Elliott Sasquatch and “icing on the cake”

Rusty’s journal during the trip with Richard, Vietnam era Veteran, in Elliott State Forest. Mission by ODFW

November 13, 10 p.m.

An early day. A beautiful day. The journey here is the adventure. I was made aware today that being “lost” with a friend isn’t being lost at all.

It was amazing to see an early coho on her redd today. An “icing on the cake”, if you will.

Tonight I sleep under the arms of giants!

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November 14, 9:38 p.m.

A long ways from camp. On foot, of course. It’s getting dark. The rain is non-stop and we need to get fire started. Sounds like a good reason to head back? Not if the fish are rising!

This region is a maze of steep mountains, giant for trees and rivers in between.

November 15

6:12 a.m.        Rained all night. I could even hear rocks turning and shifting with the rising water.

Rich was up at 03:30 am to get the fire going. He thought it was 07:00! Guess he’ll be watching soon.

11:21 a.m.       We stopped by the fish ladder to see what difference the rain had made. Rich spotted salmon using the ladder. I saw a steelhead rise. And we spooked several otters. All throughout the drainage we saw salmon/steelhead moving. Every bridge we crossed, we would stop and look. It was “road fishing”!

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November 15, 9 p.m.

I’m at home now. Dry, tired, clean and warm. But the stillness of Elliot State Forest is still with me. Or, have I ever left?

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First Fly-Fishing Retreat

Last weekend five Veterans were fly-fishing at a beautiful, peaceful and serene place. Toketee lake is high on the North Umpqua River.
Despite a lot of rain and sleeping in a tent, everyone said that they need to get away and do this more often. It was a healthy distraction from everyday life and torment of traumatic experiences. This fly-fishing experience brought the guys closer, too. Beautiful Oregon, thank you for these amazing pictures!

Thank you to everyone who supports Source One Serenity!

Source One Serenity meets with Allen Hall Advertising

On Sunday, October 9, at River Forks Park, we of Source One Serenity along with some local veterans, had an amazing meeting with Allen Hall Advertising (AHA), a students-run advertising agency from the University of Oregon. In the coming months, they will be developing a marketing strategy for Source One Serenity. Thank you, AHA for helping us!

I enjoyed the interaction between the students and veterans that are finding their healing through fly-fishing. These veterans were inspired and eager to share the magic of fly-fishing. I was watching them, and I could see how content but energized they were. It seemed as if they had found their healing! I was joyful to see these happy guys and it feels to me like fly-fishing as a path to healing is working for them and will for other veterans also.

Near the end of the meeting, one of the students asked if fly-fishing has religious connections. The answers were: “The River is my Church”, another was: “Once I watched a beautiful and amazing sunset at the river, and I thought this is worth more to me to be here, at the river, than being in a stuffy room at a church.” Thanks everyone for attending, thank you all for your input and for providing a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while spending a day out of doors.

Elena Lininger

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