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Jon Gross, Program Lead of PHWFF Canandaigua, New York, pens a short article about a recent fly fishing outing and picnic with this great program in our Northern New York Region


The Canandaigua Program of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing hosted 15 disabled veterans from the Canandaigua VAMC for a fly fishing outing and picnic on June 15, 2019. All of these veterans had never fly fished previously, but by the end of the day all but one had landed fish, many had landed several.

The day began with a coffee/donut welcome for the veterans, then casting instruction on the lawn, and then moved down to the pond where hook-ups began almost immediately. A grand picnic lunch was prepared by our four star chefs and followed by a free raffle where each veteran came away with a prize. Perhaps the finest parts of the day were the smiles observed and the shouts of joy, the memories created with this first fly fishing experience were just as hoped for. Each veteran received contact information for PHWFF, as they will move to various areas of the country following their stay at the VAMC.

Now in our second year for this event, this introduction to fly fishing and the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing organization was hosted by 21 volunteers. Several of these volunteers provided their “favorite fly” for the veterans to use, resulting in great success.