PROJECT HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Patriot Award to Conewago Conservationists for their exceptional support of and dedication to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) from 2006 to 2020. During this period, owner Pat Eisenhauer, caretakers Tom and Barbara Strausbaugh, and many club members provided countless exceptional fly fishing experiences for the disabled active duty and disabled veteran participants from regional PHWFF programs.
Conewago Conservationists is a private club on a mile of Conewago Creek in Pennsylvania. Founded by Paul Spears — one of the original WWII Army Rangers — upon his return from the War. The club is steeped in military tradition. Pat Spears Eisenhauer — the founder’s daughter — continued her father’s wishes by creating a welcoming environment for servicemen and servicewomen and veterans. The club’s leadership recognized the therapeutic benefit of fly fishing and associated activities in fostering physical and emotional recovery for our nation’s warriors.
The very generous and accommodating Conewago Conservationist members created a heartwarming atmosphere for the PHWFF outings they host each year. During this period they hosted 21 fly fishing outings — serving over 100 participants. They provided quality guides and instructors for all the participants, stocked the stream for our visits, and served exceptional breakfasts and lunches — even sending the group home with “care packages” of food and goodies. The members created a contest that teams a guide with a PHWFF participant in a challenge to catch some of the fabled Tiger Trout. They also built hardstands for some of the less mobile participants, improved paths, and fly fishing areas, and provided mules to ferry participants among the different beats — all to accommodate as many of our disabled participants as possible at each event.
The friendship and camaraderie is evident when the hosts greet PHWFF volunteers and participants on arrival, socializing with them on the stream, joining the fun, and always taking in a group photo at the end of each outing. Caring and compassion is the Conewago Conservationists’ mantra, so much so that our people feel rejuvenated after a Conewago outing leaving us eager to return to our friends for the next event.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow on Conewago Conservationists the Patriot Award for their tireless and extraordinary service to our organization and to those wounded, ill, and injured servicemen and servicewomen and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.