“Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has changed my life,” Brady Busby, veteran of six tours in the Middle East, expressed on Saturday night at the Fly Fishing Film Tour to over 500 anglers who came together in support of the Colorado Springs chapter of Project Healing Waters.
Before introducing Brady, Steve Hock (Deputy Program Lead of PHWFF), explained that the Fly Fishing Film Tour supports around 300 wounded veterans in the Pikes Peak region. Funds raised on this night support classes in casting, rod building, and fly tying and over 50 trips to rivers and lakes this year. The Colorado Springs chapter is the largest chapter in the nation – and the Fly Fishing Film Tour is a key fundraiser for the work they do.
Brady Busby shared his experience with the audience at intermission. Brady served in the military for 14 years, beginning his career at Fort Drum just shortly after 9/11. He had three tours in Iraq. After his third tour, he was diagnosed with PTSD and, as he put it, “Special Forces don’t do too well with that.” He was medicated and then reassigned. He then served three more tours in Afghanistan after which he was diagnosed again – this time with severe PTSD as well as traumatic brain injury.
“I became isolated. Shut in.” And then he had his first experience with Project Healing Waters. When he asked his daughter what effect she thought PHWFF had on him, she said “it got you out of the house.” He laughs and says the people in his life have noticed the change over the last three years, too.
“All you think about when you are out there is the fish, or you look up and see the place where you’re fishing. It’s beautiful. There’s an art to catching big fish. I love it when I am catching fish and now I love it when I’m guiding and others are catching fish.”
“Fly fishing changes your heart,” Brady says.
Thank you for your service, Brady.
It may have been “just” a night of watching some great films for most of us. But for the wounded veterans, the night can be a life changer.
And thanks to …
Angler’s Covey and Royal Gorge Anglers, co-hosts of the evening, want to thank the Gold Level Sponsors who helped make the night so great: Dutch Bros. Coffee, B&L Plumbing and Heating (thanks Larry Wieker for coming out!), Rainbow Falls Mountain Trout, and the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
And thank you – over 500 tickets and more than 1500 raffle tickets sold to support this cause.
301 Fly Tying with Greg Blessing: Colorado Guide flies, Part 1
Fy Tying with Juan Ramirez. Caddis