Julie goes fishing

Julie goes fishing

July 1, 2023 Off By Hawkeye Johnson

By Julie Pfankuch

I try really hard to catch a fish, but I don’t have much luck. I did catch a nice trout when I stayed at Wilderness on Wheels in Grant, Colorado. I used my adapted electric rod and it was so much easier to reel in. Of course it was a stocked pond, but boy, did I get a thrill when it hit! My son caught three nice ones and cooked them up for dinner over the campfire. My service dog, Ollie, is in the picture and my daughter Jessica is photo bombing me in the background (in red). It was so wonderful to get outside and spend time with my kids like we used to before my stroke.

Julie gets one, supervised by service dog Ollie , while daughter Jessica photo bombs! Wilderness on Wheels. Photo courtesy of Julie Pfankuch

With my adaptive rod, I’ve gone fishing at Cherry Creek State Park, Chatfield State Park, and Pueblo Lake State Park. I go to Chatfield many times each summer and I like it there because they have multiple handicap fishing piers. You can see the accessible pier in my photo.

Fish for dinner at the Wilderness on Wheels accessible pond. Photo courtesy of Julie Pfankuch.

I am so grateful for the grant I received and for the opportunities it opened up for me. Before my stroke, I loved to get outside, explore beautiful places in Colorado, and fish. It took me a few years post-stroke to learn that almost any activity could be made adaptable, including fishing. I have not been very successful catching any fish but I don’t really care. Just getting outside, spending time with my kids, and feeling a little bit more like the “Before” me is just as important and rewarding to me as catching “the big one!”

Julie using her adaptive electric fishing rod at Chatfield State Park. Photo courtesy of Julie Pfankuch.

Thank you, Hawkeye, for giving me this opportunity with the equipment grant and for improving the quality of my life through your organization.