Project Healing Waters Healing on the Albany Adventure
Project Healing Waters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to introducing fly fishing and fly tying to wounded war vets as a means of rehabilitation. Casting, intricate knots, fly tying and stomping up and down streambanks provide these wounded heros with an opportunity to rebuild their bodies while the flowing water gives them a much needed sense of calm.
I only live a few blocks from their main meeting location at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and decided to pop into a few brown bag lunch meetings held there. I usually fish alone but lately I have been looking to get more involved in the fly fishing community in my area. Within an hour of meeting the president of Project Healing Waters, Ed Nicholson, he slapped a PHW cap on my head and put me to work. The next thing I knew I was scratching my head trying to understand the instructions to a build-it-yourself drift boat kit with soldiers and other volunteers (I wasn't much help but I am good at looking busy). Where you might expect sadness there is laughter and of course more fishing tall tales than you can imagine. I am sure they are mostly lies.
During one of my calls to Wayne Blackmon at Wilderness North, I mentioned this group and he said Wilderness North might be interested in helping out with the cause. A few days later he wrote back and informed me that Alan Cheeseman was interested in inviting a large group of soldiers up to their Miminiska Lodge for an entire week!
I was blown away by the offer. I have had the pleasure of fishing at this lodge on two previous trips to Ontario. The fishing is beyond anything I have ever experienced and the lodge facilities are very plush especially when you consider the nearest road of any kind is hundreds of miles away. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for many of these soldiers. A chance to enjoy true wilderness fly fishing while battling savage northern pike, shore lunching on tasty walleye and even getting a crack at that once in a lifetime +20” brook trout.
To make this exciting event a reality we need your help. Wilderness North is generously picking up all food, float planes, boats and lodging for this weeklong adventure but we still need to get our troops to and from the sea plane base in Thunder Bay Ontario and have them outfitted properly for the week. If you have any questions about donations to this trip please contact us at : PHWTrip@nativebrooktrout.com.
To donate by check:
Make out checks to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. and put Ontario Adventure in the memo field.
1356 Madison St, NW
Washington DC 20011
attn: PHWFF Ontario Trip
You can also donate online via PayPal at the Project Healing Waters site. Be sure to send us an email at PHWTrip@nativebrooktrout.com so we know you donated directly to their account.
Thanks for your help and Tight Lines!
where in the world is lake miminiska?
Lake Miminiska is located in Northwestern Ontario. It is 100 miles nearly due north of Lake Nipigon, home to the world record brook trout – 14.5 pounds! (that is pounds not inches) It is over 200 hundred miles from Thunder Bay, Ontario and over 1000 miles from Project Healing Waters Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The lake is part of the Albany River watershed that cuts through the vast wilderness of Ontario. Northern Pike, Walleye, Brook Trout and Whitefish are the primary quarry in these waters.