Saturday, November 22, 2008
Up here in the Great White North, at this time of year, fly fisherman (and woman) are storing their rods, cleaning their reels and lines and accepting the fact that fly fishing is over for another season. The lakes are icing over and the days are getting shorter. Some are breaking out their ice fishing tackle and may even be getting excited about the hard water. Personally I can't get excited about staring at a hole in the ice while freezing my nuts off. Ice fishing just doesn't appeal to me. Oh, I've tried. I even built my own ice shanty a few years back. I was pretty proud of it, making it from scratch out of plywood, hinges, latches and a tarp. It even looks pretty cool and I made it to fit in the back of my van (the fish mobile). But it isn't fly fishing. So now what? Well of course there is fly tying. It starts out by cleaning your bench, putting everything in it's place, maybe even labeling some things so you can find things easier. Then you get down to tying. All the patterns you use the most are done first. Make sure you tie enough to get you through your next season. After that it's the patterns you thought about tying last summer. Maybe a pattern you seen somewhere or one that someone introduced you to. After that you start searching on the net for something new, something you either think would be fun to tie or maybe something you could see working on your local waters. Winter is a great time to fill up your fly boxes and experimenting with new patterns and new techniques or tricks you learned can be fun. But it isn't fly fishing. Some guys get involved with clubs. It's another great way to learn new things maybe even a secret or two and you get to bond with folks that have similar interests. But it isn't fly fishing. So now what? This summer I bought a new digital video camera. I plan on making videos throughout the winter. Maybe some fly tying, maybe some set-ups I use for chironomids or Pike. That should keep me somewhat busy over the winter. But it isn't fly-fishing. So now what? I'm not willing to accept that the season is over. There's still the 3+ hour drive to the Bow River downstream of Calgary. You can fish there all winter as long as it's warm enough (pray for some chinooks) that the ice chunks melt off. The North Raven can be fished as well if you can find some open water on a warmer winter day. And of course there's Wabamun for monster pike. The water at the power plant discharge stays open all year and I beleive this is the last year for open water as the plant is shutting down it's last generator next year. All options for a fly fishing fix, that is if the temps are warm enough to keep your guides from freezing. Now I just gotta find some buddies who are willing to brave the cold. So now what?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Mission Statement from Project Healing Waters USA:
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., initiated and conducted by members of the Federation of Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited, serves military personnel who have been wounded, injured, or disabled to aid their physical and emotional recovery by introducing or rebuilding the skills of fly fishing and fly tying and by using and enjoying these skills on fishing outings and as lifelong recreation.
While initially focusing on the military personnel in the Washington, DC area, the Project has expanded nationwide and is offering its services and program to active military personnel and veterans in Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals throughout the country.
The Project’s program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting and fly tying classes and clinics for the wounded and injured personnel ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All activities and services are provided to the participants at no cost. Fly fishing and tying equipment and materials are provided to the participants, including equipment that accommodates their special needs.
The Project’s training and educational activities are designed to ignite or rekindle the participants’ appreciation and enthusiasm for a wide variety of fly fishing outings. While most of these fishing trips are conducted within a half-day’s travel from a hospital, the Project actively seeks opportunities to offer outings in quality fishing sites across the county.
Currently, a passionate fly angler and contributing author to the flyangler.ca website, Kerry Pitt; has put in motion steps to bring Project Healing Waters to Canada. At this time he's asking people to consider how they would be able to contribute to this project as it comes to pass, not a request for money but rather more a request for their time. I sent him a personal message for information and to let him know that I'm very interested in this project. If you think you could give up some of your time to help our Canadian Veterans click here: Bringing Healing Waters and here: Comments and suggestions for more information.