Project Healing Waters Fly Fishers, Inc. sm



   Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit whose mission is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel, and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.

The organization was established in 2005 by retired Navy Captain Ed Nicholson.

Whereas Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. has a national network of affiliated programs, it also includes programs outside the U.S. in Canada, Australia and Germany. In the U.S., of the current 207 programs (at least one in all 50 states), each program is sponsored by a fly fishing organization such as a local Trout Unlimited chapter, Federation of Fly Fishers, and/or a local fly fishing club. Participating veterans do not pay to participate. Instructional equipment and materials are provided. In Ohio we have five current programs that include Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, as well as the local program right here in Columbus, serving veterans with disabilities in Columbus and central Ohio. Our local program is officially supported by the Madmen Chapter of Trout Unlimited, but also includes volunteer support from the Land of Legends Fly Fishers based in Newark, Ohio, individual members from the Central Ohio Fly Fishers (C.O.F.F.) as well as several independent fly fishers.

Our program in central Ohio has offered monthly Fly Fishing 101 Basics workshops, casting clinics and fly tying workshops in the community room at The Commons at Livingston (a National Church Residences property located at 3349 E. Livingston Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43227), since mid-June 2013. In 2015 we conducted our first local series of rod building workshops. In addition, on four occasions our presentation teams traveled to the Chillicothe VA facility where we presented PHWFF overviews as well as conducting indoor casting clinics and fly tying demonstrations. We also coordinate, and/or participate in fish outings including private facilities as well as local and in state public facilities such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Castalia Fish Hatchery. In 2015 our local PHWFF volunteers (44 current/active volunteers) accrued 937 hours with event participation from 53 local veterans.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing venues are open to any disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans regardless of their era of service, branch of service or gender. As military drawdown increases the need for PHWFF services will increase. We are recognized by the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #82526) which serves as a watch dog and clearing house for government employee charitable organizations. Our efforts are made possible because of individual donations, corporate donations, grants and in-kind donations including facility access, lodging, transportation, guide service and equipment. Yearly PHWFF overhead expenses for salaries, administration and fundraising were 20% of total revenue as determined by CFC calculations (outlined in Memorandum 2009-8) with 80% of revenues spent directly on program activities and equipment benefitting veterans.

Check out a video from the 2012 Castalia Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing event – video

To learn more about the organization, how you might donate, volunteer or participate as a disabled veteran visit For a Columbus connection contact John Davis, Columbus and Central Ohio Program Lead at or call 614-431-9976.