all here to make your weekend one of fun, empowerment and achievement.

You will be immersed in the world of fly fishing, learning to cast, tie the basic knots and all about the bugs - what fish eat. On the last day of the retreat, you'll be in the water practicing catch and release fishing assisted by our CFR volunteers, whom are passionate fly fishing anglers with years of experience to share with you.

Note that you are free to participate at whatever level you feel comfortable and are free to break from any activity.

Click here to view sample schedule

Other services

In addition to your fly fishing experts, some of whom represent NZ on our National Fly Fishing team the Silver Flies, you will have a pampering session. This includes:

  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Manicures
  • Prosthetic advice
  • Compression garment fitting
  • A resource table that includes lymphoedema advice.
Lodgings We provide you with comfortable shared lodgings. In our gathering area you will find all day refreshments with seasonal fruit and snacks. Our CFR volunteers will be sharing meal times with you, taking care of your needs and sharing in your daily recollections.

Video clip of CFR

Watch a short video clip and listen to women talk about what the American programme of Casting for Recovery has meant for them and their families. See what is involved and hear how this progamme, made possible by many volunteers and sponsors, has had a profound effect on women recovering from breast cancer.

Newspaper article For information about the 2014 retreat read the Nelson Mail article.
Sponsorship and support As the program is non-profit and offered at no cost to the participants, CFR relies on the generosity of individual donors, foundation grants, companies and organizations. If there is any way you can help with loans or gifts of fishing gear, outdoor clothing, or any other good or services, please contact Sherrie at CFR.
Become a "River Helper"

Casting for Recovery relies on the generous donation of goods and services as well as the time and expertise of anglers. If you would like to be part of this fun and important programme please check that you are able to fulfill the requirements as laid down in the "job description"


Tie some flies

Next time you're at your fly-tying bench, how about tying some flies that work in your region and send them through to CFR.

All donations will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

Please send flies to:
Sally Robertson
Programme Co-ordinator, CFR New Zealand

63 Kerei St

Motueka  7120

Zero Limits


CFR globally practises compulsory catch and release and the education of humanely releasing trout with soft nets and barbless hooks.

CFR also teaches the concept of leaving no footprint on our pristine waterways and so has been awarded the sustainable tourism tick of approval.

Endorsement for CFR NZ

"I heartily support Casting for Recovery as one of the best programs for breast cancer survivors that I know."

Susan Love, MD
Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

International organisation

Casting for Recovery was founded in the USA in 1996 and has its headquarters in Manchester Vermont. See www.castingforrecovery.org for more details.



Class of 2015

Class of 2015

Class of 2014

The Casting For Recovery Class of 2014

CFR Neslon 2013

The Casting For Recovery Class of 2013

The Casting for Recovery team thank all those who gave their time and expenses to assist participants during the retreat weekend.




Major sponsors


for funding equipment


Poronui Lodge


for funding accommodation





Thanks to our fly tiers

Peter Carty
Redge Horton

Thanks to our suporters...

Tony Entwistle
Tony Orman
Zane Mirfin
Peter Carty

And ...



Message from John Key
New Zealand Prime Minister
and Minister of Tourism


Retreat photos






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