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Three Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) participants traveled to Boise, Idaho to attend the Fly Fishers International (FFI) Fair held August 7th – 11th. Len Zickler, the President of FFI, says that fly fishing is more than just a sport. It’s been central to our lives in many ways, providing a much-needed break from the daily grind, giving us time on the water we’ll never forget, as well as friendships that will last a lifetime. The Fair provides opportunities to share the history, science and art of fly fishing, our quiet sport and a sport that provides healing for PHWFF participants.

Our three participants took advantage of the seminars, workshops and special demonstrations to acquire new knowledge and skills that they intend to share with others in the program. Marcos Rico, the Alaska Regional Fly Caster Champion, participated in the National casting competition as well as sessions devoted to casting, tying flies and the classic Atlantic Salmon fly. He actually had individual instruction and felt so privileged to learn the craft from an expert.

Marcos Rico receives Regional Casting Award

Casting Competitors and Judging Staff

Rick Knight focused his attention on developing his casting skills including learning how to cast effortlessly, the roll cast and the double haul for distance casting. He said his casting improved from 45 feet to 80 feet after only two-hours of instruction and he is eager to share is new knowledge with others in the PHWFF program.

Rick with his brown

Dave Widby divided his time between tying flies including intruder steelhead flies, tube flies, and bunny leeches and casting super-tight loops. He said he was amazed at the quality of the sessions and he truly appreciates this opportunity to learn more.

Dave lands a nice brown

Prior to the Fair, participants also had an opportunity to go fishing on the Owyhee River. Everyone was amazed that Brown trout were feeding on size 22 midges in the middle of the bright sunny day when temperatures rose above 100 degrees.   Not a normal Alaska experience…

Size 22 midge catches a 23 inch brown

Beautiful brown

Thanks to PHWFF, FFI, and all the friendly folks in Boise for making this a truly memorable trip!