The Healing Waters Project is one of those non-profit organizations that actually does what it sets out to do. It uses the process of fly-fishing, from tying flies to drifting down the Colorado river, as a source of joy and peace for our wounded veterans. It provides a respite from what I can only imagine. The trauma and pain that war leaves behind is a burden that these brave warriors chose to accept in our place. These men and women deserve a happy place. The ones that take part in the Healing Waters Project find one we all know and love – the tranquility of fishing high mountain streams and lakes.
Fish don’t care if you are missing limbs or are experiencing trauma or depression. They are indiscriminate to the well-placed fly. It’s up to the Healing Waters Project and their partners to provide the specialized equipment for these soldiers to do just that. Some of their work and ingenuity in getting these veterans on the river is nothing short of spectacular. I take for granted my ability to strip in line with my left and cast with my right. Wading out into the stream is easy for me. But after watching the testimonials on the Healing Waters website, you will realize that this is a huge hurdle for many of our wounded veterans. It takes work and planning to make these dreams come true.
It’s simply our duty to support important work like this. With a VA system that sometimes takes years to offer help and with sometimes spotty results, it’s clear that we need to step up. What better way to give peace to someone than on the river? How easy is it to relax by studying currents and keeping an eye out for active fish? Can you bottle up the joy of bringing in a trophy trout with your friends and compatriots cheering you on? On the river this is easy – that’s why it works. Let our favorite pastime works its magic—we just have to provide the introduction.
The fact that this project is simple is one of the reasons why it works. Your money is used to provide fishing opportunities and your volunteerism is focused only on creating an environment that fosters health and wellbeing. Donating to this program just makes sense. There’s no backlog, except maybe the one that you have to cast over to present to a feeding trout! This is a program that is greater than the sum of its parts, but only possible through your charitable giving. Check out the link and think about how you might be able to give. https://projecthealingwaters.org/help/
For me, this program makes so much sense because I myself have used the river as therapy for years. There is something intrinsic to the act of fishing that keeps your mind off of worries or stress. The therapeutic to and fro motion of the cast, the sensory flow of the river and smell of the moss and wet rocks... The cool current sweeping you to a different world without problems. The mountains and trees that surround you are a fitting backdrop to bringing you out of yourself. For these veterans, success on the river is success in life– it means they can still be happy. They can still form bonds with others and find that there is still joy for them. It’s a powerful message and something that most take for granted. It’s a small act of kindness for you and yet a huge benefit for them.
Cutthroat Anglers is proud to be having their 5th annual Healing Waters Project Fundraiser this year and to be a prominent sponsor for guiding and equipping veterans through the Healing Waters Project. Mark your calendars for the “Fly-Fishing Film Tour” which is coming back to the Silverthorne Pavilion on February 15th. The event is hosted by Cutthroat Anglers, Mountain Angler, and Breckenridge Outfitters. The doors open at 5:00 P.M., there will be a cash bar and a silent auction before the films start at 7:00 P.M. Proceeds from the event will benefit Project Healing Waters. We hope to see you all there, and in the meantime take a look at F3T's trailer (full trailers and more info on all the films are also available at https://flyfilmtour.com )! Tickets will be available for $12 with pre-event purchase from Cutthroat Anglers, Mountain Angler, or Breckenridge Outfitters. Tickets purchased at the event doors will be $15.
This is a fantastic opportunity to show up and show your support for this worthy cause. You can meet like-minded people, have a drink, watch some spectacular fly-fishing movies, donate to a great cause and win great prizes! We expecting to raise over $150,000 for the Healing Waters Project, but we can’t do it without your help. Stop on by and say hello, and together we can do some good.
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"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
Henry david Thoreau
"Brandon was an excellent fishing guide and did a great job coaching my son Ian on fly fishing technique."
Michael J Armstrong
"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope."
"Can't say enough about how you and your very helpful staff made our trout fishing visit to Silverthorne one of the best trips I've ever taken."
Mike McRaney, Brig.Gen. USAF, Ret.
You can't buy happiness but you can buy a fishing pole, and that's pretty much the same thing.
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