New Program Launch, Victoria, BC


program launch in victoria, british columbia

Project Healing Waters Canada is proud to announce a new Program launch for veterans in Victoria, BC.  This event follows the recent introduction of a regional Coordinator.

The first meeting was held at Robinson’s Outdoor store in the city centre. The veterans in attendance were introduced to the art of fly tying.  the best practice for this is to see a demonstration of fly tying in action. A live screen hook-up is also a good way to view the skills needed as well as the final well-tied fly.

Fly shop manager, Matt King, and Ian Muirhead, a renowned BC fly-fishing guide, were there as well. The pair were keen that everyone enjoyed their experience. The veterans were told more about what Project Healing Waters Canada  and what it does.

Furthermore, it is clear that the recruits are more than keen to pursue this new passion. They could not wait to have a go at tying some flies themselves, and the photos show how engaged they are.

Don Smith, our newly appointed BC Provincial Coordinator, an avid fly tyer and fly fisher, was present at the event. He is very enthusiastic to see his fellow veterans’ desire to continue the fly tying adventure.

The next step for this new Program and these veterans includes learning the art of fly-casting. Once this is mastered, they go out onto the water to experience the joys of fly-fishing.

Finally, this introductory event would not have been possible without the financial support of the Royal Canadian Legion. Special mention goes to Esquimalt Dockyard Branch 172, spearheaded by Jim Stephen.

Thank you to all those involved and to the companies who donated the tools for the new fly tyers to use. We appreciate the support.

Ottawa River Fishing

An Ottawa River Fishing trip took place on 3rd September, 2014. Project Healing Waters Canada volunteers, Nick Mraovic and Marc MacIntyre, took a group of veterans and some spouses to the Britannia Beach area of Ottawa.

Ottawa River Fishing
Nick giving the group some tips and tricks (Credit: Giselle Cardinal)

As most of them had never been out fly fishing, it was a fresh and exciting experience. The excitement was made even more enjoyable due to their new TFO fly rods. The rods and reels were supplied thanks to the grant from the Royal Canadian Legion.

Ottawa River Fishing
Marc shows a group member how to cast the line. (Credit: Giselle Cardinal)

The fish of the day were Smallmouth Bass. These are fish that, in most cases, are quite happy to tackle dry or wet flies, and are lots of fun on a fly rod. Other species, such as Walleye and Pike, are present on the river and also take a fly.

Knots and fly selection are always the first steps in preparing for the day ahead. Things went from there. Nick provided some river tips in both casting and presentation.

The weather was cooperative, as was the water for wading, but it was also a bit high after recent rain.  As a result, care was taken as everyone was new to wading and fishing.

Ottawa River Fishing
Enjoying the water (Credit: Giselle Cardinal)
ottawa river fishing success

Veteran Lee Passey was the first to land a small bass, his first fish!

Ottawa River Fishing
A surprised Lee catches his first fish! (Credit: Giselle Cardinal)

We even had a service dog, named Bauer, along with us who had a fun day splashing in the water and making some new friends.

Ottawa River Fishing
Service dog, Bauer, enjoying being off duty and in the river (Credit: Giselle Cardinal)

All in all, it was a fantastic day.  Consequently, we are looking forward to more days out before winter sets in.


Canadian Army article

Canadian Army article
Military veterans at Ottawa Fly Casting Clinic, Ottawa River

A Canadian Army article that is now online features Project Healing Waters Canada.  We are very pleased to be featured.

This article shows our work and how what our Project volunteers are doing helps many military veterans in their healing process.

Writer Helen Bobat, from the Canadian Army’s Public Affairs department, supports showing the human face of the military. She feels that the article is going to help many veterans hesitating about becoming involved.  In addition, Ms. Bobat tweeted the piece to the Army’s Twitter account followers after publishing it online.

In the article, Ms. Bobat describes the work of the Project. Interviews with some of the veterans who have been through the program are also featured in the article.

canadian army article shows positive project experience

Many thanks to Kurt and Carol for taking the time to share their experiences. It is great to have others hear their stories and their positive responses to the Project. Some veterans are anxious about meeting new people or are afraid they won’t be understood.  Due to this coverage, the article is likely to make a difference.

Consequently anyone considering coming to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Canada is encouraged to contact us.  We are always ready to listen and offer support.

You can find the article at this link and also on our News page.