Anyone currently on active duty or a veteran of military service is eligible to be involved in one or more of Mending Waters Montana programs. Enrollment is offered predominately, but not exclusively, to Montanans. Mending Waters Montana programs are summarized as follows:
Fort Harrison Trauma Center
One of our most significant programs is working with patients of the Trauma Center at Fort Harrison Veterans Hospital located in Helena, Montana. The Veterans’ Administration (VA) provides seven six-week programs for their patients. Our fly-fishing instruction is integrated within this treatment and is assisting with physical and emotional rehabilitation. For several weeks during the program, our experienced fishing instructors meet with the patients and introduce them to fly tying and entomology. Additionally, patients are offered the opportunity to participate in fly-fishing outings that range from a one-day wade/walk trip to multi-day, overnight trips on the Missouri, Blackfoot, or Ruby rivers.
Fly Tying Classes
Mending Waters Montana offers very detailed eight-week fly tying classes designed for the beginning fly tier. The overall concept of this class (for up to 12 participants) is not to teach specific fly patterns; its primary purpose is to teach the student the basic steps in the construction of a certain pattern. Each pattern taught builds upon the next pattern. In doing so at the end of the eight weeks the student will be able to look at a fly pattern and determine how to tie it.
In addition to the actual construction of the fly, the student is taught the life cycle of the pattern being tied, and how to fish the imitation. At no cost to the participant, Mending Waters Montana provides quality equipment, fly tying materials and entomology manuals, which are given to each student at the end of the course.