I am a retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces with almost 42 years of service at the rank of Warrant Officer. My time of service is divided between the Naval Reserve for 9 years and active service as a vehicle technician for 32 years and 11 months. During those years of service, I had the opportunity to serve across Canada from east to west and from south to north as well. I had the chance to serve in Germany with my family, in Israel during 1999/2000, and in Afghanistan during 2007/08. I also did a short stay in Sarajevo in 1993 and Eretria in 2001.
I was about eight years old when I learned how to fly fish. Since then, I have become an avid fly fisher and take every opportunity to wet my line. While in Goose Bay, I taught myself to tie flies. Since then, I have loved tying my own flies.
I was first involved with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Canada from 2009 to January 2019. Then with the help of this present executive committee, we founded Heroes Mending on The Fly Canada in February 2019. I am our current National Director.
Alberta – Owen Stevens
My name is Owen Stevens and I am the Alberta Provincial Director for Heroes Mending on the Fly Canada. I grew up on the B.C. coast and was introduced to fishing by my family members at a young age. Eventually, I moved to Alberta where 13 years ago I began fly fishing. Being a First responder I found fly fishing helped me to cope with the stressors of the occupation, I wanted to share my experiences with others and began a local chapter of the Heroes program in 2019.
Edmonton area- Kerry Pitt
British Columbia – Don Smith
I am a retired sailor who served 35 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a member of the Royal Canadian Navy. I learned to fly fish while posted to Halifax in the early ’80s and I have had a passion for fly fishing and fly tying ever since then. Living on Vancouver Island, I am extraordinarily fortunate to be close to great fishing all year round. I took on my role with Heroes Mending On The Fly in 2017. I am thankful that I am able to help out those who have served us all.
My name is Richard Blanchet and I am a retired Warrant Officer who served 39 years with the Canadian Armed Forces. During my time of service, I did few UN tours in locations such as Egypt, Cyprus, Yugoslavia (2) and Haiti. I also had the chance to do four years of service in Germany during the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
My father taught me how to fish at a young age. I accompanied him quite often on the Rivière du Nord where he used to go fishing. This river is located in my hometown of Montmagny, Quebec. I also fished for the Striped Bass in the majestic St. Lawrence River before this species almost went extinct.
When I retired from the service, I had the chance to reconnect with the joy of going fishing; during my service time, I rarely got the chance to do so. In 2012, I was introduced to fly fishing by my longtime friend Gervais Jeffrey (HMOTF National Director) who invited me to participate in a fly-tying course followed by the fly-casting clinic. Since then, I tie my own flies and I do a lot of fly-fishing trips during the summer months. In 2015, I became the provincial director for the Quebec chapter of HMOTF.
Montreal – Danielle Beaulieu
My name is Danielle Beaulieu and I have been the HMOTF director for the greater Montreal region since 2016. It is thanks to the Club des Moucheurs du Montréal Métropolitain that I started fly fishing in 2000. I loved fishing in the small streams of the region. At that time, I used a 3 weight 6’3” fly rod which I greatly enjoyed fishing with. In 2013, during a visit to the Trois-Rivières fly fishing show, I discovered Tenkara fishing, this discovery changed my fishing style. Tenkara is an ancient Japanese fishing technique and I am now very passionate about this style of fishing.
In 2016, following a TV program, I found out that about Heroes Mending On The Fly, a fly fishing program for servicemen with psychological injuries. I was drawn to volunteer to help in my area. Being a member of a military family myself, I have found it natural to give back to those who have served and who are suffering.
Saskatchewan – Bill Baker
I originally hale from South East Ontario where I was involved with Scouts Canada, as an assistant leader, and the Cold Creek Fly Fishers a conservation/rehabilitation oriented fishing club whose primary goal is to protect and restore the waters of Cold Creek in Orland Ontario, I was lucky to serve on the executive in the position of Conservation officer.
My post-secondary education included a year in Fish and Wildlife from Sir Sandford Fleming College, and two years from Loyalist College in the Environmental / Water Resources Technician program graduating in 1982 with my Technician diploma this lead to jobs in local Conservation Authorities and the Ministry of Natural resources doing various stream surveys and wildlife population estimates. A promotion and transfer in my Wife’s Career brought me to Saskatchewan where I have worked as a Forest Firefighter, and Parks Maintenance Technician, and finally A Class 4 Water, Class 3 Waste Water Plant operator, a career I only recently retired from last February.
I’ve had a lifelong interest in anything that will keep me outdoors, in the field/woods or on the water. I fish a local lake for largemouth bass, walleye, pike and perch all on a fly rod. Coldwater and saltwater species when I am fortunate enough to travel to locations where these are available as being in the middle of the prairies limits access other than stocked waters located along the forest fringe. I enjoy the time I get to spend at the bench tying flies for all the various species that my travels during normal times give me access to. I’m an avid wildlife photographer and enjoy the hunt and stalk required to get close to the game located out here on Canada’s open prairie.
I hope I can be of service and am looking forward to helping the organization in any way that I can.
New Brunswick – Charles Boudreau
I was born in 1961 in Bathurst, New Brunswick where I finished high school at BHS. I went to NBCC tech college for electronics and graduated in 1980. I worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada for four years focusing on the enhancement and enforcement of salmon stocks in Bathurst. I joined the RCAF in 1984 and served 30 years. I also worked with IMP Aerospace for 5 of those years.
I started fly fishing at age 5 and began to tie flies at age 13. I’m still at it to this day. I love the sport and enjoy the results I get as a director with HMOTF and as an instructor to members of our organization. I look forward to strengthening our project and continuing to see the positive impacts we can make.
Nova Scotia – Ray McEachern
I spent my career of 30 years of service split between the Army and RCAF with the Engineers.
After a few tours and multiple injuries, I was released in 2017. I have always been an avid fly fisherman and picked up tying early in my career from a brethren Engineer in the late 80s. This hobby has continued to grow over the years and now is a great pastime to keep me occupied through the winter months. My spring and summer are busy with
time on the water which is more therapeutic than any treatment or medications could be. I had a great career and when released, wanted a way to give back and help out fellow Veterans. This accompanied with my love for fly fishing has brought me to Heroes Mending On The Fly. I have been privileged and humbled to see the very positive impact on Veterans through this program over the past couple years.