This weekend I had the pleasure of guiding some pretty extraordinary people through Project Healing Waters; some of the countries finest soldiers. Some of which served a very long time and some that are still in active duty. I started the journey off by waking up early Saturday and heading to Cherokee, NC where I met up at the Rivers Edge Fly Shop with the soldiers/fisherman and other guides. Once everybody had checked in and gotten a bite to eat and some coffee we teamed up and hit the water. I had the pleasure of fishing with Tommy first thing. The morning started off a little slow with a few fish, but as the sun got a little higher the fish seemed to wake up. Here are some nice fish that Tommy caught, especially the one at the top.
After wearing out the fish in the morning we decided to go get some tasty bar-b-q and take a break. When lunch was over we got together with our other groups for the next flight. The bite was back on after the break but this time mostly on dries and big nasty terrestrials. I fished this next flight with Brian who was also an excellent fisherman, who has traveled all over the world in search of trout. He caught a lot of fish and all of them were good size and mad. Here are a few shots of Brian’s catches, notice the huge brookie that Brian holds with 2 hands.
When the fishing was over and everyone got out of their waders, the party didn’t stop. They had a banquet full of incredible food and lots of items to be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Healing Waters. After the banquet the good times kept rolling with a lot of us hanging out in the hotel room talking about the day, who caught the biggest, and about our favorite places to fish. Not to mention all the lies, lets be honest, I mean we are fisherman.
Once everyone finally went to bed and got about 2 hours of sleep we got up early to do it all over again. Day 2 we were in a different stretch of water closer to town and the fishing again didn’t pick up until the afternoon. This time I had the privilege of fishing with Jim and he was a great guy and could fish. We caught a ton of brookies that were all big fish ranging from 12 to 16 inches and they were beautiful. Here is a shot of one.I don’t remember how many fish we caught, but they were all really nice fish and some were pushing 22 inches or more. Here are some pics of the fish that Jim slayed.
I can’t tell you guys how awesome it was to get to fish with these men, they love to fish almost as much as they love they’re country. This was my first time at Project Healing Waters, but it definitely won’t be my last. I got to spend a lot of time with the soldiers who fight for this country so that we can be free and do these things, and it was a blessing to be able to participate and meet these fine men and women who serve our country. Thank you guys for what you do and all that you go through. I recommend that everyone participate in this event and give back to those who have given so much to you.