Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Healing Waters Ice Out Event Yesterday

Rose River Farm hosted an ice out event yesterday to kick off the fishing season for Project Healing Waters. Participants from Walter Reed got a chance to use the skills they have learned throughout the winter Wednesday sessions.

The weather was much colder than most of us anticipated (we did get about 8" of snow here last night) thus my phone didn't last long. I managed to take a few pics. Others had their DSLR cameras and will hopefully post some soon that I can link.

There were about two dozen people at the event. I arrived at the barn to find everyone setting up, drinking coffee, and eating pastries. It is always nice to have a local group organize and donate meals for these events.

 Forgot to mention the drive down-no traffic. Hit the 146,000 mile mark on the car
 And I saw some mistletoe
 Participants making their way down to the pond to fish
 Participants on the dock. I worked with a 12 year old partipants son. He had never cast a fly rod before. He was given a bamboo rod to learn. He was casting great-too bad the fish weren't biting.
 One of the guys got a nice bass on a san juan worm. Notice the pale color of the fish from the lower pond.
 The PHWFF drift boat on the pond
 Two PHWFF employees were gifted bottles of wine in these custom wine boxes
 View from the barn. I want a barn when I get my own place
 'Big John' stirring some chili. Probably the best type of food for a chili day fly fishing
 A volunteer working the grill. This was the warmest spot all day
 We didn't get any fish on the lower pond. We moved to another pond and I started to fish with my Iwana Tenkara rod. I hooked into a trout almost instantly- damsel fly nymph. I have not caught a rainbow trout in over two years. It was just as much a surprise to me. We took turns netting each others fish as we raced around the pond with the nets and rods in hand

 This was a big bass. I'm going to say 3lbs easy. It took the damsel nymph by a tree. The fight was massive. Look at that bent rod. By the time someone showed up with a net the fish had thrown the fly
 Note the color of this fish from the other pond. It was a gem. I also fished my old Orvis 3wt Superfine. I started with a splat rat pattern and had a bass and a trout attempt to engulf it. No luck. I fished the 3wt with a damsel and had several bites and follows but no luck again. All fish were caught on Tenkara.
 Kiki was a champ with the net. We took turns on the little dock
 The action of the Tenkara really allows for the damsel tail to dance. I had fish chasing the fly all the way to my feet. The takes were very subtle
 Then it was time for lunch. Oh my was this good
Snow started to move in
 I caught several nice sized trout. The word got out on how this pond fished before lunch so it was full of anglers after. It took a while to land a fish. Lots of fish were hooked and tailwalking. Everyone was hooting and hollering
 More snow moving in
 Let this serve as a reminder to de-barb your hooks. He walked behind someone casting a barbed hook
 One of the larger bass I landed.

 Overall it was a great event. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again at the fly tying marathon this weekend and then again at the 2-Fly tournament at the end of May. Hopefully by then we'll be done with all this snow shenanigans.


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