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10 regional Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) volunteers descended upon Sequem, Washington to attend a fly rod building workshop hosted by Pac Bay from May 2-6 2019.

After some flight delays, all the volunteers made their way to Seattle and immediately started to bond, this makes life for a trip leader feel like a proud parent. As usual I was the last to arrive. Once introductions were made we made our way to the rental van, and trekked the almost 3 hours to Sequem. Room assignments were made, and shortly after we all shared a meal together, and then called it a night in anticipation for what lay ahead.

The first day at Pac Bay was spent understanding how rod blanks are made and how each of those blanks works under load, i.e., flex and power. The remainder was spent picking from a 5 or 8 weight fly rod blank, and assembling a completed rod from gluing up the reel seat and cork grip, to attaching guides, all in time to take their completed master pieces home Monday morning. Day two we were in the final stretch finishing up attaching our guides in preparation for the epoxy finish. On day three Scott showed us how to apply the epoxy, and after that it was game on to finish in time to pick our master pieces to travel home with us the next morning, everyone finished ahead of schedule, and this allowed us to take field trip to Olympic National Park, and just relax.

These trips are bittersweet, as you spend 4 days with complete strangers, but yet become friends, hoping some day your paths will cross again. Thanks to Jan, Leslie, Jim, Jim, Paul, Kevin, Richard, Brian and Tony

The purpose of this workshop will allow the volunteers to go back to their respective programs and guide other volunteers and veterans in building their very own master piece. Thanks to Scott and Damon from Pac Bay for their generous hospitality, and to our pro rod builders Eric and Paul Gomez from Leviathan Rods, and Tony Makris from Semper Fly Rods for you PATIENCE and guidance.


L-R: Jim Johnson, Kevin LaGoo, Paul Wilson, Jan Bates, Richard Pike, Larry Braswell, Leslie Masters, Brain Burris, Jim Rohn, Tony Escalona. Photo by Martha Pike

Cork Reaming- Jan Bates, Leslie Masters and Tony Makris

Jan Bates and Leslie Masters

Richard Pike gettin his reaming done

Tony watching the cork dust fly in the dirty room

Richard admiring is handy work

Leslie Masters getting pointers from Paul Gomez and Jan deciding where we will eat dinner

Kevin did you mix 5 or 15 minute epoxy

Jim applying epoxy to his wraps

The master keeping a watchful eye on his pupil

Jim and Tony

Our foody applying epoxy

Your doing it wrong

Scott showing us how it is done