Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?  

Heroes Mending on the Fly Canada (HMFC) is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of injured members of the Canadian Military, RCMP, first responder and veterans through fly fishing and its associated ongoing program activities, including education and outings. With programs nationwide, the program provides basic fly-fishing, fly casting, fly-tying, to participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly-fishing and tying skills who are adapting to their new abilities. HMFC began in 2008 under the flagship of Project Healing Waters USA (PHWUS) then in 2019 we broke from PHWUS and became HMFC. From our humble beginning, we concentrated on serving wounded Canadians returning from Afghanistan. Since then, we have expanded to all injured and disabled military serving and veterans. We also expand our service to the disabled RCMP veterans and as well as to our Canadian First responders. Our program is run by volunteers who are involved in all the spectra of the program. It is more than a one-day fishing trip for some of our injured participants. The socialization and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings and provide them with a new activity.  

What does the program offer?  

HMFC provides basic fly-fishing, fly-casting fly-tying classes for participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before to those with prior fly fishing and tying skills. When a new participant joins the program, we supply the fly-tying tools and material for the first year at no cost and it is the same for the fly-fishing outfit. Fishing trips, both one-day and multi-day, are also provided at a minimal cost to participants.

HMFC is unique in that our volunteers are teaching classes on an ongoing, long-term basis. It is much more than a one-day fishing trip. For many participants, especially for disabled veterans, the socialization and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outing and provide them with a new activity. 

How are we funded? 

HMFC relies on the generosity of individuals as well as private and corporate donors. We also solicit foundation grants. We are also receiving in-kind donations such as tying material, and fly-fishing equipment donated from individuals and as well from various companies.  

Is there a cost to participate? 

HMFC strives to keep the cost for all participants at the very low as possible. For first-year participants, we supply all the tying equipment and materials free of charge. After the first year, we encourage the participants to join their local tying club. This is why we are seeking to partner with local fly-fishing clubs. Fishing trips, one day and multiday are provided at a minimal cost to participants

How many participants have you served? 

Since 2019, we served over 350 injured and disabled military service members, veterans and first responders nationwide. This number doesn’t include family members who might have participated in a family day or weekend event.  

Who does HMFC serve? 

HMFC serves wounded and disabled active military service members, and disabled veterans from all military branches and service eras and all first responders who meet our requirements are eligible.

How much of every dollar donated to HMFC goes directly for endorsing your participants? 

HMFC works hard to keep administrative costs below 5% of donations. We do not have any paid staff working at the main headquarters where all work is accomplished by volunteers. All the teaching is also done by volunteers who graciously donate their time to support participants.  

Getting Connected

Who qualifies to be a HMFC participant?

HMFC Participants can be Military Service personnel (i.e., Active or Reserve Component or Disabled Veterans who meet our eligibility requirement) Participants can also be in the First Responder category (i.e., serving or retired injured RCMP Officer, Serving or retired injured Police Officer, injured serving or retired Fire Fighter, injured serving or retired EMS)  

Military Service Personnel must meet both of the following criteria: 

  1. Service members who have been wounded, ill, disabled, injured, or obtained a medical condition during their active military service “in line of duty” means a wound, illness, disease, injury or medical condition incurred during their period of active military service that was not the result of the military service member’s own willful misconduct.  
  1. They are recommended to take part in the HMFC program by their military health care provider (i.e., military transition centre, doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc.) at a Medical Unit Service (UMS) of the Department of National Defence (DND), by the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), military Transition Unit or other military designated health care providers as requiring ongoing medical treatment. Please note that patients presently receiving treatment for any medical condition at any of these facilities, which in the opinion of their medical health provider, will not result in a disability rating are welcome to attend HMFC activities while receiving treatment. They will be counted as a participant while receiving treatment but not eligible to be a participants after treatment ends.  

Veterans must have at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Have been medically released under the QR&O Chapter 15 under category 3 A or B for medical reasons, category 4 A, B and C voluntary release but he received a medical pension or under category 5 A, B or C Service completed and receiving a medical pension. Veterans who have been released under the categories 1 or 2 and or under 5 D, E and F are not eligible to become a participant. Proof of your release category could be asked before being accepted to become a participant.   
  1. They are a disabled veteran with a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). 
  1. Is recommended to take part in our HMFC program by DVA staff, if granted referral authority by local DVA leadership or, DVA medical personnel (i.e., recreational therapist, doctor, physical therapist, etc.). 
  1. Has a Military Service rating and is awaiting their disability rating from the DVA. Note that a military service rating is interim proof of eligibility with the understanding that the disability rating will be issued.  

First responders may participate if they meet one of the following criteria: 

  1. Serving or retired from one of the following services:
    • Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
    • Members of the provincial or municipal police officer
    • Fire fighter regular or volunteer
    • Emergency Medical Services  
    • Correctional officer federal and provincial   
  2. They have been injured/disabled during their normal line of duty. Injured that is not a result of their own wishful misconduct. 
  1. They have been referred by their doctor, therapist, or other medical specialists.  

How do I find the closest HMFC program to me? 

We have programs across Canada. Please click here to find a map with all our available programs.

How do I apply for participation in the program? 

There is no application form to fill out. However, all individuals who want to participate in HMFC must meet our organization’s participant eligibility requirements. Please refer to question 1 on eligibility requirements. Individuals who meet our participant’s requirements can connect with the nearest HMFC program to them.

How can I go on s fishing trip with HMFC? 

To attend a fishing trip with HMFC, disabled veterans and first responders you must first get connected with your local HMFC where you will first learn the basics of fly-tying and fly fishing. Click here to find the nearest HMFC Program. After learning the basics of fly fishing at your local HMFC Program, there will be many opportunities to attend local fishing outings. With your continued involvement with your local HMFC Program level, there will be potentially some possibilities for you to attend fly fishing outings outside your area.