Meet the Category 1 Winners: Beginner Fly Rods

The Public Voting Round of our 13th Annual Fly Rod Building Competition is now open for Category 3: Advanced Fly Rods! We invite you celebrate the tremendous fly rod building talents of our participants by casting your votes today.

We are pleased to announce the winners of Category 1 (Beginner) of the 13th Annual PHWFF Fly Rod Building Competition! Following an exciting Public Judging Round (during which over 200 votes were cast!), six finalists proceeded to the Finals Round to be judged by an expert panel who determined 1st, 2nd & 3rd place.

Now in its 13th year, the National Fly Rod Building Competition is focused on expanding the therapeutic experience for disabled veterans participating in PHWFF programs by giving them the experience of building their own fly rods to further their physical and mental rehabilitation through the sport of fly fishing.  The program also has a fun competition component which gives participants the chance to win prizes for their rod building abilities, skills and creativity in a fun contest.

Join us in celebrating all the Beginner Fly Rod Builders who participated this year!

MEET THE CATEGORY 1 WINNERS

Category 1: Beginner

The focus of this category is to create an understanding of what it takes to build a functional fly rod and is for participants who have never built a fly rod.

3rd Place

Shannon Kirby | PHWFF Anchorage, AK

There are so many things that I enjoyed about this process. Building my own rod has given me great insight to the technique and craftsmanship that goes into each rod and also a unique perspective on what to look for when choosing a rod. I feel such a great sense of accomplishment from this project, which just enhances my drive to learn and do more with this sport. One of the other things that I really appreciated was the patience, respect, compassion, and support that I received from the woman who helped me.


The veteran and fly-fishing community is still very male-dominated. As a woman veteran, I greatly appreciate the number of female volunteers. Though I have gained a great deal of knowledge about fly-fishing, the fellowship from PHWFF is what I most value.

Shannon Kirby, PHWFF Anchorage, AK

2nd Place

Aaron Trevino | PHWFF Winston-Salem, NC

Finally found the art to channel all the negative in my to a therapy that takes me away from the dark. Growing up in Texas I wanted to build a rod that is all or close to all of Texas. Seeing the endless options of wraps and art that takes to build a custom rod the ability to broaden the creativity for a final piece. The program has given me a outlet on life and mindset. During this little time I’ve been with the program has helped my life so many ways it’s kept me from taking that leap to the end.

Aaron Trevino, PHWFF Winston-Salem, NC

1st Place

Nicolas Crayton | PHWFF Atlanta, GA

Rod building has allowed me to challenge my creativity and pushed me to venture in using different materials and techniques to decorate and customize. Rod building has helped me with my PTSD and allows me to concentrate on positive thoughts rather than the negative ones.

I built a 9ft 5wt rod to commemorate my heart transplant that I received on September 11, 2000. The colors I used on this rod are the same colors that are used within the transplant community to help bring awareness. The grip was made a little larger than normal to represent the hard times I went through dealing with swelling of my abdomen and legs during the long 3 years of dealing with heart failure. I enjoy the tranquility that I can obtain while concentrating on the build and the pride of accomplishment when it is complete. I most definitely enjoy the camaraderie and friendships that are built within the group and enjoying the outdoors with great friends.

Nicolas Crayton, PHWFF Atlanta, GA

Join us in celebrating the tremendous fly rod building talents of all our PHWFF participants!

CONGRATS!

The Public Voting Round of our 13th Annual Fly Rod Building Competition is now open for Category 3: Advanced Fly Rods! We invite you celebrate the tremendous fly rod building talents of our participants by casting your votes today.

Now in its 13th year, the National Fly Rod Building Competition is focused on expanding the therapeutic experience for disabled veterans participating in PHWFF programs by giving them the experience of building their own fly rods to further their physical and mental rehabilitation through the sport of fly fishing.  The program also has a fun competition component which gives participants the chance to win prizes for their rod building abilities, skills and creativity in a fun contest.

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