Announcements & Press
Dispatches from Atz Kilcher
In The News
PHW Spotlight
Press Releases
By Location
Georgia-South Carolina
National Capital
New England
New Jersey
New York-New Jersey
Northern New York
Rocky Mountain Northeast
Rocky Mountain Northwest
Rocky Mountain South
South Central
Southern New York
The Heartland
West Virginia
By Event
2018 2-Fly
Broadmoor Invitational
Freedom Ranch for Heroes
Healing Saturday
Hike to Heal Veterans
Holy Waters
Mossy Creek Invitational
Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award

Now in its 12th year, the National Fly Rod Building Competition is focused on expanding the therapeutic experience for disabled veterans participating in PHWFF programs by giving them the experience of building their own fly rods to further their physical and mental rehabilitation through the sport of fly fishing.  The program also has a fun competition component which gives participants the chance to win prizes for their rod building abilities, skills and creativity in a fun contest.

Join us in celebrating all the Intermediate Rod Builders who participated this year!

We are pleased to announce the Category 2 (Intermediate) winners of the 12th Annual Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing National Fly Rod Building Competition! Following an exciting Public Judging Round, six Category 2 finalists proceeded to the Finals Round to be judged by an expert panel who determined 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. The expert panelists used the following criteria to score the flies and determine the winners: Neatness, Functionality, and Creativity.


This category is for participants who are building their 2nd or 3rd fly rod.

3rd Place

Robert Bell III | PHWFF Montrose, CO

Camouflage braided fishing line for all thread work adds a unique pattern of randomness. I was amazed at the effect the clear Gorilla glue gave to the carbon fiber grip…has a rubber feel and positive grip. Hair brain idea that might just turn out to be durable and functional….it certainly looks and feels good.

Robert Bell III, PHWFF Montrose, CO

2nd Place

Richard Davidson | PHWFF Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA

I built a 10’9” 3wt rod with single foot guides intended for use as a Euro-nymph rod. However, I don’t know if the tip will be soft enough to be truly effective casting small light nymphs. If not, it will become an indicator rod for fishing flies under an indicator. It should also work well as a regular single hand rod for use in still water out of a pontoon or float tube. I put a feather inlay and a nymph decal at the butt section. There is also some decorative olive leaf wraps

What I enjoy most about fly rod building is the satisfaction of catching fish on something I created, and customizing a tool to my needs and preferences. I enjoy learning from other members in the program, and sharing my knowledge with them.

Richard Davidson, PHWFF Joint Base Lewis-McChord

1st Place

Michael Flores | PHWFF San Marcos, TX

My build is a 9ft, 5wt rod accented with bronze guides. Each guide is carefully wrapped with scarlet and gold colors. The design above and around the hook keeper is a chevron design which are laid out with three colors, which are scarlet, gold and black making the appearance of chevrons on the rod.

I enjoy the tranquility that I am able to obtain while concentrating on the build and the pride of accomplishment when it is complete. I most definitely enjoy the comradery and friendships that are built within the group and enjoying the outdoors with great friends.

Michael Flores, PHWFF San Marcos, TX


We are stronger together

As we enter the seasons of thanks, good will and renewal, we want to thank you for supporting Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Thanks to you, we can cast a lifeline to many of our Nation’s disabled veterans by connecting them to our programs and volunteers in a long-term healing relationship. 

But our work continues: there remain more than one million veterans across the U.S. that continue to suffer with service-connected injuries. Our goal is to increase the number of disabled veterans served by our programs and to continue helping more disabled veterans recover from their physical and emotional wounds. 

Latest News