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The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing-Tidewater, Virginia program were able to get out for the first time together in about 14 months back on May 22.

Participants Brian Nattress, Larry Wesling, and Larry Korn headed out with Program Lead Carl Allen and volunteer Tony Mentensana to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

From Left: Brian Nattress, Carl Allen, Larry Wesling (kneeling), Tony Mentensana, and Larry Korn.

“We all experimented with different top water flies to see what worked best,” Allen said. “There were a lot of misses as the fish were hitting the fly, but not hooked up in time.”

As the day grew hotter, the fish became less active and they wrapped it up around 2 P.M.

Participant Larry Korn at Back Bay National Refuge on May 22

The best part of the day though besides everyone catching fish, was the ability to be back together.

Allen would like to thank Becky Ammar, PHWFF East Region’s Program Manager for expediting the forms and making sure everyone was approved. He would also like to thank Kathryn Owens, the Deputy Refuge Manager at Back Bay National Refuge for waiving the entry fees for the group.

On June 10, 2021, the organization further expanded outdoor healing gatherings for all PHWFF programs Nationwide – enabling a total of 20 volunteers and participants per in-person outdoor healing gathering to engage in Fly Fishing Education, Fly Casting, Fly Fishing Day Outings, Fly Tying, and Fly Rod Building classes. 

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