On Tuesday, October 5, the Roanoke/New Rivers Program of PHWFF met at the DAV community center in Salem, VA for their monthly fly-tying meeting.
Volunteer Kathy Mueller said that a large group of veteran participants and volunteers show up every month and share such a special bond.
This week, the program had three tables, or stations, each with a different fly.
“Three of our volunteers led tables tying flies for our fall fishing events – the October Caddis, the Shakey Bealy, and the Autumn Splendor Streamer,” Mueller said.
One of the highlights was watching participant Seyward McKinney learn to tie without the use of her right arm.
Inspired by the events of 9/11, McKinney enlisted in the Army right out of high school. After a tour in Iraq, she returned to Fort Lewis and started suffering severe debilitating headaches. She was then diagnosed with arteriovenous malformations, or AMV, which is a defect of arteries and veins in the brain. In 2009, McKinney’s condition deteriorated to a point where she experienced a stroke. The stroke left her unable to walk, talk, or have mobility in her right arm. McKinney then received extended rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
All of the flies tied at the three tables were graciously donated after the fact to the programs’ Ladies’ Knapp’s Creek overnight fishing event in Marlinton, WV which will take place in the upcoming week.
Mueller would like to thank the DAV Community Center for graciously hosting the fly-tying every month as well as Roanoke program volunteers Rosie and Joy for planning and organizing materials every month for the flies they tie at each meeting.