Now in its 9th year, the Project Healing Waters Fly Tying Competition is focused on expanding the therapeutic experience for PHWFF disabled veterans participants by giving them the opportunity to showcase their fly tying skills and creativity in a fun contest.
We are pleased to announce the finalists in the 9th Annual Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing National Fly Tying Competition! Over 3,000 votes were cast during the Public Judging Round, determining who moves on to the Finals Round to be judged by an expert panel who will determine 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in each category.
MEET THE FINALISTS
Category 1: Beginner
This category is for participants new to fly tying with less than one year of fly tying experience.
- David Breece: Bunny Leech | PHWFF San Luis Valley, CO
- Alexander Ward: Wally Wing May Fly | PHWFF Atlanta, GA
- Jon Krahe: Stone and Eggs | PHWFF Erie, PA
- Andrew Frahm: Blowtorch | PHWFF Boise, ID
- Sean Brown: Quill Body BWO | PHWFF Joint Base Lewis-McChord
- Michael Wirth: Patriotic Bugger | PHWFF Phoenix, AZ
Category 2: Intermediate
This category is for participants with two to three years of fly tying experience.
- Justin Fordice: Classic Stonefly | PHWFF Joint Base Lewis-McChord
- Michael Bretz: Klinkhammer | PHWFF St. Louis VAMC
- Darrell Olson: Fatal Attraction | PHWFF Charleston, SC
- John Rister: Peacock Jewel Moth | PHWFF Chattanooga, TN
- Franklin Scaletti: Olive Stimulator| PHWFF Phoenix, AZ
- Larry Stevanus: The Alplexo Crab| PHWFF Sheffield, OH
Category 3: Advanced
This category is for participants with four or more years of fly tying experience.
- Bernard Gary King: Royal Renegade | PHWFF Conroe TX
- John Collins: Soft Hackle Beaded Pheasant Tail | PHWFF River City, TN
- John Rogers: UV Spring Creek Scud | PHWFF Altoona, PA
- Steven Strable: Crackleback | PHWFF Roseburg – Umpqua, OR
- Christian Fritz: Purple Devil | PHWFF San Marcos , TX
- Jeff White: Wally Wing Mayfly Spinner | PHWFF Winston-Salem, NC
These top flies from each judging category will now advance to the finals with an expert panel of judges who will determine 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in each category. The winners will be announced on October 21, 2021 at www.projecthealingwaters.org.
The PHWFF Fly Tying Competition has grown each year since it’s inception in 2012 and since that time we have been delighted and astounded to see the remarkable patterns and flies submitted from PHWFF programs across the country. Join us in celebrating the tremendous talents of all those PHWFF participants who participated this year!
Healing Through Fly Tying:
“I struggled for a long time after the Army. I felt lost and empty. When I found fly tying something inside of me just clicked. I found focus and calm, it was like someone turned off the noise. It has made me a better problem solver, more patient, and thoughtful. When your thread breaks or something doesn’t go right you can get upset or you can learn a new way to do something. This has made me a better student, a better person, and a more complete individual.”