Long Beach PHWFF Fishes Bishop
A group of 26 participants and volunteers from PHWFF-Long Beach drove five hours north to the Eastern Sierras and Bishop, CA for several days of fishing in early May. This trip is always a highlight of the year because of the hospitality and patriotism of the town of Bishop. This year, the surrounding mountains were still snow-covered and the wild iris fields were in bloom – it was gorgeous.
After our arrival we were treated to dinner by the Bishop Elks #1603 at their park. They’ve been hosting us for many years and it’s always nice to see such friendly faces and good food in the outdoor setting. This year they gave us an additional donation to help defray the costs of the trip.
The group split up for each day of fishing and covered a variety of different fishing locations: Crowley Lake, Hot Creek, Upper or Lower Owens River, North Lake, Intake Two and Buckley Ponds. In addition to the guides and volunteers, some of the more experienced participants helped to mentor the newer veterans. Everyone caught fish and some caught their first fish ever. There were lots of smiles and high-fives, as well as whoops of “That’s what I’m talking about!”
Several professional guides donated days again this year. Pat Jaeger, who has been guiding our trips to Bishop for eleven years, was with us for two days, as were Beryl Rea, another long-time supporter, and Mark Rosen. Jim Stimson and Jim Elis also donated days. Their professional assistance makes a trip like this so successful and fun for everyone involved.
For the second year, dinner on the following night was at the Lone Pine American Legion, organized by our very special friend and Patriot Award Winner Olga Rojas. Despite her own medical problems, Olga has been arranging meals for our group for ten years. She is tireless in her support of many veterans’ causes and an inspiration to us all.
For our last night in Bishop we ate at Astorga’s Mexican Restaurant, which was paid for by donations solicited by Olga. We were joined by Jessica Allmon, the local Veteran Service Officer, who told us of plans to build a vastly enlarged VFW complex in Bishop. We said a fond goodbye to Olga with promises of coming back sooner next time.
We couldn’t do trips like this without the generosity of the people of Bishop, Bishop Elks, Lone Pine American Legion, Astorga’s, Best Western Bishop, all our guides and especially Olga Rojas. We are sincerely grateful to them all.