Guide helps veterans decompress by fishing on the Tuckasegee River


Spc. Anthony Martin (left) of the 101st Airborne Division and Alex Bell of AB’s Fly Fishing on the Tuckasegee River in Webster. Giles Morris photo.

WEBSTER –– For the past year and a half, Jackson County fly fishing guide Alex Bell has been taking people out on the water for free. Not exactly a good business model. But Bell has a larger aim with his standing offer to take returning combat veterans fishing when they get home.

“I was out walking my chocolate lab one day and just thinking about what I could do in a small way to give back to the men and women overseas,” Bell said. “I grew up during the Vietnam era and the vets just weren’t treated the way they ought to have been. I thought what better way to decompress than getting out on the water?”

For Bell, the experience of hanging out with … young men and women from the Army, Navy, and Marines has been reward enough.

Bell loves programs like Project Healing Waters, which focuses on helping disabled veterans through fly fishing, but he fears that there are too few options for combat veterans without a disability. …

To read the entire article and view photos and a video, visit the Tuckasegee Reader’s article.

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