Patriots Day Outing Held at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery
Article by Kevin Ramsey
The outing was attended by the five Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) programs in Ohio. For the purpose of this summary, the Cleveland, OH area programs are listed as Cleveland. The outing was attended by veterans from Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati. There were a total of 33 disabled veterans and 60 volunteers in attendance. Volunteers performed duties such as guiding/acting as safety officer, fish cleaning, lunch preparation, set up and tear down, and medical liaison. Safety officers were a second person assigned to individuals with limited mobility or vision impaired.
The volunteers totaled 1,027 volunteer hours in total. The veterans were permitted to harvest a limit of 5 trout each which most if not all did. The state of Ohio, Division of Wildlife stocks this spring creek heavily from the on grounds hatchery to facilitate good fishing particularly for beginners and people with disabilities. This works well with the veterans as it teaches them to land big fish without getting anxious over losing a few fish. This was the 10th year for the Patriots Day outing and it went exceptionally well. We had a donation from the Land of Legends fly fishing club of a custom fly rod made by Dale Miller of Ohio. Dale passed away recently but was a U.S> Marine in WWII and was awarded with two purple hearts. The winner of that rod was honored to receive it.