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“This trip made me feel like a veteran again, in the best possible way. I haven’t felt that in 7 years. I felt like I was part of something bigger again. Between the fishing and veterans we were with I could not have asked for a better time. This event and the people I was with left a memory that I will never, ever forget. Everyone that put this trip together, including the resort staff and guides, did a tremendous job that has quite literally changed my life.”

Eight disabled veteran participants from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) visited Montana’s legendary Bighorn River from April 23-27, 2019.  The group was hosted by Nick and Francine Forrester at the luxurious Forrester’s Bighorn Resort who provided comfy, well-appointed cabins and wonderful meals to the participants during their stay (to say no one lost weight on this trip is an understatement!).

The lodge is situated directly on the river, so the participants had the opportunity to fish in the evening on their own, which two of them did.

All the guided fishing was done using drift boats, so the participants had the opportunity to both fish from the boat and periodically stop to wade a “hot spot.” The conditions were somewhat challenging, with exceptionally cold water, cool rainy weather, and some wind but fortunately everyone had sufficient gear and stayed warm despite the conditions. Experienced Bighorn professional guides Ray, Sean, Tyrell, Jake, and Nick and volunteer guide Bob worked very hard to get everyone into fish, including some big ones (three fish over 20” landed on the last day!).

Everyone raved about their experience and said it was the trip of a lifetime. Our deepest thanks to the Forresters, their staff, and the outstanding guides for making this a truly unforgettable trip for all the participants.

A special thank you to our grantor, the DAV Charitable Service Trust, whose support enabled these disabled veterans from our nationwide programs to participate in a once in a lifetime, domestic, destination fly fishing outing. We appreciate your support!

“The experience allowed the older and younger veterans to share stories and life experiences. That was very important to me to see and learn how they viewed life and their service to our great country. I learned a lot and came away with a better understanding of myself. I feel a very comforting inner-peace within myself that I have never felt before.”

“This trip to The Big Horn River, Montana was the trip of a lifetime for me. The Fishing was great, our guides were all super. The Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort was awesome. I meet some wonderful beautiful Veterans and will never forget these brothers and sisters and their uplifting words. Wonderful trip.”

“I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to decompress and renew in a beautiful, outdoor setting. PHWFF provided this through a well-organized, comprehensive program that resulted in a sense of rejuvenation and peace. While the fishing was phenomenal, the friendships formed were just as fantastic. Thanks PHWFF for providing this amazing program and letting me, finally, take some time to prioritize my own health and well-being!”