When the river runs through the soul, healing can begin.
Just ask the veterans, many of whom are dealing with the lingering wounds of war.
"It helps more than anything else they've tried for me," says Retired Sergeant First Class Ricky Rood. Six deployments and more than a dozen traumatic brain injuries left the veteran with an array of physical and emotional wounds. Post-traumatic stress disorder made him a person he didn't recognize.
"I didn't want to leave the house. I'd go to appointments, and just want to go back home,” remembers Rood.
That is, until Project Healing Waters.
“They brought me back to where I was before the injuries," he says.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, with 156 branches nationally, takes veterans on outings – free of charge. It’s made possible through the hundreds of volunteers, fishing sites, guides, and donations.
"We've had individuals who had trouble talking, and through the program, they're now able to carry on conversations, have jobs, really helps out with the family life as well," says Steve Perry, one of the leaders for the Colorado Springs chapter of Project Healing Waters.
The local group takes roughly 30 trips a year.
Here at Rowdy Trout Ranch, on the north fork of the South Platte River, guides pair up with each veteran to give fly fishing tips. For this trip, all the gear: waders, rods, flies are donated from Angler’s Covey.
If you are a veteran, or know one who is interested in attending, contact http://phwffcoloradosprings.org.