It’s common these days to hear about groups of service members or veterans heading off to sport fish on trips sponsored by the non-profit Project Healing Waters and partner organizations, including Trout Unlimited. But the trips are usually comprised mostly of men.
Not so this week in Alaska. An all-female group of veterans and active-duty military personnel are traveling to Bristol Bay – one of the world’s most famous fishing spots – on a three-day, three-night sport fishing trip courtesy of TU and partners.
TU, together with Alaska Sportsmen’s Bear Trail Lodge, Project Healing Waters Alaska, and a variety of veterans-service groups are sponsoring the once-in-a-lifetime trip. The group will stay at the exclusive Bear Trail Lodge and fish for rainbow trout, king and sockeye salmon, and northern pike. Silver, pink and chum salmon are also possible target species.
The women have all suffered injuries related to their military service and, in keeping with Project Healing Waters’ mission, the purpose of the trip is to help them heal through time on the water.
“Providing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is a small way we can say thanks for all these women have done to defend our country. Bristol Bay is a national icon and a place that is truly worth fighting for. We’re so pleased to be able to offer a small group of women the chance to see Bristol Bay. Women anglers and women veterans are two rapidly expanding segments of our population. This trip serves as a unique opportunity to bring women together, and to spend some healing time on the river with other women anglers,” said trip organizer Nelli William, Deputy Director of TU’s Alaska Program.
All of the participants are based in Alaska. One of them is Rebekah White, who served in the Navy until 2006. A cancer survivor, White is disabled and experiences post-traumatic stress and other injuries.
“I am so excited to go on this women’s trip to Bristol Bay. This trip will be healing for me because I know that there will be women there that have gone through some of the same experiences that I have. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to experience something as amazing as this! I truly feel blessed,” said White.
Check back for updates on the trip, which runs from July 25 to 28.