Disabled Veterans enjoy fly fishing at IronOaks

A great day of fun on May 2!

A great day of fun on May 2!

George Abernathy

Saturday, May 2 was a day of honor for IronOaks and 14 members of the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club (SLFFC) when they hosted 13 disabled veterans from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHW). SLFFC members showed up with extra flies, rods and three golf carts for bathroom runs to assist the veterans throughout the morning while they fly fished. PHW’s policy is to make sure that there are enough volunteers to provide man on man coverage in case they need assistance.

Upon arrival at 7:30 a.m., the disabled veterans, PHW’s volunteers and SLFFC members were provided breakfast burritos, courtesy of Faye Stone, General Manager of IronOaks. After three and one-half hours of fishing, all of the veterans were able to hook up with several bass with most of the veterans able to land at least one or more. The outstanding veteran was Michael Adams who landed over 20 bass. I believe this might even be the record catch for less than a half-day of fishing at the Ironwood Lake. His success definitely had most of us members paying attention to his techniques and asking questions. Afterwards everyone shared a few fish stories and enjoyed brats and dogs at the Ironwood restaurant. The lunch was sponsored by an anonymous contributor and the members from SLFFC.

Fly fishing helps disabled veterans with their motor skills and is by far one of the most challenging but yet relaxing activities that anyone can enjoy. SLFFC members look forward to hosting the veterans six to eight times per year at IronOaks’ and Cottonwood’s fishable lakes. The club’s next hosting will be sometime in the fall after the temperatures drop.

Thanks to the assistance from Sherri Jones, IronOak’s Communications/Web Page Manager, SLFFC’s club member Randy Smith has developed and manages the club’s web page. It is now operational and can be accessed through IronOaks’ home page or directly online at www.sunlakesflyfishingclub.com. Randy has been tweaking the site in order to provide a variety of information for members and the residents of Sun Lakes. Past and upcoming events, photo gallery, articles and publications are just a few areas that can be viewed. If you are interested in fly fishing and/or our club and would like additional information, then take a minute and visit our web page.

Near future club meetings will be held at the Oakwood’s library at 6:30 p.m. on the following dates: Tuesday, June 2, Tuesday, July 7, Tuesday, August 4 and Tuesday, September 1.

For those of you that still think Arizona is nothing but 114,000 sq. acres of kitty litter, I suggest you visit our web page or talk to one of our 40 plus members that enjoy fly fishing for a variety of fish year round throughout the state.

“Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once.” —Lee Wolff