For the past five years, Trout Unlimited has had the honor of partnering with TAPS , Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, to support the TAPS Montana Men’s Retreat.
Held at Parade Rest Ranch , located on Grayling Creek near West Yellowstone, Mont., the event brought together nearly 40 men, many Gold Star dads, who have lost loved ones in military service. Dave Kumlien, TU Veterans Service Partnership coordinator, organized a day of fly fishing instruction, lined up volunteer guides to provide two days of guided float-fishing on the famous Madison River, and fly fishing equipment for the group.
Professional guides from local fly shops and volunteers from the Madison Gallatin TU Chapter donated a total of 20 guided days to support this event. In addition, the TU VSP worked with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to provide fishing license waivers for the TAPS anglers. Support for this event was generously provided by defense industry companies TELOS, Inc., and CACI.
The event was a grand success, as we were blessed with beautiful weather, enjoyed the outstanding hospitality of Parade Rest Ranch, and the browns, rainbows, and mountain whitefish of the Madison River were cooperative, as many of them were caught and released by the TAPS anglers. Reports and testimony provided by TAPS angers each evening gave credence to the therapeutic impact that a day of fly fishing for trout has on the soul.
If you would like more information on TAPS visit www.taps.org and for more info on TU’s VSP program, visit www.tu.org/veterans or contact Dave Kumlien, National Coordinator, TU VSP, at DKumlien@tu.org.