Located in beautiful coastal Oregon, the Nestucca River is an incredible all-around stream offering anglers the chance to fish for chinook salmon, coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout, and steelhead. Thank to the continued generosity of Joel LaFollette and the Royal Treatment Fly Shop twenty five disabled veteran participants enjoyed stunning scenery, fine angling, and camaraderie on this special tidal river. Jerry Lorang, Program Lead for our Portland, OR program recounts this special event below. Be sure to view the photo gallery at the bottom of the post (photos courtesy of Joel LaFollette)
For eight years now Joel LaFollette and Royal Treatment Fly Shop has created, sponsored and organized a spectacular float on the Nestucca River for veteran-participants of the PHWFF programs in Salem and Portland, Oregon.
On August 19, 2019, the eighth annual float trip began under beautiful skies in the perfect setting of the tidal waters of the Nestucca River in Pacific City, Oregon. Twenty-five veteran-participants joined 15 eager boater/volunteers to provide a 5-hour trip up river with the tide and back down again in pursuit of searun cutthroat trout.
Joel recruits the boaters from the many wonderful shop customers. These boaters include guides, expert fly fishers, and recreational enthusiasts. All are skilled and insured.
Additionally, Joel provides lunches, this year 35 of them from a local Pacific City bakery. All of this at no cost to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF)!
The challenge from Joel to the PHWFF programs is that we need to bring veteran participants to fill the seats in the boats and pay the dock and launch fee ($100) at the host site, Nestucca Adventures Kayak Shop.
Fish were caught and nature was on full display with cormorants, grey herons, coastal deer, sea lions and more in the countryside. All of the veterans and boaters enjoyed a great day together in a setting that provided many first time boat fishers a chance to learn techniques and enjoy the float.
There were smiles all around at the end of the day.
We are grateful for the kindness and generosity of Joel and the many boaters who gave of their time and expertise to provide this extraordinary opportunity for so many of our deserving veterans.