Through the experience of fly fishing in Montana, WQW is a catalyst for positive change in the lives of post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones. Warriors & Quiet Waters is an organization that helps veterans rekindle their love for the outdoors.
Who is Warriors & Quiet Waters?
We exist to help post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones thrive.
WHAT WE DO
We help post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones find peace, meaning, and purpose through fly fishing.
HOW WE DO IT
Our five-day programs immerse participants in the pristine natural outdoors of southwest Montana where we teach them the art and skill of fly-fishing and equip them with a head-to-toe fly-fishing set-up to keep and take home.
WHERE WE DO IT
Quiet Waters Ranch, a 112 peaceful acres at the base of the Bridger Mountain Range, is our home base of operations for programs. Quiet Waters Ranch is wheelchair accessible.
We immerse our participants in a trusting, safe, loving, and emotional environment provided by our staff and volunteers that builds trust, starts breaking down the barriers of isolation, and creates social connections that are so important to veteran well-being.
WHY FLY FISHING
Fly-fishing, a completely immersive activity that is not physically taxing, provides our participants respite from stress and anxiety and enables them to make meaning of their military service and start the path of positive change that enables them to thrive.
We have 11 program models. Many of our program models bring veterans and their loved ones back to Montana to continue catalyzing their growth toward thriving.
Our programs are evaluated by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. This evaluation has shown that our programs reduce our participants’ anxiety and stress, create social bonds, improve sleep, improve their overall outlook on life, and improve their sense of purpose.
With over a 90 percent response rate on both pre- and post-surveys, they have already found:
- Significant improvements in: sense of purpose, clarity about what a meaningful life is, a snse of belonging in community, ability to handle personal problems, having a good night’s sleep, increase in the feelings of positive emotions, overall well-being, and hopefullness
- Time spent in nature became a space where participants were more likely to think clearly, and generally feel better
- Participants had decreases in feelings of nervousness and stress, they were less liekly to report feeling angered with things outside their control, and they reported a reduction in negative emotions after their WQW participation
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Warriors learn about Warriors & Quiet Waters (WQW)?
45 percent of participants are referred by a friend or family member. Others learn about our programming through case managers, clinicians, and internet searches.
Why catch and release fly fishing?
Catch and release fly fishing is a perpetual series of occasions for hope. Studies show fly fishing reduces stress and improves sleep quality.
How many Warriors does WQW serve at a time?
WQW typically serves six individuals or six couples during each program.
Do you only serve Warriors from Montana?
No. Though all our programs are based in Montana, we serve participants from across the U.S.
Do you use adaptive equipment?
Yes. Track chairs and a wheelchair-accessible drift boat reduce barriers to WQW participation and promote independence and feelings of confidence.
Does it cost anything to participate?
No. All our programs are completely free.
Who guides for WQW?
WQW hires licensed Montana fly fishing guides who focus on skill-building to promote self-efficacy and continued fly fishing long after WQW participation.
Are service dogs allowed?
Yes. Service dogs are welcome and encouraged to support their handlers during a Fishing Experience.
Can I volunteer?
Yes. Over 200 people from across the country volunteer annually. Learn more about how to volunteer with us.
WQW envisions an America in which a new generation of combat veterans successfully reintegrates into society.