Military veterans learn about the art of fly fishing

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-12 19:43:55-04

CASCADE — A unique program in Montana called Mending Waters works to help military veterans and active duty members by teaching them about the art of fly fishing.

Service personnel returning from deployment often encounter difficulties in transitioning back to a non-combat life. Fly fishing allows them to focus on the task at hand - landing a fish. And this activity is done outdoors, with minimal external stimulation, a welcome calm and the beauty of a river or stream. Additionally, learning to build a fly rod or fly tying further provides focus for a veteran, and leads to a great sense of accomplishment.

“This program is really close to my heart, I’m a veteran myself. I’ve seen the injuries of war and the things that a lot of these veterans are dealing with and a lot of them don’t know how to communicate that stuff, and don’t really want to try and communicate that stuff," explained Justin Waayenberg, the president of Mending Waters. "And this is just a great outlet for them to be able to get some relief and get around other veterans that have similar stories, similar experiences and then get that relief and get that healing.”

Click here to visit the Mending Waters website to learn more.