Happy Birthday to me! I am totally loving my new Sara Bella fly rod, in all of its sparkly lavender glory!
It handles like a dream, and I like the smaller handle that is so comfortable in my small hands. When I first started fly fishing I had two motives for finding a beautiful, feminine rod. One: simply because I like pretty things. Two: having very feminine gear helps keep the guys from “borrowing” your stuff.
What I found was that there isn’t a whole lot out there for just women. I did manage to find some great stuff, but not as much as I would have liked to choose from. I have been using a nice St. Croix rod (in a deep burgundy color) that I have been happy with. So when I decided I wanted a longer, fast action pole also, I decided to go on the hunt again.
A nice fly rod is a bit of an investment, so I felt like I needed to choose something I really love. So what made me decide on the Sara Bella rod? I saw on their website that they hire veterans from the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) program to help build their rods. PHWFF is one of my favorite programs for a variety of reasons. The program is centered on teaching disabled veterans and active service members how to fly fish as therapy. This includes obvious disabilities, such as physical ones, and the not so obvious ones, such as PTSD, or even just those who have difficulty readjusting to civilian life. The idea is to use fly fishing as a way for these people to rehabilitate in a number of ways.
Our family became familiar with the program when our son returned to the University of Wyoming last year after his service in the USMC. It isn’t that easy to go from full time service to “regular” life, where the majority of people you are surrounded by have never had to deal with intense levels of stress or trauma in their lives, and have no idea what you may be dealing with. It’s interesting that so many Americans don’t realize what our service members go through when they are at war; things that we don’t really want to know, even though we appreciate what they do for us.
PHWFF knows what these men and women are going through. They recognize that fly fishing gives us all a chance to focus on the present and leave the rest of the
world behind, and use this as therapy. They also offer the opportunity to spend time with others with similar histories. Others that know how they are feeling. Not only do they teach them to fly fish, they teach them to tie flies, and build fly rods.
So when I saw that Sara Bella Fishing contracts these veterans to help build their rods, in addition to their unwavering support of women in the sport, there was no question who I would buy from. It’s a lot more fun to use a product that stirs deep emotions. And I like to think that there is some positive mojo built into the rod, just because one of our American heroes (in my case, a man named Jim) put his energy into it. And you have to admit, it really is beautiful!
If you are interested in finding out more about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, click here:
For our UW veterans:
(If you navigate to this page, note the handsome young man on the far left in the group picture, he’s mine)
For a closer look at these beautiful rods:
A few more of my PHWFF finds: