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PHWFF Trip Leader, Volunteer, and Guide extraordinaire Phil Landry of www.arkansastroutbum.com recently led the second PHWFF National Destination Trip to Arkansas’s famed Little Red River.  Joining Landry were 6 disabled veteran participants from PHWFF Programs throughout the country.   He highlights the trip, and the bonds built on the water, below:

On Monday September 10th six of the winners in the National Rod Building Competition flew into Little Rock, Arkansas and their fun began.  Volunteer Josh Fleeger and Trip Leader Phil Landry picked up participants Cruz Omelas, James Croft, Larry Davis, Roy Messerschmidt and James Smith.  Our 6th participant Steve Licata drove himself from Kansas City.  We all gathered at our home for the week at the Cabins at Lobo Landing where we were met by our host and guide Beau Saunders and joined by guides David Hudson, and Brannon Ball.  A relaxing evening of fly tying and fellowship ended early with travel weary bodies wanting to dream of fishing the following 3 days on the Little Red River.

After a grand breakfast on the marina at Lobo Landing everyone boarded boats and began the business at hand.  Fishing over the next three days would be very good.  We were treated to fantastic weather and great water conditions and the fish were happy.  Many great Brown and Rainbow trout were caught amidst the constant laughter.  The bonds of fellowship grew strong quickly and everyone was truly able to relax and enjoy the great scenery, great fishing, and a great sense of accomplishment.

When the dust settled Friday morning and it was time to depart there was an initial sadness that the trip was over, but everyone collectively glowed over their shared experiences together and laughed at our new inside jokes amongst each other.  I love trips like this, where people who do not know each other at all come together , almost as a team.  We all arrived as individuals, but left as a new tight knit group of friends.

Thanks to all that helped make it happen from the bottom up and the top down.  Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing creates wonderful opportunities, for both participants and volunteers, to participate in special experiences like these and I know that all of us involved in this trip are truly grateful to be a part of it.