On August 30th, Ed Nicholson, Founder and President Emeritus of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF), traveled to the Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge to bestow the Patriot Award to Bob Rima, co-owner of the Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge. This is the highest and most prestigious award given out by PHWFF. During the ceremony Ed stated ” It was a distinct pleasure to present the Patriot Award to Bob Rima. Under his leadership the Kenai Drifters Lodge, the staff and guides, have been providing incredible fishing experiences for our PHWFF participants for many years. It was quite evident that Bob, in his humble way, epitomizes all of qualities that represent the finest attributes of volunteerism and support for our disabled veterans, and in doing so, exemplifies those qualities of a true Patriot. Congratulations and thanks again for your outstanding support of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.”

Award ceremony next to Kenai River

Damond Blankenship and Jan Schnorr, co-leaders for the Anchorage program, spoke about Bob’s specific contributions including some of the following. Soon after the PHWFF Anchorage program started in 2010, Bob volunteered to host a trip for 16 – 20 participants/volunteers as his official ceremonial start of the fishing season in April and the last trip of the year in October. Bob always said that he used us at the beginning of the year to help train all of his new guides.

After a few years, we requested a change in the trip schedule from October to September because it was too cold in April and in October to be an enjoyable experience and very few of our participants caught fish because the water was too cold and we encountered too much snow and ice. Bob was so accommodating; he agreed and rescheduled us for September, the prime time for catching trophy rainbows and Dollies, which of course also reduced his revenue but he never mentioned this impact. Now all of our participants catch fish on every trip! Bob dedicates four boats for our use so 16 individuals enjoy a full-service guide experience. His guides routinely request to be assigned to our trips. In addition to providing the guides for one day of fishing, Bob also donates one night of lodging in the main guest lodge.

During the past seven years, we have asked Bob to support a variety of other trips through discounts and in-kind donations and he is always eager to help. Since 2011, Bob has supported our program with over $45,000 of in-kind donations over 10 trips. His comment is always “How can I help?” Numerous participants frequently patronize his business and he always offers them special discounts. All of our participants “love” Bob and they are always eager to stop by and say “Hello” to him whenever they are near Cooper Landing.

Bob is truly a remarkable individual who always has a smile on his face and is eager to support our program and participants. During 2015, Jerry (one of our new participants) who had learned how to fly fish through the program while on the Tangle Lakes trip in June, met Bob on the fall fishing trip. Both individuals bonded quickly over their love of fly fishing and Bob offered Jerry a guiding job for the 2016 season. He is truly the most amazing lodge owner on the Kenai River and he inspires his guides to donate their services to PHWFF.


Patriot Award Citation

Robert S. Rima, Jr.

30 July, 2017

PROJECT HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING, INC. (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Patriot Award to Robert Rima for sustained extraordinary service.

Bob Rima proves repeatedly that he is an extraordinarily generous and committed supporter of PHWFF. As co-owner of the Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge, one of Alaska’s premier fishing locations, he has supported our program since 2011. For several years, he hosted an April trip for 16–20 participants and volunteers as his official ceremonial start of the fishing season and repeated his generosity for his season closer in October. Bob always kiddingly said that he used us at the beginning of the year to help train all of his new guides.

Those early and late season donations from Bob were amazing, but with Alaska still chilly in April and often snowy and icy in October, Bob was asked to consider changing the timing of his donation to enable participants to potentially catch more fish and not be challenged by the weather. He did not hesitate and rescheduled the group for September, a period of heavy demand at the lodge because it’s the prime time for catching trophy rainbows and Dollies. Bob never mentioned the likely impact this donation has on his annual revenue. Bob dedicates four boats so 16 PHWFF individuals enjoy a full-service guide experience. His enthusiasm for PHWFF clearly has spread to his guides who routinely request to be assigned to our trips. In addition to providing the guides for one day of fishing, Bob donates lodging in the main guest lodge and the use of his kitchen.

During the past seven years, Bob has been asked to support a variety of other trips through discounts and in-kind donations and is always eager to help. Since 2011, Bob has supported our program with more than $45,000 of in-kind donations over ten trips. All of our participants “love” Bob and they are always eager to stop by and say hello to him whenever they are near Cooper Landing.

Bob is truly a remarkable individual who always has a smile on his face and is eager to support our program. During 2015, one of our new participants who had just learned how to fly fish met Bob on the fall fishing trip. Both individuals bonded quickly over their love of fly fishing and Bob offered the vet a guiding job for the 2016 season. He inspires his guides to donate their services to PHWFF and is a passionate spokesman for PHWFF. He is truly the most amazing lodge owner on the Kenai River.

The Board of Trustees of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow on Bob Rima the Patriot Award for his tireless and extraordinary service to Project Healing Waters and to those wounded warriors and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.