Veterans

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MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Fly Fishing Veterans is to provide physical and emotional support to All Who Served in our Armed Forces, First Responder and Healthcare careers through activities associated with fly fishing

VISION:

We strive to improve the lives of the Veterans, First Responders, Healthcare Providers and their families throughout our communities. We do this through an all-volunteer network to provide compassionate and supportive engagement in fly tying, rod building, gear selection, casting, outings, etc.

OUR CORE VALUES:

Community – Fly Fishing Veterans creates a sense of family by mentoring and supporting one another with dignity, passion, respect, and humility.

Compassion – Fly Fishing Veterans enables our veterans and volunteers to improve upon their physical and mental health to bring balance and normalcy into their lives while fostering supportive relationships and restoring the camaraderie they came to know through their careers while serving their communities and our Great Nation.

Excellence – Fly Fishing Veterans organization provides quality skills and resources for veterans and volunteers founded on proven standards of excellence.

Accountability – Fly Fishing Veterans remains accountable to our veterans and volunteers, to our sponsor Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers, and to our donors.

501(3)C INFORMATION:

Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers (UVFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, sponsoring our Fly Fishing Veterans (FFV) division within UVFF in Roseburg Oregon. Fly Fishing Veterans is dependent on tax-deductible, charitable donations and the help of numerous volunteers to meet the mentoring, equipment, and related needs of our
veterans.

CONTACT INFO

For information about Fly Fishing Veterans contact Doug Myers (ret. U.S. Air Force) at dmyers@flyfishingveterans.org

ABOUT FLY FISHING VETERANS

Fishing buddies; Jeff McEnroe, Scott Lightcap, and Josh Voynick, from the Umpqua area of Oregon, had many discussions on their fishing trips about giving back in some meaningful way, to those who served.  Then Jeff remembered reading about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing for disabled veterans and realized they could use their fishing talents to help.  Reaching out to two other fishing buddies, Jay Carlson and Bryan Deck, the five formed the Steering Committee.  

With the Roseburg VA Hospital Campus being in Umpqua Valley in Roseburg Oregon; in 2014 the steering committee established the Umpqua Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program in Roseburg to serve the disabled veterans throughout the Umpqua Region.

The Veterans Administration nationally recognizes this therapy and its benefits for our military veterans dealing with Suicide, PTSD, TBI, Parkinson’s and physical injuries since the inception of PHWFF in 2005 at Walter Reed Hospital, Maryland.

The core elements of this proven therapy revolve around a means of positive distraction within a positive environment; involving mentoring veterans in the five distinct fly fishing activities of fly tying, rod building, fly casting, fly fishing education and fishing events. 

Throughout our seven-year history in the Umpqua Region, we have served over 100 military veterans through the sport of fly fishing.

As of January 2020, we had just reduced the suicide rate for military veterans in southwestern Oregon by 75% working in conjunction with other veteran programs in our region.

Having retired emergency personnel in our organization, they recognized how this means of positive therapy had helped them navigate what they had personally witnessed and how the sport of fly fishing has improved their own lives in dealing with the traumas and tragedies of society they witnessed throughout their careers.  

We recognize the added stressors being placed on our veteran fire service, law enforcement, first responders and frontline healthcare personnel dealing with the COVID epidemic. The COVID crisis has created a mental health crisis for our brethren as suicides, domestic violence, and self- indulgence to hide the pain escalate in their ranks as never before. This could be the single greatest crisis for them since the terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers 9-11-2001 which resulted in a loss of over 350 of our brethren.

Recognizing the need to Serve All Who Served, disabled or not, throughout our area, as many don’t want the stigma of being disabled, we were missing a lot of opportunities to help them improve their quality of life as well as the lives of their family. Starting in 2018, we had fostered an excellent relationship with Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers (UVFF) in Roseburg.  In 2021 we elected to transition into our new organization Fly Fishing Veterans to better serve our Umpqua region and those who can benefit from the calming effects through the sport of fly fishing.  

We formed “Fly Fishing Veterans” division within the Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers club as they are a non-profit 501(3)c as a charter fly club with Fly Fishers International (FFI).

“Serving All Who Served”  We provide all equipment and materials needed for participating in classes and events at no cost to our veteran fire service, law enforcement, first responder, healthcare, and military personnel.  We are always looking for volunteers as well to help with mentoring these skill sets and or assist those who may have difficulties negotiating fishing areas on events or to take them on the water to fish or to help in other areas with events and classes.

We maintain the same core values through proven positive therapy based on positive distraction

In 2019 we had a 300 percent growth in veteran participation, averaging 40 monthly in addition to a 35 percent growth in volunteers averaging 20 monthly

Combined meetings, classes, community events and outings we had 78 activities throughout 2019 and had planned 125 activities for 2020 until the covid pandemic drastically impacted our ability too.  

Working in conjunction with Roseburg VA Hospital, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, first responder companies and healthcare facilities are “Serving All Who Served” as a team to improve the lives of our brethren and reduce the suicide rate.  

Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers (UVFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, sponsoring our Fly Fishing Veterans (FFV) division within UVFF in Roseburg Oregon.   Fly Fishing Veterans is dependent on tax-deductible, charitable donations and the help of numerous volunteers to meet the mentoring, equipment, and related needs of our veterans.  100-percent of your donations go to support our veterans.