Okay I’m not a stand-up comedian…but this week has been a fly-fishing extravaganza with the blokes (8) and sheila’s (2) from Project Healing Waters for our third annual Healing On The Albany event. These wounded warriors from the armed forces of both Canada and the USA have been our guests to experience world class fishing in the boreal forest home to the only Orvis endorsed lodge in Ontario…our own Miminiska Lodge.
A big thanks to Orvis for providing the fly fishing gear for the soldiers to use.
The weather was challenging last Friday when the five US and five Canadian soldiers first arrived, but their enthusiasm couldn’t be curbed. They were all out in the boats as soon as they completed their first helping of Miminiska hospitality and a big lunch. Saturday brought on a bonanza of pike and walleye as they were hitting the flies like mad.
The better weather created even better fishing, with two teams heading out for a bit of a contest: Team Number 1 headed to the top of Miminiska Falls, smashing into the pike and wearing themselves out. Darryl (the Slayer) from the Canadian forces took the podium after catching over 70 fish fly-casting from the banks of the Albany River. Team Number 2 headed through the Petawanga portage targeting the pike and walleye hard, finding the typically fat and juicy fish that seem to dwell at the bottom of the falls.
With fly-tying and rod building classes each night, the gang really built up their knowledge of their new found hobby – all part of the plan for their rehab and our way of saying thanks for standing up when others stood back. We take our hats off to these recovering soldiers and their efforts deserve a bloody big pat on the back. My father, a Vietnam veteran from Australia, flew over to assist with the event and help out these brave souls.
The fishing was magnificent, the people were magnificent, with one of our Chicago based volunteer pilots winning my coveted Kangaroo Big Jumper Award for taking off most (thank goodness not all) of his clothes and entering the water to drag a boat off a sandbank. All in all the 2010 event has been a huge success. Now these blokes and sheila’s head for home after having had a bloody good time at a bloody good spot.
And we begin planning for Healing On The Albany 2011.