Casting for Recovery retreat...
a group that sponsors fly fishing retreats for women battling breast cancer.
Their weekend seminar was an all encompassing & memorable fly fishing experience.....
In my mind, there is not much more that tops a day than time spent on a river, without cell phone service & stalking some BIG fish
All eyes were focused on their strike indicators for the ever-so-slight bobble to indicate a fish is on
The only "loud & stern" voice heard was "SET", which means FISH ON... so set the damn hook !!!!!
The next anxious words heard were either "AGGHH, missed it" or "Hold your rod tip up, keep your line firm, you can do this"
The loyal fishing guides quickly ran downstream to try to net the BIG catch...then we would finally hear another "AGGHH, got away, let's get him again" or "WOO-HOO-look at that HOG"
When the fish was landed, everyone was crying tears of joy at their accomplishment, photographers were running to document the catch, as it was immediately released back into the water to be given another chance at life...the same experience that these brave breast cancer survivors have been given by their medical community
There are high fives, hugs and realization that "I did it...I caught my first fish, and during the process, I didn't even think of cancer"
These women are all ages and in various stages of their cancer journey,
but what they hold in common is SURVIVAL!
So, what does fly fishing have to do with Hats That Heal......well, my initial idea, when I became a non-profit, was to partner with an organization and donate my hand-made knitted hats. Over 40 years ago, my family started an Orvis-endorsed fly fishing lodge in Kremmling, Colorado, Elktrout Fishing Lodge, so I been exposed to the joys of fly fishing for much of my life. I didn't know this until recently, but Elktrout sponsored the very first Casting for Recovery retreat.....what a small world and even more reason to team up with them. I decided to combine my 2 favorite hobbies, fly fishing & knitting, and Hats That Heal provided each retreat participant with a unique hand-made knitted hat.
I not only wanted to provide hats to the participants, I really, really, really wanted to see it all first hand......I also happen to be a "hack" photographer with a zooped up camera and offered to be their action photographer for the day. They accepted and I scored the role as photographer, so got an up front and personal view of each woman's experience on the river...how special was that !!!
And, by the way, it's not just the participants who are the coolest...there are dozens of women (some former participants) behind the scenes that are just as cool, who devote their time and energy, to raise funds for, organize and run these retreats each year.
Thank you Jen and Peggy for allowing me to team up
with you & I look forward to a long partnership !!