I know I have been pretty scarce of late, though I check in once in awhile to see what is happening in the community.
My attention has been diverted elsewhere for this past year as I and another friend of mine retired Sgt. Ray Fairweather, worked on a project that has been taking up my time in one way or another for almost three years.
Project Healing Waters Flyfishing is an American based group that was started by Retired Naval Captain Ed Nicholson in Washington D.C.
Ed saw flyfishing as a tool to help war veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and veterans who were learning to adjust their lives due to loss of limbs and other challenges.
While Ed’s initial thought was a small local entity it now boasts 50 different groups around the U.S. with another 20 expected to start this year.
You can check a story I wrote on Flyangler for more about this.
You can also check out the website www.projecthealingwaters.org
PHW works with both TU and the FFF in the U.S and enjoys the support of many major tackle manufacturers.
A number of people have asked me why I did not start a separate strictly Canadian organization and I guess at some point I had to stop and think about it myself.
PHW is a known entity with a proven track record. It is a name recognized by both TU and the FFF but even more importantly for me, bringing Project Healing Waters to Canada would mean that borders don’t matter when it comes to people helping people and that is what this is all about.
Project Healing Waters Canada is all about Canadians helping Canadians but it is even more about people helping people.
Last years PHW in the U.S. took some of our Canadian soldiers on a fishing trip in Northern Ontario. This year they are doing it again. Borders should not and do not matter when it comes to helping each other and having the Board of Directors of Project healing Waters Flyfishing, agree to allow the creation of a Canadian Branch was symbolic of this.
There is some work left to do on my part and I am working at it as you read this. The plan is for a mid-June event in or near Edmonton this year.
The issue we face is that our military works in a totally different manner than the American Military does, so I am rewriting the book so to speak.
Where they can go into a Veterans Hospital and work with patients as well as take them on field trips, we will only be able to work with people on an outpatient basis, so they will have to find there way to us, though this will be facilitated with help from “Soldier on” a Canadian Military program.
There is much more to tell you, but for the moment, I would like to talk to you, the members of this community and ask that if you think you would like to help in some way, teaching/mentoring, flies, loaned equipment the list goes on, please give it some thought. The first event will be here near Edmonton, but I believe that there will be more and that they will be happening in the Calgary and Lethbridge area as well.
The FlyfishCalgary community is passionate about flyfishing and I hope that you will be willing to share some of that passion with the soldiers who need it.
As a closing for this long winded post I would like to add that while Military Veterans are welcome, so are Police Veterans who need us and possibly other trauma victims who are directed to us. PHW Canada will endeavour to be an inclusive organization.
I know there are more questions and I have more that should be said but I will hopefully do this through a series of posts as I keep you updated on our progress.
That’s it for now, please feel free to ask questions,post them, PM me or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this far…..Kerry Pitt Project Healing Waters Flyfishing Canada