Project Healing Waters

Jun 11, 2019 View Comments by

Project Healing Waters, fly-fishing to help veterans.

After publishing our fly-fishing tour in the March/April issue we received a letter informing us about a great organization with a great cause: Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a nationwide program dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled veterans and disabled active military service personnel.

The nonprofit organization teaches fly-fishing, including fly tying, rod building, and fly-casting, and takes student groups on fly-fishing outings in the warmer months. Each local program is managed by volunteers, working with Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, Department of Defense military installations, Warrior Transition Units, and other institutions.

“It is a fascinating program, and I am in awe watching the vets heal on the water,” says Brent Miller, who leads the Cincinnati program. “I know of two veterans in our program that were suicidal and claim this program saved their lives.”
Miller, a Vietnam veteran who often uses his motorcycle to scout out fishing sites, believes the water has a calming effect, but the camaraderie that takes place during the classes is just as important as the fishing trips. “I come to this program with some knowledge of what these guys and ladies have been through,” he says. “I bought my first fly rod when I returned from Vietnam in 1971.”

Established in 2005, PHWFF has more than 200 programs in the US, as well as a few in Canada, Europe and Australia. For more information, visit projecthealingwaters.org.

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