We held our annual Healing Waters Fishing Trip on July 28-31.
Seven disabled veterans; Everett Butler (Sonny), Alan Johnston, John Rogers, Wes Cumming, Stan Munson, Jerry Gilbert and Pete Sargent attended this years outing. Teri Olson, recreation director at Togus Veteran’s Hospital organized the group and Bruce Bowman with Trout Unlimited was also on the trip for additional support.
Everyone arrived on Wednesday afternoon for their stay at Moosetracts Cottages on Prong Pond. They have a wonderful handicapped accessible cottage that is extremely wheelchair friendly with an impressive wooden ramp that weaves its way through the woods to a beautiful dock on Prong Pond so everyone gets to enjoy the spectacular view.
On Thursday everyone made the journey to the West Branch of the Penobscot for our first day of fly fishing. Fish were a bit fussy at first but everyone caught fish on dry flies before the day was over. A medium size tan caddis and a yellow hornberg worked the best. We all enjoyed a barbeque at Big Eddie Campground. The day was spent fly fishing from Big Eddie down to a takeout just above Big A Rapids. The weather could not have been better.
On Friday everyone headed for the East Outlet of the Kennebec and the 3 ½ mile drift to Indian Pond. Fishing was tough in the upper river in the morning but after we had lunch at the Beach Pool persistence paid off in the lower, less accessible part of the river with more action and everyone catching fish once again. A small tan tent wing caddis called the King’s River was the dry fly of the day. Again the weather and the company could not have been any better.
The vets spent their evenings dining at the Rod & Reel Café and Kokadjo Trading Post then relaxing at Prong Pond. On Friday evening our American Legion put on a wonderful barbeque. After the great meal everyone had a lot of laughs brought on by some very funny local story tellers. They claimed all their stories to be true. There may have been a touch of doubt.
A guy from R.I. saw me mowing my lawn, pulled over, then waved me over to ask for directions. “How do you get to Bangor?” I replied “I always ride with my neighbor.”
Many thanks have to go out to the countless folks who had a hand in putting together this year’s Healing Waters Outing. If I tried to gather all the names of the individuals and businesses that gave their time I would surely miss some. It’s a very long list. You know who you are and it’s because of your overwhelming generosity that makes this a wonderful event our disabled veterans so look forward to each summer. We are already laying plans for next summer. Our heart felt thanks goes out to each and everyone involved. It would not be the event it has become without your continued support.