Laurence Vaughan: I want to thank John and David for making this trip one I will never forget. Great guides, great group of vets, great fishing on Bruce’s property. Thank him for us! Also an extra thank you to John B for looking out for me!! P.H.Waters has saved my life and always gives me something to look forward to!!! Ther is no way to express what you have done for me and our vets. Without you there is nothing…. Thank you for all you do for us vets.
Bruce Jones: This was the first trip other than Rainbow Falls for myself. I consider myself the newest of new fly fisherman. Having said that in 2012 I awoke paralyzed on my right side from the neck down. I have a Schwannoma tumor in my spinal cord over the next 3 years I have had 5 surgeries 2 radiation treatments and Chemo. It is in an unoperable point. I had to learn to walk again and use my right arm to do the basic things eat write tie my shoes. I never dreamed I would get the chance to learn to fly fish and go on a trip such as this.This trip was magnificent.The guides were great and patient, informative and great at teaching. The other members on the trip well it was pleasure to be around them a great bunch of Vets. John and Dave our volunteers were great and facilitated a great trip. The fishing was wonderful and exciting. Being a new fly fisherman does not give much to
compare to but I was told by John if you caught these wild fish you earned them. During this trip I used less pain medication than I normally do I also slept thru the night , I have not done this since 2012. This trip exceeded all of my expectations and more. Thank you Project Healing Waters and John Berkenkotter and Dave Lawrence
Michael Sugar: Had a wonderful time on both rivers. I caught a total of 8 rainbow and 2 brown trout. The biggest of each was about 16″.
John Martinez: Here is a little rundown of my trip to Gunnison. Had a great time in the water at Bruce Heath’s property. He is a very nice and generous man. I also had a great time on the floats with Cameron Rhodes and Spenser Hemker. I floated with one ,of them on their boat. I don’t recall which one, but I will give him kudos, he had good knowledge of the water and the fishing holes and was continually swapping out our flies as we floated down the river. There was a few short comings on the trip. I do realize that we are not expecting to stay at the Ritz, but the conditions we had were very vague. The cabins had four beds in them, two of them in the loft which had very difficult access to them. Had to climb a ladder, which was very difficult with gear, to get up there and once there, standing upright was impossible. I won’t be surprised if one of the veterans complains about hurting himself performing the task.
Not complaining, just making awareness to be known.
Dick Randolph: That was such a wonderful experience!
I have sent thank you’s to Dave, John, guide Cameron and Bruce Heath for giving us their days and knowledge of fly fishing. The vets I shared a cabin with, fished with, ate with were amazing men. I learned a lot about the art of fly fishing and had one of the best four days of my life. I appreciate Project Healing Waters and those who make a major positive difference to us all. The weather was very nice, the water high and full of fish and I believe all of us had a good time. Even Larry Fivecoats. This trip was my first to see a ‘cutbow’ and I regret it wasn’t me who caught that game fighter.
Tom Gross: John asked that each of the guests/veterans from last week’s trip to Gunnison send photos and info regarding how the trip went. I’ve attached 3 photos: 1) I’m with Dick Randolph and our guide Cameron Rhodes on Tuesday, July 28th before our float trip on the Gunnison, 2) a nice Cutbow that I landed on the Gunnison, and 3) a nice little Rainbow I caught on the second day, Wednesday, July 29th, as guest of Bruce Heath at his ranch on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. John called the hole behind me on the right the “Ray Charles Hole” because he said even a blind man could catch a fish there. I caught 2, but kept my eyes open.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and it is my hope that my fellow veterans found it to be both memorable and relaxing.