Fishing Has No Boundaries

By Pat Lindgren & Barb Czarnecki

What do you know about Fishing Has No Boundaries? FHNB was founded in Hayward, WI by a local fishing guide, Bobby Cammack, in 1986. The idea came to him as he was recovering from a broken leg, a temporary disability that gave him insight into the difficulties faced by persons with disabilities. His goal was to assist those with disabilities to participate in the sport of fishing, enjoy nature and the great outdoors. He had no idea the extent of the impact FHNB would have on people with disabilities. The beauty and serenity of a lake, the wonderful wildlife that surrounds it, and the excitement of catching a fish, has now become a reality to people who never before had the opportunity.

It all started here on the Big Chip. With the help of a group of friends, the first event took place in May 1988 on Lake Chippewa Flowage. The first event included 2 days of fishing with about 80 people, including participants and volunteers. In 1989 a corporation was formed to promote expanding the concept to serve people with disabilities, encouraging recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and provide educational materials. There are now 25 chapters in 14 states. Participants are introduced to adaptive equipment to meet their individual needs. Equipment includes electric reels, rod holders, ergonomic rods, special grips and other devices that participants are encouraged to try. The adaptive equipment in Hayward is available for anyone to borrow, who may benefit from these aids. Knowledgeable guides and assistants give instructions for casting and retrieving, identifying various species of fish and point out wildlife at every opportunity. It can be a life changing experience for participants, enjoying the outdoors and fishing, providing physical and emotional support to further develop confidence and abilities.

The Hayward Chapter Fishing Has No Boundaries event is held the THIRD FULL WEEKEND in May, annually. It is now a three day event averaging 150 participants and nearly 300 volunteers. Volunteers and pontoon boats are always needed. Volunteer roles include experienced guides, pontoons, bait, fish cleaning, meals, emergency medical care, awards, prizes and entertainment. All participants and volunteers enjoy a weekend of camaraderie. To participate or volunteer or for more information contact Pat at the Hayward FHNB office at 15453 Hwy B, Hayward, WI 54843 or CALL 715-634-3185. FHNB welcomes all volunteers, but especially appreciates being able to plan volunteer placement in advance with early sign up. It is an event that touches the hearts and lives of disabled and able-bodied persons alike.

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