On June 11th of 2017 guides and fishermen hosted the first Veterans Fishing Day on Lake Almanor. Despite a winter weather advisory, snow, wind, hail, thunder and lightning could not deter sixteen boat captains from taking twenty-six Veterans fishing. This event has grown each year with fifty-four boats taking a hundred and twenty-three Veterans fishing in 2023.
In 2018 AFA joined guides, Field of Dreams, USFS, California Fish & Wildlife, PG&E, Chester Elks Lodge, and fellow fishermen to host the second annual Veterans Fishing Day. Participants received a T-shirt and hat from AFA, Field of Dreams and Mike and Peggy Daly. After a day of fishing, they attended a barbecue dinner at the Chester Elks Lodge. In 2018 we had twenty-seven boats take forty-seven Veterans fishing. A small raffle was held for the Veterans where gift certificates, custom made fishing rods (compliments of original founder Duncan McIntyre) and other items were awarded to Veterans.
In 2019 in addition to our Veterans fishing day held on June 23rd, AFA, Field of Dreams and local guides hosted multiple fishing trips for Field of Dreams Veterans on Lake Almanor. Veterans were treated to two nights lodging, meals, and a guided fishing trip. One of the participants, a Vietnam Veteran who suffered from PTSD returned and informed us that his trip was one of the top five experiences of his life. AFA is honored and proud to provide these opportunities for our Veterans. Our Veteran fishing day held on June 23, included 49 Captains and 97 Veterans. The Lake Almanor Country Club (LACC) joined forces with AFA in 2019 and donated the beautiful REC #1 to host our barbecue after fishing.
In 2021, we were able to hold our fourth Veterans Fishing Day where fifty-three boats took 117 Veterans Fishing. We gained a new partner in 2021 with Chuck Holman and Pacific Seafood, participating in taking Veterans out on boats and donating time and materials to our barbecue.
In 2023 we had fifty-four boats that took a hundred and twenty-four Veterans fishing. There were over three hundred people in attendance at our barbecue at LACC REC#1 where it was our collective honor to celebrate local WW II Veteran John Bottomley’s 100th birthday. Mr. Bottomley received a standing ovation as we sang happy birthday to one of this country’s greatest heroes.
- Field of Dreams: https://www.fieldofdreamsinc.org/
- Chester Elk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elks-Lodge-Chester-Ca/269631986384538
- Chester High School: http://www.chesteruplandsd.org/