Friday, August 17, 2012

Casting for Recovery weekend

While perusing the flyers at Pathways, I came across the Casting for Recovery brochure. If you haven't heard of it and are a breast cancer survivor, you should definitely check it out. They host fly fishing retreats across the country. And it's free for participants! It is positively amazing how generous people can be and I for one am truly appreciative of their donations of time, money and spirit.
Our retreat was on the first weekend in June in Siren, Wisconsin. We had time to socialize and get to know each other. Then we got into tying flies, learning to cast and making lanyards for our guides and prayer flags. It was so fun! And finally on Sunday morning we each got our own guide and we tried our luck at actual fly fishing. I met some beautiful and strong women, both participants and volunteers. We had lots of laughs and a couple of tears too. I was the only Stage IV girl there, thankfully for them but sad for me. Nevertheless we bonded on that level that facing cancer brings. If I could do it every year I would. Maybe I'll become a volunteer...

We gathered up all our gear and learned to tie some basic knots
Outside of the Lodge at Crooked Lake we tried our first attempts at casting
It's good to have a bit of instruction first!
One of the neat things about the weekend was the swag, I'm not gonna lie :-) We had goodies on our beds when we checked in and when we left. We also got a graduation bag of goodies. At lunch one day we all had our names drawn for gift baskets. At The Hartford, the main sponsor of the retreat, the employees have contests to make up the best gift baskets. The winning baskets are given to the participants. When my name was chosen I got a big styrofoam cooler of grilling utensils and condiments which was great but I had most of it already. My table mate drew a box of cupcake making goodies. Didn't take too much for us to realize we liked each other's baskets so we traded! Her husband was going to love all the grilling gear and I'm making cupcakes. yea!
This is a wooly something or other. I did not catch a fish with it but it looks like a fish would think it was tasty. I guess?
My prayer flag
The beautiful Crooked Lake
Gotta have all the gear, right? I'm suited up and ready to fish.
Knapp Creek, just south of Siren. A beautiful place to be, fishing or not!
Proof I caught a fish! No that's not bait, that's the fish.
My new friends Lisa and Catherine (her guide) reeling in one of her catches
I couldn't have wished for a better weekend. Great company, great weather, great fun! 

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