A few months ago I volunteered to help with a Project Healing Waters event for the Phoenix Chapter. If you aren’t familiar with this group, they are a non-profit organization that provide basic fly casting, fly fishing, fly tying, and rod building classes to injured military members and disabled veterans. Participants range from beginners 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.
I was contacted and told that they would be coming to the White Mountains for a few days and needed help on where to go fishing. I decided to just take a few days off and spend some time helping them.
The day they arrived, their plan was to fish the ponds and stream at the X Diamond Ranch. John Rohmer was there and gave a presentation on fly fishing stillwater and I took some members down to the stream and taught them how to fish moving water.
On the second day, I took them to some private ponds in Greer that are loaded with big rainbows. We fished streamers, dries, nymphs and it seemed that everyone was hooking up. We broke for lunch and afterwards, I gave a detailed presentation back at the X Diamond on how to fish a small stream with streamers. It was great being able to hang out and teach these veterans about fly fishing.
The last day was the annual Project Healing Waters event at Silver Creek. This is always a fun time because the participants get an opportunity to catch trophy rainbows. This is a popular event that is organized by Game and Fish.
If you are interested in helping Phoenix Project Healing Waters, they accept donations of fly fishing gear in good condition or you can make a cash donation through their website. 100% of your donation goes to help the veterans.