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Program Lead Tom Carpenter of the Fayetteville, NC Program shares a recap of the recent Marabou Madness event below


Recently, participants, volunteers, supporters from the North Carolina and South Carolina/Georgia Regions gathered at the Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina for the North Carolina region’s 5th annual Marabou Madness event. Marabou Madness is hosted by the Fayetteville program and provides participants with a day of in-depth fly-tying instruction followed by a day of fishing in the Pechmann Center’s ponds that are stocked by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

This year’s fly-tying instruction was led by renown tyer and author, Charlie Craven. A packed room of veterans followed instruction from Craven as he tied fundamental patterns such as; the brassie, Griffith’s Gnat, Hare’s ear nymph, Copper John, and Wooly bugger. Craven commented, ”What a wonderful event and a truly great group of people. I do these things all over and I must say this was likely the most rewarding class I’ve ever done.” Participants also, competed in a Mystery Material Fly Tying contest for prizes that included a tying vise from Wolff Industries and an Oasis tying desk.

On Sunday, our veterans took part in a fishing derby on the Pechmann Center’s ponds. Trout are stocked in the ponds annually to support the center’s public Fly-fishing programs, also providing the program with the opportunity to conduct fishing outings and support the Marabou Madness event. This year a number of large trout where added and several fish where tagged for the fishing derby. These tags collated to prizes that could be won by participants for the capture of a tagged fish. While no tagged fish were caught, participants still enjoyed landing several large trout to include a 20-inch brown.

Leading up to the Marabou Madness, the Fayetteville program was pleased to work the crew of the Fly Rod Chronicles (FRC) with Curtis Fleming. FRC was filming for their show that airs on the Pursuit channel. This will be an episode that will feature Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing to highlight the organization’s mission and its benefits to our disabled veterans and injured service members. We spent two days on the Cape Fear river fishing for American shad and Striped bass with PHWFF participants and injured soldiers assigned to Fort Bragg’s Warrior Transition Unit. The highlight of the fishing was seeing Curtis out fished by Army Staff Sergeant, Kristen Bell who was fishing for her first time with a fly rod.

The Fayetteville program also conducted a fundraising dinner as part of the activities surrounding the Marabou Madness dinner. The program played host to local elected official, and business and community leader in efforts to raise community awareness of the program and gain support for future Marabou Madness events. After a socializing and dinner, the program recognized several sponsors to include; Jersey Mike’s, Mission BBQ, and Freddie’s Frozen Custard who provided lunch and dinner for the participant during the fly-tying event. The Fayetteville program would also like to thank these sponsors for their support:

  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Valley Auto World
  • Keith & Jeanette Gallaher
  • Hubbard Pipe & Supply Company
  • Fayetteville Orthopaedic
  • Otis Products Inc