Project Healing Waters Fly Tying

I recently received this e-mail and photo from Jim Ottevaere, coordinator of Project Healing Waters fly tying classes at US Army Ft. Belvior and MCB (Marine Corps Base) Quantico. I wanted to share this information with my readers and blog visitors.

Here is Jim’s message:

“We’ve had a long, hard winter here in Virginia. It gave us plenty of time to hold fly tying sessions with our Project Healing Waters warriors at Ft. Belvior and Quantico. Here are some of the patterns we tied from Ruffed Grouse and Ring-necked pheasants. All the feathers were donated by bird hunting PHW supporters and volunteers from Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.”

And here is the photo:

Project heasling Waters flies, tied by warriors in the program at Ft. belvior and MCB Quantico.

Project Healing Waters flies, original designs, created with feathers from ruffed-grouse and ring-necked pheasants. These were tied by warriors in the program at Ft. Belvior and MCB Quantico. Photo by Jim Ottevaere.

I am pleased to present these flies with Jim’s permission. They are a beautiful expression of creativity in the use of pheasant and grouse feathers, along with other traditional fly-tying materials.

Jim Ottevaere and his assistants are doing a fine job of helping the wounded veterans by leading them in their participation of this program. I am very pleased that Jim and his students have found the information in my blog to be a helpful element of this program. Thanks Jim for your leadership!

Project Healing Waters – Fly Tying

“Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc. is dedicated to the emotional and physical rehabilitation of disabled active military personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities…”

From the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. web site:

To read more please visit their web site, and also the Project Healing Waters facebook page.

This post was prompted by a comment from a fly tying instructor at Quantico US Marine Corps Base and Ft. Bevoir, regarding my last post, Classic Wet Fly – Tying Class. Here is the comment in its entirety from Jim Ottevaere:

Mr. Bastian,

Fly tying is a central focus of our Project Healing Waters program here at Quantico USMCB and Ft. Bevior. Your web-site has been very useful to us. Your photos are excellent and your recipes are straightforward. Thank you for providing such a useful training aid to our wounded and injured Soldiers, Marines and disabled veterans.

This photo is a plaque that was recently presented by us Quantico volunteer to a retiring Marine member of our fly tying program. The fly bodies represent the ribbon colors of each one of this highly decorated Marine’s personal awards, including the Bronze Star and the Marine Combat Medal.

It is not too far a stretch to say that your fly tying was the inspiration behind choosing traditional wet flies for this presentation.


Jim Ottevaere, PHWFF Fly tying instructor Quantico, USMCB

I am pleased to post the photo of the award frame that was sent to me by Mr. Ottevaere, and put together by the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing volunteers and participants. I am also deeply honored and moved by Mr. Ottevaere’s kind and complimentary words; the fact that I have been a helpful part of this program and an inspiration, without even knowing it, provides proof that we never know what impact our efforts and actions may have, in some cases reaching far beyond what we perceive to be the immediate sphere of our influence. These veterans and the volunteers are to be admired for their service, dedication, commitment, and their efforts to help active and veteran disabled US military personnel. Here is the photo of the award frame:

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc, presentation frame of contemporary designed classic wet flies.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc, presentation award frame of classic wet flies, the designs were inspired by the colors of US Marine Corps Medals. The individual fly tiers are unknown.

Thank you to Jim Ottevaere and his crew of volunteers at Quantico USMCB and Ft. Bevoir for their dedication and devotion to project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.