April 25 – 29, 2018 Eight PHWFF participants attended this years trip to Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort trip and were treated to world class fly fishing on the Bighorn River.
Here are testimonials from two of the participants on this trip:
“The guides and staff at Forrester’s were OUTSTANDING. They were able to accommodate dietary restrictions without sacrificing quality of meals, they were incredibly friendly, and very easy to get along with. The guides were able to provide the best 3 days of fishing I’ve had thus far in my life. They were patient, communicated well, were experts, and most of all, made the floats relaxed and fun. Bill Hayes did a great job as the group leader. He brought a sense of military professionalism to the planning and made sure the group had the opportunity to get to know each other during the trip.
When I received the news I was going to Montana to fly fish, I was excited. However, the images I had in my head could not compare to the realities I experienced on this trip. From the moment we arrived at the property, the setting of the resort surpassed my expectations. Nestled between snow capped mountains and with a view of a bend in the river, the resort provides a sense of peace just breathing the air and listening to the silence of that beautiful country. The first meal we had was delicious, and somehow, the chef improved with each meal served. The fact that they were able to use local ingredients from their property made for a fantastic dining experience. On the first day fishing, I experienced wild trout at its finest. On our last day fishing, I caught the most and best quality fish I have seen in any of my fishing experiences. Of course no fishing trip would be complete with the one that got away, and I’ve got a beautiful slab of a 20 inch rainbow in a deep hole on that river waiting for me to get back there and catch him. This trip had the refreshing qualities I experience at my home program, but magnified 10 fold. I met new veterans from around the country. I now have 7 new friends to exchange fish stories and keep in-touch with. I got to hear how their programs work and share how ours works. It was refreshing to know I could build relationships with people I’ve just met. Cody and I were talking about how these trips really do help veterans heal. They are a culmination of volunteer work and dedication to the program. They allows the participant to escape from the world for a little while, reset in the calms of nature, and find more connections with more veterans to see they are not alone in their struggles. Through helping and connecting with other veterans, we gain back our sense of purpose missing after our transition to the civilian world. This trip has further solidified my love for fly fishing, and has let me see the healing effects for veterans around the country. I can’t begin to thank the donors, the volunteers, PHWFF organization, and the guides & staff at Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort enough. Their combined efforts provided the opportunity to make new friends, and experience a fishing excursion that will not be forgotten. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”
- Patrick Brown
“Thanks to the generous donations by Project Healing Waters and it’s supporters I was able to experience the fly fishing trip of a lifetime, a trip to the Big Horn River in Montana. I got to meet 7 great PHWFF participants from around the US and bond with these fellow veterans during the trip to Forrester’s Lodge. We shared stories and experiences all while enjoying one of the best trout streams in the world. Personally the trip was a great break from the medical issues I am going through right now. The trip allowed me to relax and just enjoy life. I am very thankful to everyone that made this possible, it truly was a dream come true and something that I can now cross off my bucket list. Participating in events like this just confirm the great service this organization provides to veterans both retired and active. It is something that I want to be a part of as long as I am able.”
- Jason Holland