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Freeport, ME, January 28, 2021

Take it Outside featuring David Coggins

Photo: Emilie Hawtin

There’s nothing quite like time spent outside. The benefits of setting aside the busyness of daily life and connecting with nature are endless — from physical health to mental well-being.

In this series, Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L.L. Bean, interviews friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts, discussing everything from favorite fishing holes to how time outside can make us all healthier and happier.

In the first installment of this series, Gorman talks to New York Times bestselling author David Coggins, known for his styleguide Men and Style and his upcoming book The Optimist: A Case for the Fly Fishing Life.

Pine Lake. Photo: Emilie Hawtin

Vintage L.L.Bean Coat. Photo: Emilie Hawtin.

Shawn: What do you seek from time in the outdoors?

David:Well, like a lot of people I head outside to get out of reception and to feel a connection to the natural world. I like to be in settings that have their own rhythms and exist in a slower way. That makes me slow down, and to do that in a beautiful place is a pretty good thing.

Shawn: Have you reconnected with a forgotten outdoor activity throughout the pandemic?

David:I am a pretty obsessive fly fisherman. I still found a way to do that during the pandemic. It involves planning, quarantining and heading to some isolated places—but I still got some good time on the water.

David and Emilie Hawtin exploring Maine. Photo: Chase Winfrey

The Optimist: A Case for The Fly Fishing Life. Published by Scribner, coming May 4th!

Shawn: Do you have a favorite spot you plan to head to when season opens?

David:I am trying to sneak down to the Bahamas to do some bonefishing, but that is a long shot. When the season opens in April, I’ll be in the Catskills, on my favorite stream, rain or shine (or snow!).

Shawn: What is your wish for people in 2021?

David:I hope people are healthier and can bond with their families and friends and cities. That seems far off, but I think a lot of people really are missing that sort of meaningful connection.

Shawn: What are you most hopeful for in 2021?

David: My book “The Optimist” comes out in May. It’s about fly fishing. And it’s a celebration of a great sport, of being outside, of being obsessed. I hope when people read it makes them appreciate all the wonderful things about the natural world and maybe even head to the water to wet the line.