Young girls are often told they can become anything, do anything; that they’re tough, loving, and resilient. But rarely does anyone prepare us for the day we may have to face breast cancer. It’s a sobering fact that about 1 in 8 U.S. women develop invasive breast cancer over the course of a lifetime.

This year Mia Sheppard and Whitney Gould are teaming to raise money for the Northern Oregon and Northern California Casting for Recovery (CFR) retreats. CFR is a national, non-profit support and educational program for women of all ages and in all stages of breast cancer. It provides retreats at no cost, allowing participants whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to learn to flyfish in beautiful, natural settings.

On the weekend of April 22 to 24, 2016, Mia and Whitney will compete in the Jimmy Green Spey-O-Rama (SOR), in San Francisco, to raise money for CFR. SOR is a distance casting competition with a double-handed rod. Spey enthusiast from all over the world will congregate to cast to their individual abilities. What better way to raise money for a great cause than watch two of the best women spey casters compete and go for distances of over 140 feet. F—k cancer and become a part of a community that helps women gain confidence and strength through spending time with like-mined individuals on the water!

HELP US HELP OTHERS: Make a pledge and have a chance to win a guided trip in Oregon, casting lesson or product from Simms, Echo, Gary Anderson Custom Rod, Nautilus Reels, Boggs Trail Butter, and RIO Products. Hit the link for more details, here.

Note on Mia Sheppard—This is Mia’s fifth year using her spey casting skills to raise money for CFR. She couldn’t have made it happen without the undivided help from GWWF member, Rebecca Blair and other CFR volunteers. In 2013 she won the women’s division, and in 2014 she had the longest women’s cast at 144 ft. She also has personal experience losing a loved one to cancer. Per Mia, “When my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I saw firsthand how cancer deteriorates a person’s attitude and life. She fought for her life by receiving radiation treatments, chemotherapy and surgery. She lost weight, experienced pain I can’t imagine, and through that time found strength in riding her Ducati across the country.

Note on Whitney Gould—While living in Oregon, Whitney worked with the Stonefly Maidens, a women’s fly fishing club located in Portland, to raise funds and to provide teaching assistance to for the Northern Oregon CFR Retreats. She won the women’s division in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Whitney helped care for her mother-in-law during her final struggle with cancer, and she is currently dealing with the difficult realities of her father’s cancer fight. She has chosen to work with Mia toward this great cause. It is a bonus to have one of the fishing community’s most capable and determined anglers as a friend. As a team they intend to kick ass both in and out of the ponds.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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