May 7, 2011 Outing with Project Healing Waters

Caught with cane rod

On a dreary (have we had any other kind?) Saturday morning, we departed our carpool areas for Bill’s Fishin’ Hole in Orting.

Two handed Art with Dave
Two handed Art with Dave

I had Bob Young, Don Schroder and Paul Dibble (a new helper) with me, Bob Birkner picked up Chuck Ballard and Randy Hieronymus, Dick Stearns and Vicki Hoagland came from Bremerton, Art Alton (new member), Scott Hagen, and Marv Young each came alone.

Two vans came from the Seattle VA with six veteran patients and three Recreational Therapists. Three other outpatients came by themselves.
We rigged the rods and tied on foam flies with no hook points to practice in the pond with 10” to 18” triploid trout.

First fish
First fish

After everyone had a chance to feel the take and spit out the fly, we moved to the pond with 2 ½ pound to 5 pound fish, the keepers!

As you know the fish have to make the choice! In the practice pond the competition causes them all to attack as quickly as the fly (food) “plops” on the surface, however, in the pond with bigger and fewer fish, they are in no hurry!

I don't want to use a "fly pole""!!
I don’t want to use a “fly pole””!!

The vets in wheelchairs and those with diminished reflexes are not certain when to set the hook or how to fight an unruly fish!

After a few losses, they get the hang of it and OH what fun!

The smiles show it all! We were very fortunate and the rain did not arrive until the last fish was landed!

The gang at Bill's
The gang at Bill’s

Fifteen fish were landed, the biggest 8.5 pounds!

The big fish went home with the lucky angler to have for dinner!

Fourteen of them were taken to be smoked and will be returned to the Seattle VA for many tasty snacks before lunch or dinner!

We love automatic reels!
We love automatic reels!

Jim McRoberts

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