FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Project Healing Waters is helping with the physical and emotional rehab of disabled veterans, and it is able to do it with an extremely popular hobby.

Air Force veteran Michael Swanner knows his fishing gear. From different fly-fishing lures to rods, he has made it all. And he knows what the fish prefer.

“If you present the wrong thing in the wrong way, you can forget it. Hit them in the nose with it and they are still going to ignore it,” he said.

Swanner shares all of this insight with other veterans as the program lead for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. For the non-profit, tieing a fly is not so much about having a steady hand but rather keeping your hands busy.

“Fly tying and rod building both are really good for PTSD and the reason is you’re concentrating on one thing that you’re doing and not worrying about anything else,” Swanner said.

When the gear is ready, the vets take it out on the water whether it is a day trip or a longer adventure.

“Overnight outings, we have to have approvals, prior approvals and we have to have the money which comes in through a donation in advance,” Swanner said.

Your donations help Project Healing Waters cast a line to more vets in need of healing. You can click here to donate. If you do, Swanner says to be sure and designate the donation for Northwest Arkansas.