Eight veterans and active duty personnel are spending this week at a luxury, fly-out fishing lodge in the heart of the salmon-rich Bristol Bay region. It’s part of a Project Healing Waters trip sponsored by Bristol Bay Native Corp., which owns Mission Lodge, and Trout Unlimited, Alaska Program.
“The Mission Lodge and local Bristol Bay fishing opportunities offer the perfect environment to help military personnel take in the natural beauty of Alaska,” said Jason Metrokin, president and chief executive of Bristol Bay Native Corp (BBNC.) “It is a place for reflection and peace, not to mention some of the best fishing in all of Alaska. We are proud to be able to support our veterans.”
Mission Lodge is located on the shores of Lake Aleknagik in Southwest Alaska, an area that offers unsurpassed trophy fishing for salmon and trout in a spectacular wilderness setting.
The veterans and soldiers who are participating are actively involved with Project Healing Waters. The program seeks to aid disabled active duty military personnel and veterans recover physically and emotionally through fishing opportunities and skills workshops focused on activities such as fly-tying and casting.
During their trip to Mission Lodge, the participants are receiving guiding and instruction from graduates of the Bristol Bay River Academy. The academy educates, engages and inspires Bristol Bay-area young adults to become local leaders in salmon stewardship and prepared for jobs in the sport fishing industry. BBNC and Trout Unlimited, Alaska Program, are among the academy’s program sponsors.
“Trout Unlimited is pleased to help support this opportunity to show our appreciation to wounded warriors who have put their lives on the line for our country,” said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited, Alaska Program. “Bristol Bay offers spectacular sport fishing and we’re excited to have graduates of our Bristol Bay River Academy team up with these veterans to fly-fish together and offer instruction where needed. We’re very proud of both our graduates and our vets, and it’s a special thing to have them pair up, especially here, home to one of the great wild fisheries left on the planet.”