Therapeutic Adventures Gives People with Disabilities Lessons in Fly-Fishing

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People learned to fly-fish People learned to fly-fish

A nonprofit in central Virginia is teaching people with disabilities how to fly-fish.

The sounds of nature fill the air along the Moorman’s River in Albemarle County.

“I love it, I have fished before, but I had never fly-fished until I came here,” says participant Patricia Baugher.

A shooting left Baugher paralyzed from the waist down.

She's one of 13 anglers learning to fly-fish on Saturday, November 18.

“It's a multigenerational coed camp for folks with physical and developmental disabilities,” says Mark Andrews, executive director of Therapeutics Adventures.

Therapeutic Adventures has offered this camp for people with disabilities for the past 14 years.

“The goal is to get our adaptive anglers out on the water - teach them about conservation and protecting trout,” says Andrews.

Thanks to scholarships, the camp is free to attend.

“A lot of folks don't get these opportunities and we want to pass that on, we want everybody to enjoy the outdoors and respect it,” says James “Chubby” Damron, president of Thomas Jefferson Trout Unlimited.

Before campers are brought to the river, they're taught about insects that attract the fish and how to tie the flies used to lure in fish.

“Your fly is imitating what the fish normally eat this time of year and stuff like that,” says Baugher. “It's a lot to be learned about it, it's not just throw the hook in the water.”

Disabilities do not confine the camp's participants to the road or hard surfaces. It's accessible for all to come out, have a good time, and learn a new skill.

“It makes people feel like they're doing something out of the ordinary,” says Baugher.

This is just one of many camps Therapeutic Adventures hosts throughout the year.