My name is Victor Edwards and my home on the East Branch of the AuSable River is called Bamboo Bend. In 2011 I was asked to help take 2 disabled veterans fishing in the AuSable/Manistee watersheds. The feedback received about the 5 full days of fishing provided to the these 2 veterans was extremely positive. Great interest was generated about what else could be done in the Grayling area for disabled veterans. I suggested a week long rod making class and so the Bamboo Bend Rod Making Class was born.
Due to the efforts of many generous and wonderful people a week long bamboo rod building class was accomplished in March of 2012 for six disabled veterans. These veterans were selected by the Project Healing Waters national organization and had all exhibited previous interest in fly fishing and rod building. At the end of the week, all six of the attendees took home a completed bamboo rod they had built in a custom rod tube. They also took home custom made wooden fly boxes stocked with hand tied flies donated by famous local tyers, and many other gifts from the members of the world class community that is Grayling. More importantly, they took home smiles, memories filled with laughter and the sure and certain knowledge that there was a community that truly cared about them and would hold them forever in their heart. The attendees remain in touch to this day.
Hand crafted healing for heroes" Check our blog at BambooBend.net
2012 Class with Instructors
is an annual nine day event and takes place on the banks of the East Branch of the AuSable River every year in May. Wounded or injured military members or veterans hand build a high quality bamboo fly rod assisted by master rod makers. At the end of the program, each participant takes home the completed bamboo fly rod that they built. They also receive a top end reel, premium fly line, local flies and a custom made, heirloom quality, wooden fly box. There are also numerous opportunities for our warriors to fly fish with professional guides from both drift boats and AuSable river boats, along with wading local rivers and streams. This event is offered at NO cost to the veteran. All donations are 100% tax deductible.