Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

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Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing began in 2005 serving wounded military personnel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who were returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then it has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Dept. of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics across the country.

The PHWFF program provides basic fly fishing, casting, fly tying and rod building classes to participants ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities.

Where do I fit in to all this? I teach fly tying to -and am sometimes taught by – a small group of vets on Monday nights.

Last Monday we had requests for tying instructions on a traditional trout fly, the gold ribbed hare’s ear nymph. I chose a relatively large hook (#12 3X long) because a big hook is easier for beginners to learn on– and because I could see it better.

This fly can be tied weighted or unweighted, in many colors, with or without a bead. It looks exactly like nothing but suggests everything from a mayfly nymph to a scud or sow bug. It gets its name from the original body material: the short fur on the ears of rabbits. They still sell real rabbit ears in fly shops for the purists but I prefer packaged dubbing material.

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About BruceCochran

Bruce Cochran graduated from Oklahoma University in 1960 with a B.A. in design. He worked as a humor writer/illustrator for Hallmark Cards from 1960 – 1962 and has freelanced as a writer, cartoonist and illustrator since then. Cochran drew daily sports cartoon for USA Today from 1983 – 1991. He has 10 humor/cartoon books published by Willow Creek Press and his work appears regularly in Wyoming Wildlife, Outdoor News, On Wisconsin Outdoors, Pheasants Forever Journal, Wildfowl, Gundog, Ducks Unlimited magazine, Delta Waterfowl and other publications. He also writes and illustrates a regular humor column for Wyoming Wildlife News. Bruce won first place in the magazine humor category of OWAA’s EIC contest in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Life Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited. Life member: NRA. Member: Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, OWAA and Outdoor Writers of Kansas.

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