A fly fishing retreat for women who are disabled veterans is set for this weekend, July 15-17, on the Clinch River and at Rabbit Run Retreat. Female fly fishing professionals are coming from throughout the region to serve as river guides for the veterans.


The outing, organized by Marilyn Rogan of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF), is the first one here designed entirely for women. Rogan, social media and communication director for PHWFF in the Tennessee Valley Region, says the event is free for the two dozen veterans attending.


All costs are covered by donations to PHWFF, a national nonprofit organization devoted to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled veterans and active military service personnel through fly fishing, fly tying education and outings. For more information and to make donations, visit http://www.projecthealingwaters.org/


The event will be at Rabbit Run Retreat, 2862 Norris Freeway, with trout fishing on the Clinch tailwater. Participants will check in Friday afternoon between 2 and 5.

Fishing will be in the mornings, with crafts and fly tying class in the afternoons. After supper there will be a healing time followed by games, homemade ice cream and visiting.


Rogan, of Murfreesboro, says PHWFF outings are intended to give veterans a time of peace, relaxation and fun. The veterans, who suffer from physical problems or with PTSD, are able “to lose themselves in nature and hopefully relieve some of the pain and anxiety,” she says. “It is amazing the change we see in some of them. They come out of their shell and start letting go some of the pent-up feelings from experiencing war at its worst.”


Rogan adds that any disabled veterans, male or female, who want to participate in PHWFF can contact her—”I will direct them to the nearest program in Tennessee. We are always interested in contacting more women into our organization. We have an outing coming up on Aug. 12 for veterans at the Caney Fork, and then several more at Dale Hollow.”