Cariboo to host Wounded Warrior fly fishing retreat

Wounded Warriors are coming to Williams Lake in September.

Wounded Warriors are coming to Williams Lake in September.

It will be a first in Canada for this organization that was founded in 2006.

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces members, no matter whether they are full-time or reservists, who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.

Cariboo Wounded Warriors was formed to develop and organize a program to bring Wounded Warriors to Williams Lake and area to put into practice the theoretical skills taught by Project Healing Waters and other fly fishing programs that are recognized for their highly therapeutic values to wounded or injured military personnel.

The organizer for this event and of Cariboo Wounded Warriors is well-known fly fisherman Jack Simpson.

“The Cariboo has hundreds of quality and trophy trout lakes and this is our way of demonstrating Cariboo hospitality along with providing a valuable contribution to the healing of our military personnel,” Simpson said.

Twenty military veterans in care from B.C. will be in Williams Lake along with dozens of members of Fly BC and the Fly Fishers Association who will voluntarily help with the Wounded Warriors program from Sept. 18-22.

Highlighted on Saturday evening will be the formal Welcome of Veterans Honorary Col. In Chief Rick Hansen, internationally known and respected fly fisher Brian Chan of Kamloops and well recognized fly fishing and fly tying writer Toni Lolli, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

The veterans, mainly from the Afghanistan conflict, will attend a fly fishing seminar with Chan and on Saturday the Wounded Warriors and those helping with this event, will fish through a series of three trout lakes and the Quesnel River.

Local fly fishers will provide boats and flies.

The worthy event will help the local economy, put Williams Lake on the map and more than anything it will provide some valuable therapy for those who need it.

As well, the Cariboo Regional Manager, Ministry of Environment, Mike Ramsay has formally issued a fishing license exemption for all those Wounded Warriors attending the much-anticipated event in September.