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Fly tying is one of the core programmatic activities provided by PHWFF Programs year-round across the country.   We’re pleased to share a few excellent instructional fly-tying videos filmed during the regular meetings of our Johnson City, TN Program Over 20% of our disabled veteran participants become volunteers with our program, enabling them to share their skills, talents, and experiences with their fellow veterans as they embark on their journey to recovery. As such we are thrilled to see two participant alums leading the instruction of these effective fly patterns!

The Elk Hair Emerger by CPL (ret) James Reed, U.S. Marine Corps

James Reed was born in East Tennessee.   As a young boy, he was able to spend time outdoors, exploring nature, learning about the wildlife and most of all, finding a lifelong love of fishing.  In 2003, James graduated from Sullivan East in Bluff City.  During his HS years, he played football and participated in wrestling where he placed third in the State Championship and was nationally ranked. In 2004, James enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from Paris Island.  He was then trained as a machine gunner and assigned to 2nd Battalion, Weapons Plt., Easy Co., 2ndMarines. James served in combat operations in the Al-Anbar Province in Iraq.  During his first tour, he was wounded by an IED as sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury.  He was able to complete his tour and an additional tour in 2006.  Eventually, he was medically retired from the Marines in 2008.

James was introduced to fly fishing and shortly thereafter, was participating in Project Healing Waters.  He immersed himself into the program and fly fishing.  His future goal is to guide people on the local creeks and rivers and continue to volunteer with the program, helping other Veterans.


The Zebra Midge by TSGT (ret) Jeff Story, U.S. Air Force

Jeff grew up in Eastern Tennessee and has always been an avid outdoorsman. He entered service in the U.S. Air Force in May 1984 and retired in August 2004. Jeff served overseas at Clark Air Force Base during the overthrow of the Philippine Government as part of the security forces. He also served at various bases in the United States as Base Weapons Security Officer. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has given him a chance to help our latest group of heroes as they try to transition back into their lives. He has always held our nations combat veterans in the highest esteem throughout his time in the service. His wife became a volunteer in the program last year to help encourage and assist female veterans