Project Healing Waters
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) is a nationwide volunteer organization dedicated to the physical & emotional rehabilitation of disabled / active military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education. A very active local program (Project Healing Waters – Fort Carson / Colorado Springs) exists at Fort Carson for personnel and veterans in the Colorado Springs and outlying areas. It is supported by one of our local fly fishing clubs, the Pikes Peak Flyfishers, as well as Pikes Peak Chapter Trout Unlimited and our member volunteers.
Since its inception in 2005, PHWFF has been helping disabled active duty personnel and veterans to overcome the obstacles associated with their military service related injuries. The relearning of the fine motor skills needed in fly fishing and fly tying has proven to be particularly effective in the overall rehabilitation of the disabled. Many soldiers struggling with Post Stress Disorder (PSD) particularly find the calmness of being in or by a rushing stream and catching one of Colorado’s beautiful species of trout to be very relaxing and takes their minds off their issues. A number of soldiers have credited this program with their being able to successfully transition to and live an almost normal life today.
Traveling with soldiers to fishing destinations and providing the lodging, food, transportation, materials and equipment such as rods, reels (some specially engineered for amputees), waders, fanny packs, tying vices and materials, etc for both the fly fishing and fly tying does not come free. The program relies entirely on fund raising activities throughout the year to support their noble cause.
This past year, 121 soldiers from the Fort Carson and Colorado Springs area benefited from this great program. They went to 15 different private fishing properties in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming (some were more than once), and spent cumulatively 298 soldier days on the water fishing — helping to restore them both physically and emotionally. Another 30 soldiers benefited from the fly tying classes in 2010 –- many of them going on to fish during the year. In total for 2010, over $19,000 was raised and was spent teaching fly tying and taking the soldiers out to remote and pristine properties and rivers to catch big fish and have a great time.
Please click here for more information on becoming a volunteer for Project Healing Waters in Colorado Springs.