We are pleased to announce the winners of the Annual Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing National Fly Tying Competition! Now in its 7th year, the competition is a great way for disabled veteran participants in the Project Healing Waters program to showcase the fly tying skills and creativity they have garnered from on-going program classes and independent study in a casual, fun contest. It has grown each year since it’s inception in 2012 and is only open to individuals who meet the definition of a PHWFF participant. Since that time we have been delighted and astounded to see the remarkable patterns and flies submitted from PHWFF programs across the country. This year was no different.
Each of the 9 finalists attended the International Fly Tying Symposium, in Parsippany, NJ on November 23-24, 2019. While attending the two-day symposium the finalists enjoyed demonstrating their fly tying skills, attending many of the programs and fly tying demonstrations offered throughout the event, and reveling in the abundance of all-things fly tying. An awards ceremony was held during the Fly Tiers Banquet to announce the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each competition category.
The finalists enjoyed a special time together while at the Symposium. Finalist Stephen Licata of the PHWFF Kansas City, Missouri Program enjoyed the camaraderie and fly tying community: “As It was good to be with veterans from around the country. We all had a great time laughing and sharing our tying experiences. rubbing elbows with some of the best tiers in the world was a great learning experience. Building friendships with fellow veterans was the best way to spend a weekend.”
Fly tying finalist Gary King of the PHWFF Conroe, Texas program remarked, “I am amazed how much time the professionals were willing to spend with me answering my questions. I have even decided what fly I will tie next year for the competition.”
Larry Braswell, PHWFF National Programs Director said, “The finalists were very appreciative of the international tiers who took the time to talk to and listen to them, the tiers also expressed their gratitude for the mission of our organization. they came together as a cohesive group, and shared their experiences and tying techniques that brought them together. “Though I am not a veteran, each time that I get to be around these great men and women, it makes what I do very rewarding. I can not thank them enough for the sacrifices they made for us to be able to enjoy the Freedoms that we do. God Bless them all. ”
Our deepest thanks to all who made this competition possible and we’re looking forward to seeing more remarkable fly tying skills and patterns next year for the 8th Annual Fly Tying Competition. Special thanks to Richard Diamond, the competition judges, Chuck and Janet Furimsky, and all the fly tiers who shared their time and knowledge during the Symposium.
And now, it is our distinct pleasure to introduce the winners of The 7th Annual National Fly Tying Competition:
3rd Place: Jeff Cook, Des Moines, Iowa Program
2nd Place: Jason Farrar, Conroe, Texas Program
1st Place: James Boden, Fort Lewis, Washington Program
3rd Place: James Daryl Reeve, Clarksville/Fort Campbell, Tennessee Program
2nd Place: David Headley, Conroe, Texas Program
1st Place: Jeff White, Winston Salem, North Carolina Program
3rd Place: Stephen Licata, Kansas City, Missouri Program
2nd Place: Rich Kirkwood, Harrisburg East, Pennsylvania Program
1st Place: Bernard Gary King, Conroe, Texas Program