Ten disabled veterans from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) programs traveled from across the USA to Virginia Beach, Virginia for the 4th Annual Legends of the Fly Saltwater Tournament, the only salt water fly fishing tournament in Virginia. Seven veterans from PHWFF programs in Virginia and 32 other contestants joined the group as each sought a slam – Speckled Trout, Red Drum and Striped Bass. The disabled veterans arrived on October 17th and had a chance to scout local waters despite very windy conditions. Some of the teams caught a slam that day. The following day they were joined by almost 40 other anglers in search of the slam. On tournament day, most anglers joined their boat captains well before sunrise to chase Stirped Bass before focusing on Speckles and Drum for the remainder of the day.
The Captains dinner the evening of October 18th was a lively affair with those who had a successful scouting trip challenging their fellow anglers to an even more successful tournament day. The Awards dinner was held at the home of Suzanne Fall and Tournament Director John Fall and gave everyone an opportunity to share stories from the day’s fishing, including the ones that got away and the ones that didn’t. For many of the disabled veteran participants, it was a first ever salt water fly fishing event and opened new appreciation to salt water fly fishing.
Those at the Awards dinner had the opportunity to hear from a veteran who shared how his journey into medical retirement led him to find PHWFF and how that changed his life. PHWFF President and CEO Todd Desgrosseilliers also spoke about PHWFF and the many great things programs across the country do for our veterans and active duty military.
Our deepest thanks to Tournament Director John Fall, dinner host Suzanne Fall, the entire Legends of the Fly team, and all those whose great contributions made this such a special event. Thanks to them PHWFF will continue bringing our unique form of therapy to countless more disabled veterans in need of it.