05 May 2011

PHWFF National Rod Building Contest

The Project Healing Waters national rod building competition has announced the winners.  Vets from around the country finished their rods a few weeks ago and submitted them into the nation-wide contest for a bid to travel to one of many fly fishing destinations.  The rods submitted were pieces of art, many paying tribute to military honors and medals.

Feather inlay above the handle and on the ferrule.
The competition had three categories for entry:

Category 1
     Those participants with disabling wounds, injuries, or disorders of the upper limbs, eyes,  or neurological system causing greater than 10% impairment.
Category 2
    Those participants with other injuries, but without the above named impairments or limitations.
Category 3
     Those participants who have built a rod in a previous year’s contest.

Abbondondola's winning stars and stripes rod.

The winners for the three categories are bellow:

Category 1
1st Andy Anderson, Long Beach
2nd Chase Gean, Ft. Huachuca
3rd Chris Bollinger, Long Beach

Category 2
1st Louis Doyon, Togus VAMC
2nd Henry Lessard, Togus VAMC
3rd Gabe Castleberry, Wilmington, NC

Category 3
1st Anthony Abbondondola, Togus VAMC
2nd Jesse Garza, Long Beach
3rd Bill Boyce, Long Beach

US Marine Corp rod by Gabe Castleberry

Curious what they won?  The winners get to choose one of these trips:
  • Blue Valley Ranch in Colorado (September 29 - October 1)
  • Kodiak Alaska trip (July 31 - August 6)
  • Flint Rainbow Club Salmon trip in Michigan (October 12 - 16)
  • Big Horn River trip Billings, Montana (June 4-8)
  • 4th Annual Wilderness North Canada trip (July 7-12)
Congrats to Chris on a beautiful rod and a 3rd place finish.
Congratulations to all of the contestants and the winners.  Props to by friends at the Long Beach VA for big numbers among the winners and amazing works.  These are beautiful rods and will look great with a heavy bend in them!

For more on Project Healing Waters visit www.ProjectHealingWaters.org
For more on the competition and for more photos visit http://hookhack.com/html/projecthealingwaters

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