I was very lucky to be in the right place at the 11th Annual 2-Fly this past Sunday and caught a quick movie of Emma Jo Williams landing a 19” trout – with a little help from her Dad, Josh.
On it’s own, this is a really fine story. But in larger context, Emma Jo and her fish is the full-circle reason for Project Healing Waters. We’re all about helping folks overcome their challenges, then get back into life and live it well. Josh nailed it.
Josh joined the Healing Waters program at Walter Reed National Medical Center back in 2006. Here he is back in the day, talking about learning to tie flies at Healing Waters.
As it happens, Josh fell so deep into fly fishing he started tying professionally. With three patterns selling in the Orvis catalog, he went on to start Dead Drift Outfitters - all while he went to night school at Old Dominion and got a degree.
Today he’s a mechanical engineer and works full time at a major engineering firm and runs his outfitting business in the spare minutes when he’s not helping his wife raise their two kids. I don’t know when he sleeps.
Josh Williams is EXACTLY why I’m in PHWFF. We stand alongside good people and help as they come to terms with immense challenges, and give them confidence and skills to move on.
So now Josh is winning with a life well lived – and brings it full circle when he comes back to our family with his.
Thanks for letting me share in your moment, Josh. Y'all c'mon over to our 8th Annual Stars & Stripers event for Project Healing Waters out on the Chesapeake this August, and bring the girls.