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Assistant Program Lead Bear Owings of PHWFF Charlotte, NC recounts a fly tying class held on January 29, 2018 at the Charlotte Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  

Our January fly tying class was great kick off for the new year. These classes are becoming so popular that we are about to outgrow our space.  This was our first fly thing class with Judson Gee as our Program Lead and Brad Parsanko as our Assistant Program Lead. We are looking for to all the very exciting things that our new leaders are planning on bringing to this program. Your off to a fantastic start Jud and Brad.

Trout Bum and fly tying extraordinaire Russ VanKampen led the class with excellent instruction on how to tie up a Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph. Russ did an excellent job and we thank him for his leadership. We pulled Gary Jones out of retirement to set his video camera system so the participants of the class could see what Russ was doing on the vise up on the flat screen TV. This was a real improvement to the quality of our class. We hope to be doing this more in the future. be doing this more in the future. Thank you Gary Jones.

We are very blessed that Joyce Shephard has joined us to share her fishing and fly tying talents with our participants. Joyce is heading up our drive to increase the participation of women veterans in our program. She has a lot very exciting things planned. There is no doubt that she is going to be an excellent addition to our already very well qualified group of volunteers.

We had several new first time participants with us. It is always great to see new participants coming into our program. Several of the staff at the VA have been hearing from our participants about all of the positive things this program has been doing for them. So they stopped in for a visit to see what all the buzz is all about.

One of our participants Forest Fisher briefed the group on his very exciting plans to hike the Appalachian Trail starting in March of this year. He and his service dog plan to hike and fish their way up the 2,000 plus miles of the trail this summer. We are very excited about following along with Forest Fisher on Facebook and through his blog. Good luck Forest.

We are grateful to John Lovsin, Jim Mackey, John Robbins, Joyce Shepard, Jack Costa, Calvin Norton, Russ VanKampen, Gary Jones, Steve Patterson, Jud Gee, Brad Parsanko and Bear Owings for helping to put on this fantastic class.  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”