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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PHWFF?

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) is a 501c(3) non-profit organization incorporated in Maryland that is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of injured and disabled military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. With over 200 Programs nationwide, the programs provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes, along with clinics participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day, and multi-day are also provided free of charge to participants. It is much more than a one-time fishing trip. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) began in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, PHWFF has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics..PHWFF is unique in that our volunteers are teaching classes on an on-going, long-term basis. It is much more than a one-day fishing trip. For many participants, particularly disabled veterans, the socialization, and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings and provide them a new activity.

What does a PHWFF program offer?

The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes, along with clinics participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day and multi-day, are also provided free of charge to participants. PHWFF is unique in that our volunteers are teaching classes on an on-going, long term basis. It is much more than a one day fishing trip. For many participants, particularly disabled veterans, the socialization and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings, and provide them a new activity.

How are you funded?

PHWFF relies on the generosity of individuals as well as private and corporate donors. PHWFF also solicits foundation grants and government funding. After a thorough vetting process, PHWFF is part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #82526).

Is there a cost to participate?

All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day and multi-day, are also provided free of charge to participants.

​Are you a non-profit?

Yes, PHWFF is a 501c3 non-profit.

Who qualifies to participate in Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing?

PHWFF Participants are defined as the individuals receiving the benefits of PHWFF program activities (e.g. Fly Fishing 101 classes, casting instruction, fly tying classes, rod building classes and fishing outings, etc.) on an ongoing basis. PHWFF Participants can be Military Service personnel (i.e., Active or Reserve Component, including Reserve and National Guard) or Disabled Veterans who meet our eligibility requirements:

(1) Military Service Personnel must meet both of the following criteria:

(a) Is a service member who has been wounded, ill, diseased, injured or obtained a medical condition during their active military service in line of duty. “In line of duty” means a wound, illness, disease, injury or medical condition was incurred during a period of active military service that was not result of the military service member’s own willful misconduct.

(b) Is recommended to take part in the PHWFF program by their military health care provider (e.g., military transition unit cadre, doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc.) at a Department of Defense (DOD) Hospital, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility, Military Transition Unit (e.g., Warrior Transition Unit, Wounded Warrior Battalion, etc.) or other military designated health care provider as requiring on-going medical treatment that eventually will lead to a disability. Please note that patients currently receiving treatment for any medical condition at any of these facilities that, in the opinion of their medical health provider, will not result in a disability rating are welcome to attend PHWFF activities while they are receiving treatment, will be counted as a participant while receiving treatment but are not eligible to be participants after treatment ends.

(2) Veterans must meet at least one of the following criteria:

(a) Is a disabled veteran with a disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

(b) Is recommended to take part in your PHWFF program by VA staff, if granted referral authority by local VA leadership (e.g. OIF/OEF Coordinator), or VA medical personnel (e.g., recreational therapist, doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist etc.) at a VA facility (e.g., VA Medical Center, VA Outpatient Clinic, or VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, etc.).

(c) Has a Military Service rating and is awaiting their disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Note that a military Service rating is interim proof of eligibility with the understanding that disability rating will be issued.

How many veterans have you served?

In 2015 alone, we served over 7,400 injured and disabled military service personnel and disabled veterans nationwide.

Who does PHWFF serve?

PHWFF serves wounded and disabled active military service members and disabled veterans from all military branches and service eras that meet our requirements for participation in PHWFF.