Casting for Recovery Southwest Montana Retreat
Earlier this fall I was honored to have the chance to be a river helper for Casting for Recovery. I had heard of CfR a few years back when I first started guiding, it sounded like such a wonderful experience that I just had to be a part of. The retreat was located on the beautiful upper Gallatin on the 320 Ranch. Although I had heard about how wonderful CfR was, I had no idea what to expect. We met our participants early that morning, my match was another multi-generation Montanan and we instantly bonded over the good ol’ days and “only a Montana girl” jokes. When it was time to head down to the river, the participants were already equipped with everything needed to fish including rods, waders, boots, fly vest, and flies. We were then split up into smaller groups, with one group leader typically a nurse to oversee everyone and provide medical attention if necessary. From there, we were sent off to tackle different sections of the river. The participants had the entire previous day to learn some casting and fishing techniques from professional casting instructors, so when the river time came they had some knowledge and practice.
The entire day on the river was spent filled with laughter and fishing, along with lots of learning from both the participant and I. We talked about life, and love and that terrible C-word, cancer. I couldn’t have asked for a better day with a better person. We had a couple fish on, a couple fish lost, but in the end, it wasn’t about the fish, but rather the experience in a beautiful place with wonderful people to forget about life’s troubles. After all, isn’t that what attracts most of us to fishing anyways?
Casting for Recovery is the epitome of an amazing organization unfortunately derived from a horrible experience, but I am honored to have been a part of these wonderful women having an experience of a lifetime.
If you are interested in volunteering for a retreat, or donating to CfR please visit their website at https://castingforrecovery.org/