Local group teaches war veterans how to fly tie

Project Healing Waters is a volunteer driven group of people who have been dedicated since 2005 to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of war veterans.

Around here, the Amarillo Fly Guys, a branch of Healing Waters, are doing their best to help our local vets get back on their feet and teach them a handy hobby in the process.

Fly tying involves a lot of different things, including dexterity.

Amarillo Fly Guys Founder Kyle McAdams says it's like putting together a model car, but more than anything, it's relaxing.

"These guys are actually doing something that they're actually going to be using later on during our group outings and stuff, and when you catch fish, when you actually get to do something with something you're making, the payoff is just so awesome for all of us for all of us, including ourselves."

According to the fly tying instructor, the veterans are learning a number of variations.

"We're different variations of the traditional woolie boogers, you can take a woolie booger and fish any portion of the united states and catch fish," said Rod Brashears.

Not to mention it's a new hobby the veterans can take up.

"The biggest thing is it's, it's teaching them a soothing hobby, a relaxing hobby, because in all honesty that's why I do it, that's why most of the volunteers do it. This is kind of those hobbies where we get them away from everything," said McAdams.

One former Army vet who has been participating with the fly guys for more than a year says it's nice to be with people you can identify with.

"You go with your friends out here and other veterans you relate to. a lot of times you don't need a counselor when you can talk to your buddy next to you and relate to them as far as war experiences," said Army Veteran, Apolinar Heredia.

Brashears says he volunteers not only because of his passion for fishing but to see the look on the men's faces when they catch their first fish.

"It's astounding the joy and the pleasure they receive through fly fishing and fly tying these people gain a freedom."

That's exactly what McAdams wants them to gain.

McAdams also said that their outreach is somewhere in the vicinity of 70 veterans and he would love to have more, for more information on how to become a member check out their website