What can Project Healing Waters do for you? Fly fishing allows a veteran to focus concentration on the task at hand; specifically landing a fish. And this activity is done outdoors, with minimal external stimulation, a welcomed calm and the beauty of a river or stream. Additionally, learning to build a fly rod or fly tying further provides focus for a veteran, and leads to a great sense of accomplishment.
We provide basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying, and rod building classes, along with clinics. Participants range from beginners who have never fished before to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience. 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.
“As a 24 year army veteran with more than 7 deployments as an armored cavalryman, I was attracted to the opportunity rejoin a team of other veterans in an outdoor setting…Everyone I’ve worked with in the program – volunteers, participants, and hosts – is top notch and there is nothing more therapeutic than standing in a trout stream with a fly rod in your hands.”
“We are all on a level playing field. I’ve made some great fishing buddies and find myself contacting them for our own fishing excursions. It’s a positive experience that’s not about catching fish but about finding yourself and others like you…It is great being involved with PHWFF because these guys and gals know what it means to depend on one another, share the same experiences as I and, I think, we appreciate each other more for what each other has done and been through. I find the camaraderie better than when I was active duty. We are all just trying to fit into a world that knows nothing of who we are or how to deal with our issues; we are all trying to find our peace; we are all trying to heal.”
Fishing trips, both one-day and multi-day, are provided free of charge to participants. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. 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.
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:
Military Service Personnel must meet both of the following criteria:
Veterans must meet at least one of the following criteria:
If you’ve read and meet the minimum qualifications under the requirements for military personnel or for veterans, and you are interested in becoming a participant in our program, please fill out this form. A member of our staff will be in touch soon to help you with next steps. Thanks.