Christmas came early this year with the arrival of 6 Canadian soldiers: 5 from Newfoundland and 1 from Ottawa, accompanied by a medic from Quebec. Although seasoned veterans and grown men, they were all excited and anxious to get started -just like kids on Christmas morning. It was such a nice feeling to see how appreciative and thankful they all were to be given this opportunity. Being able to witness their excited babble and story swapping during the ride from the airport and while waiting in line to get licenses was a great gift for us here at home base. I can only imagine what the journey back will be like… I hope the American boys are ready for them! As “Healing on the Ogoki” takes place at Striker’s this week, we will be granted with the opportunity to learn their stories and make some new friends.
There are many fantastic people who help make events like these possible and deserve some recognition for the work they have done. I would like to take this opportunity to share the work being done by two silent champions for the cause: Josh Levinger and Mike & Renee Error who strive every day for moments like these. Josh Levinger is an adventurer seeker who decided to combine his engineering and science background with his passion for the outdoors to design a fly fishing attachment that is easily adapted to any prosthetic arm. He has worked closely with Ted, Project Healing Waters, and Northeast Passage to develop a functional and practical design that is easy to use while out in the field. He even provides a list of parts and brief instructions on how to make your own on his website.
Other key contributors in the effort of making fly fishing, and fishing in general, more accessible to those living with a mobile impairment are the folks at Adaptive Outdoorsman. Mike and Renee are a husband and wife team who have combined a love for the natural environment with a strong commitment to helping others. Originally established to help one of their good friends return to fishing after suffering from a stroke, their research into the various products available for those with limited mobility is now available in one convenient location on their website based in Dublin OH.
Out at the lodges, our guests received some gifts of their own: with great fishing weather, plentiful catches, and a handful of trophies! Congrats to a fresh class of master anglers, and as always its nice to hear from you!