Mar 7, 2022 - Business

Denver's Jennings Hester believes in the healing power of fly fishing

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of Jennings Hester.

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Jennings Hester

Jennings Hester joined Alabama's football team as a linebacker in coach Nick Saban's first recruiting class.

Flashback: A chronic hamstring injury kept him on the sidelines and he never played a game.

What happened next: Without the structure of football, Hester lost his community and his long-time battle with depression spun out of control, he explains.

  • "I'm the stereotypical story of a man struggling in the U.S. β€” started dealing with symptoms at a young age and didn't know I was dealing with something treatable," he says.

What's new: In Colorado, Hester found solace in fly fishing and fly tying and started a nonprofit here in 2019 called Fishing the Good Fight to serve men facing mental health challenges.

  • The organization hosts fishing retreats and men's groups that mix in counseling sessions and create community for those in need.

Meet him: We asked Hester, a sales director for a sports company, for insights into his habits β€” and fishing:

πŸ“± Device of choice: iPhone 13Pro

πŸ‘‡ First tap: Email. "Usually I wake up with a stupid number," he says.

πŸ’» Reading list: The blog, "Man Talks"

🎡On rotation: Country singer Charles Wesley Godwin, Shane Smith, Tyler Childers, Zack Bryan

🚴 Favorite app: MTB Project, a mountain biking trail guide

🎣 Favorite place to fish: "I love fishing in Wyoming on the Bighorn River."

🐟 Biggest catch: 25-inch rainbow trout on the aforementioned river

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