The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) partnered with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) to host a fly fishing clinic last week at Silver Creek Hatchery near Show Low, Az. The free clinic provided basic instruction and assistance to 26 veterans.
This was the ninth year that AZGFD has joined with PHWFF to offer fishing opportunities to wounded military service members and disabled veterans. This year, PHWFF groups attended from Tucson, Phoenix, the White Mountains and New Mexico.
“Of all the events the department sponsors in the Pinetop Region, we are especially proud of this one that honors military veterans and makes them a part of the opening day of fly fishing season at Silver Creek,” says Pinetop Regional Supervisor Chris Bagnoli. “Incorporating fishing into the lives of our distinguished service men and women through the Healing Waters Program is a great way to give back to these deserving individuals.”
The event coincides with the opening of Silver Creek’s catch-and-release season, which runs from Oct. 1 to March 31. During this time, only artificial flies/lures and single barbless hooks are allowed for fishing on Silver Creek.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing was founded in 2005 and has grown to a nationwide organization serving wounded military service members and disabled veterans. PHWFF is a volunteer organization with 173 programs in 49 states. For more information about Healing Waters, visit their website at www.projecthealingwaters.org.