Guest Blogger: Bob Nelson, Sacramento, CA

For the 11th year members of the Fly Tying Forum have partnered with J. Stockard to provide 14 boxes of flies for a Casting for Recovery retreat. This year’s retreat was held in Shawnee, Colorado at the North Fork Ranch. The following is a report I received from the Regional Program Manager, Jen Lofgren:

We had a really wonderful retreat this past weekend. The weather cooperated, the river was in great shape, and all of the women caught fish. They were very appreciative of the box of flies that they each received, especially upon learning that they had all been hand tied especially for them. Special thanks to you for spearheading this project, and to all of the individuals who contributed their time and talent to make this happen. We are also very grateful to J. Stockard for donating the fly boxes. We also asked each of the guides to add a fly or two that their participant caught fish on throughout the day, as well as a fly that the women tied themselves over the weekend. The boxes were very special for so many reasons. 

Casting for Recovery is a non-profit organization that helps women in recovery from breast cancer. Since its founding in 1996 it has conducted retreats in 45 states, serving women from all 50. Approximately 9400 women have participated in a retreat across the country. In 2016 CfR began offering four annual retreats just for women with stage 4 breast cancer, these retreats are limited to 10 participants. In 2017 CfR also offered retreats for members of the US armed forces who may also have war related injuries in addition to breast cancer. Most importantly, no woman has had to pay for attending a retreat.

Eleven years ago when we first started this annual project there were between 20 and 30 retreats. This year there were 58 serving over 800 women. Currently the retreats are staffed by 1800 volunteers from around the country. CfR has international program partners in Canada, UK/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Italy. In fact a member of the Fly Tying Forum was helpful getting the Australia program started and members tied flies for those retreats as well. Local chapters programs conduct fund raisers and approach local businesses, volunteers and alumnae for their support. Casting for Recovery has one of the highest ratings for non-profit charities in the nation. They received four out of four stars with a 97.72 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. 85 Cents out of every dollar goes directly to paying the costs of the retreats. They also received a 100% rating for accountability and transparency.

The mission of Casting for Recovery is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to women with breast cancer of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery, and are free to participants. On a physical level, the gentle, rhythmic motion of fly casting is similar to exercises often prescribed after surgery or radiation to promote soft tissue stretching. On an emotional level, women are given the opportunity to experience a new activity in a safe environment amongst a supportive group of peers. The retreats also provide resources to help address quality of life issues after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Casting for Recovery is a non-profit organization worthy of your consideration. There are many ways you can help: Amazon Smile will make a donation when you make a purchase; there is an annual national online auction to which you can donate fly fishing gifts items or make place a bid to purchase an item. Locally there are local fundraisers that range from golf tournaments, cornhole contests, and or dinners, just check to see where the nearest chapter program is located. In addition, you can donate flies and other items directly to CfR’s national office or your local program. Your support will be greatly appreciated
Casting for Recovery
109 East Oak Street, Suite 1G
Bozeman, MT 59715
[email protected]

Casting for Recovery is a tax-exempt organization under the 501(c)(3) section of the IRS.

Special thanks to Wendy Gawlik for her support and her efforts to select a retreats to receive the fly boxes. To Crystal and Kate at J. Stockard for their continued support, we could not do this without you. And to the dozens of fly tyers from all over the US, Canada, Australia, and Scotland who have tied over 1,800 flies.


  1. What an awesome event for all those ladies, and a huge high five for everyone involved in putting this all together! ? It is very heartwarming to look at all the happy faces, that there is hope and compassion for those amazing women!

  2. I applaud J. Stockard for their generous support of this endeavor. They have selflessly supported all sorts of worthwhile fly fishing related organizations with meaningful donations over the years. As fly tiers, novice or expert, we should be doing the same. Tying and donating those few extra flies to support organizations like Casting for Recovery, TU, Project Healing Waters, etc. should be on every fly tier’s agenda. Whether done locally or through national forums like the FlyTyingForum, our fly donations really do help. Additionally, tying a few extra flies occasionally give tiers the opportunity to experiment and incorporate new materials into flies that will be appreciated by their recipients, regardless of how well tied they are. Thanks FISHINGBOBNELSON for pulling this together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *