Project Healing Waters – Frederick Program (Oct. 2020 Update)

By Andrew Frutiger

Project Healing Waters logo

In our eighth installment of online fly tying seminars, Patrick Staley, U.S. Army retired, led our veterans through tying the Schminnow. Originally designed by Norm Ziggler to fish for Snook near St. Annabel Island in Florida, it has proven to be an all-around great summer fly for larger rivers like the Shenandoah, Monocacy or Potomac. This easy to tie fly only takes a few minutes and consists of: a hook (size 2), thread, marabou, estaz, and large bead chain eyes. Using chain eyes vs. weighted eyes allows the veterans to present the fly with very little splash (the chain is not much bigger than the chains that dog tags are on).

Image credit: CaptJD,

During “Story Time with Larry Forte,” local fly fishing experts walked the veterans through the various Maryland streams, how to fish them, when to fish them, what to bring, and how to stay safe. This is especially important as we move into fall and will be sharing the outdoors with many hunters, as well as bears fattening up for winter.

Even though we are still many months away from official Project Healing Waters events, it is great to see the number or volunteers and veterans who continue to make our virtual meetings and continue to increase the number of flies in their arsenal, as well as their knowledge of how and when to use their tackle. We are all looking to get back on the water as a group once it is safe.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in any of our upcoming fly tying sessions at Fort Detrick, please reach out to me at any time at or go to our Facebook page at Project Healing Waters – Frederick Chapter.