Peter Pauwels is a guy with a selfless desire to help disabled individuals enjoy the great outdoors, with trout fishing at the forefront. Peter has been working with disabled individuals and innovating adaptive fishing, shooting and boating equipment for many years as a volunteer at the Craig Hospital in Denver. He worked with Craig Hospital, the Denver Children’s Hospital and other rehab facilities to establish the Accessible Fishing Program at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver. This program has been a huge success and is still in operation after 25 years.
After many years of friendship, Peter and Frank Bell recently teamed up to start a great new program in the Madison Valley called Camp Bullwheel. The program officially began in 2018 and is dedicated to helping disabled and special needs individuals float and fish the Madison River.
Through a combination of Peter’s compassion and engineering innovations, and Frank’s generosity by providing a great location to host guests in the Madison Valley, Camp Bullwheel (named after its location) was born.
Guests at Camp Bullwheel stay in the specially adapted “camp” house near Varney Bridge about 9 miles south of Ennis. While visiting the Madison Valley guests can float and fish the Madison River using the specially adapted boat and fishing equipment that Peter designed and built. Among Peter’s many innovations is a device he named the “Fishinator.” Born in the rehab engineering laboratory in the basement of Craig Hospital, the Fishinator has brought to life the dreams and aspirations of individuals with high spinal cord injuries. With just a "sip" and a "puff" guests can cast, retrieve at variable speeds, and set the hook at their own command. View it in action on Youtube.
Running Camp Bullwheel on a day to day basis wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and generosity of many others in addition to Frank and Peter. Volunteers assist with many of the camp’s needs and day to day activities including cooking, cleaning, building and rowing. Camp Bullwheel is a 501c3 non-profit organization. If you would like to volunteer or donate, please visit their website. www.campbullwheel.org
The program that Peter and Frank have built is a remarkable example of human generosity, innovation and perseverance. Trout Stalkers is looking forward to supporting Camp Bullwheel for many years to come. We hope you will too.