The inaugural Holy Waters Tournament
was held on August 26, 2017 for five disabled veterans. Our host Gates AuSable Lodge , Grayling MI. provided outstanding guides and welcomed our veterans with open arms. The AuSable river is known as “ Holy Waters “ and has been called the best trout fishery east of the Rockies.
This set up our tournament which consisted of the “ Trifecta “ – each angler had to catch and release each species of trout ( Brook, Brown, Rainbow ) to qualify , this created excitement and friendly competition more so when they found out that the winner of the tournament would be going to Cinco Rios Lodge , Chile which was donated by Wildcat Creek Outfitters of Zionsville Indiana.
The veteran competitors
(L to R) Midwest Regional Coordinator Rich LoBianco, Holy Waters Tournament winner Patrick Hannon, President and CEO Todd Desgrosseilliers, and Midwest Deputy Regional Coordinator Chris Jackson
Patrick best summarized the Holy Waters Tournament experience: “I was amazed at the beauty of the setting , on the Au Sable River. I immediately understood why this is such a precious river and why there is so much of an attraction here. From the moment I arrived, until the time I left, I felt the warm hospitality from the people of the town of Grayling and the staff at the Gates Au Sable Lodge. I felt welcomed by all of the Veterans, Volunteers and Host Families like I was already a part of the “family.” The fishing on Saturday was truly a humbling experience, between the beauty of the scenery and the beauty of the trout we were catching. This will be a future destination with my family. Words will never be enough, but a very heartfelt and grateful Thank You to everyone involved!!!”
Special thanks go out to DRC Chris Jackson, PL Adam Beam & APL Rob Beam (PHWFF Battle Creek) for your assistance in making Holy Waters a successful event. Over $14,000 was raised to support the injured and disabled active duty military service personnel and disabled veterans served by PHWFF Programs in the Midwest Region
Thank you to our sponsors : Wildcat Creek Outfitters, Wieland , Catch Cam Nets, Walton Rods, Natives Catch Release Fly Fishing, Spawn Fly Fishing and Gates AuSable Lodge.