#HighFivesAthlete Jason Abraham shares his blog on High Fives 1st ever fishing trip in Montana!
Last week my family and I set off on a fly-fishing trip to Dillon, Montana. We were invited through the High Fives Foundation along with five other High Fives Athletes. This was the first trip that I’ve taken since my ski accident on April 9, 2015 that left me quadrilyzed, so I was excited to try something new, something that I could experience with family & friends.
The trip was organized by the HighFives Foundation, Craig Hospital, & Access Unlimited. Additionaly, sponsors like Grundéns, GoPro, Yeti Coolers, Smith Optics, & big truck brand provided support with their awesome outdoor products. Every athlete was fully styled out with a kit of fresh gear from all the supporting companies. A pure example of an absolutely amazing way to take care of a group of adaptive athletes.
We arrived last Thursday to the Big Hole C4 Ranch where we would be staying through the weekend. This lodge is located on a 1,000 acre parcel surrounded by spring creeks with beautiful views of the countryside. The meals were provided & home cooked by the Ranch owners. The hospitality was incredible & we found ourselves in flavor country. There wasn’t a meal that didn’t get devoured.
I was an adventure seeker before my accident & trying the same sports that I once loved and enjoyed in an adapted way has been great, but nothing has really created the same thrill for me. Fly-fishing is a sport that I’ve never tried before, so I was excited for this new experience. It presented an opportunity that I could share with my wife, son, & other adaptive athletes.
We loaded into the vans & trucks early Saturday morning where we all caravanned to the Beaver River, located just outside of Dillon, MT. It was a perfect day for being out on the water and spirits were high. We all loaded the water fairly easily and set off for a beautiful day on the river.
Our guide Steven went through some basic steps of how to look for fish & cast the reel. To my surprise, it was relatively simple for me to do. We practiced a few techniques & then I set off on my own while he guided the boat. I didn’t get many bites so I handed the rod off to my son.
I was more eager to see my 5-year-old son, Ebbett fish anyway. It didn’t take long for Ebbett to rip a lip & pull in the big dog of the trip. Two minutes into casting, Ebbett hooked a 17” Rocky Mountain Whitefish. She put up a good fight, but in the end he & I were able to wrangle her into the net together, father & son.
This moment was what we came here for & simply wouldn’t be possible without HighFives Foundation, Craig Hospital, Access Unlimited, & sponsors like Grundéns. These foundations & organization are made up of & supported by beautiful human beings.
Seeing my son hook that fish, the sparkle in his eye, & the smile on his face, for a moment made me forget that I was quadrilyzed. I had found a way to connect with him & lend guidance to him. In that very moment I realized the value of what I could mentally provide when physically my body doesn’t allow me.
This trip was incredible. It was relaxing & my family enjoyed themselves immensely. We are so grateful to have been provided with this opportunity. This time last year I had just been released from Craig hospital where I had spend three long months learning how to prepare for life as a quadriplegic. I would have never imagined myself a year later fly-fishing the plush rivers of Montana. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who made this a reality for all of us.