The event kicked off on Friday, March 18th with some of the visiting participants taking a tour of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg. At the request of some the veterans, the Fayetteville program arranged a visit to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, many of whom were stationed at Fort Bragg or with airborne units during their time in service. After a relaxing lunch at the restaurant, Latitude 35, the continued with a driving tour of Fort Bragg and a visit to the 82nd Airborne Museum and Warrior Transition Battalion.
Winston- Salem participant, Tim Moore at the Airborne/ Special Operations museum
On Saturday, participants began arriving early eager to begin tying and spending the day talking fishing and sharing their experiences. After a short introduction by Fayetteville Program Lead, Tom Carpenter, beginning tiers received a brief introduction to fly-tying and tied the San Juan Worm.
Kenny Turner assists a participant with tying
Afterwards, guest tier, Jack Dennis took the microphone to lead the participants through the Chernobyl Ant, Wooly Bugger, and Lime Trude. In addition to the tying instruction, Jack entertained the group with his insight into the history of fly-fishing and with wonderful stories about fly-fishing icons like Lee & Joan Wullff, Curt Gowdy, Joe Brooks, and Mel Krieger.
Jersey Mike’s provided the event with a filling lunch of sub sandwiches and then some of the participants began making their way to the Pechmann Center’s ponds which were stocked with some pretty respectable sized trout. Participants were permitted to keep some of their catch as part of the fish out in advance of warm weather. Many found their fishing success and another way to enjoy the event.
After lunch, Daniel Seaman of Bug Wild Fly Company gave a fabulous demonstration of spinning deer hair that entertained and gave valuable tips to the participants thinking of trying their hand at creating deer hair bugs. Daniel’s work can be seen at Frankenfly.com. Then, Jack Dennis continued with tying, stories, and sign books and posters that he so generously gave to each participant and volunteer.
To wrap up the event, Mission BBQ provided the veterans with a wonderful meal of brisket, chicken, green beans, mac & cheese, and cornbread.
Mission BBQ feeding the troops
The Fayetteville program along Deputy Regional Coordinator, Pat Curley closed the evening by recognizing the volunteers, and sponsors who helped make this event possible. They also presented the program Volunteer of the Year Award to Ritchie Shiver for all of his fundraising efforts in the lead up to the Marabou Madness event. The Fayetteville program also presented program lead, Tom Carpenter with special piece of art created by the Dead Weight Fly Company in appreciation of his service to the program. Saving the best for last the program presented guest tier, Jack Dennis with a print that had been signed by all of the participants of the Marabou Madness event.
Jack Dennis receives print from Tom Carpenter & Pat Curley
The Fayetteville program would like to thank all of this year’s Marabou Madness supporters that include; Jack Dennis, Jersey Mike’s, Cape Fear Eye Associates, Dead Weight Fly, Southern Outdoorsman, Pepsi Ventures, and Mission BBQ.