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Paul VanderWende

  Paul died of rare complications at Concord Hospital, Concord, NH on March 22, 2013 at the age of 57. He was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2012 and had been in treatment at The Payson Center for Cancer Care since that time. His last public appearance was at the Pelham Fly Fishing Show in 2013.

  Paul spent his childhood in Newtown, CT; he graduated from Newtown High School in 1974. Paul met his loving wife Sarah while fishing in Washington, NH; they were married September 23, 2000. They lived in the home they built together in Antrim, NH.

  Paul commuted to his work in the Surveys Division of the Connecticut Department of Transportation for more than 20 years. He loved New Hampshire and even before taking up residence spent many years learning the waters of the state.  He was a Licensed NH Fishing Guide and authored two books: “The Field Guide to New Hampshire Trout Ponds", and "The Field Guide to New Hampshire Trout Streams." His wife and step-son David and many others assisted Paul in the collection of information for each book. He was working on the second edition of "The Field Guide to New Hampshire Trout Ponds" before his death.

  Paul was the volunteer Webmaster of the New Hampshire Guides Association and a volunteer fly-fishing instructor for the Let’s Go Fishing program; he regularly participated at the annual Discover Wild New Hampshire day at NH Fish and Game Headquarters. Paul and Sarah founded the lure company Washington Lure & Bait in 1995; he created its first web site in 1997. In time he became the webmaster for several other organizations and businesses. He enjoyed fishing, boating, canoeing, fly-fishing instruction, cross country skiing and hiking and was very proud to have earned  his Private Pilot certificate.

   During his cancer journey Paul conceived of a program to bring cancer survivors together for one-on-one experiences fly-fishing in the great outdoors as a way to alleviate the stress of living with cancer; similar experiences were planned for caregivers. He called the program Cast Away Cancer and asked that it be continued after his death. In the years since, a great deal of interest has been shown, Cast Away Cancer is now a Registered New Hampshire Charity that plans to support its members in taking up fishing as part of their long term changes in lifestyle as  Cancer Survivors in Recovery.


  When Paul first created this web site during chemotherapy he included the following reflections. It was his intention to Guide other Survivors in Recovery as peers sharing the experience of fly fishing in the Great Outdoors - where all the rest of our worldly cares can be  so gladly forgotten.


“Cast Away Cancer Located in New Hampshire, we are here to provide fishing trips designed for the cancer survivor who is in recovery. Outdoor activities like fishing are a great way to get your exercise and have fun while doing it.

During the recovery process there are allot of changes taking place in your life, I have found that fishing can provide a good outlet from the stress that can come from dealing with life with cancer. The time that’s spent on the water can provide a unique opportunity to unwind and relax.

On your trip you will be guided by a Licensed New Hampshire Guide that also is a cancer survivor.”


“As part of the recovery and healing process following cancer treatment, it has been shown that having a life style or changing to a lifestyle that includes a good diet along with regular fitness activities. This along with a positive attitude can go along way to a healthy recovery.”


“It has been shown that Fly Fishing can help in the recovery process. Programs like Casting for a cure have been very beneficial to woman in recovery. Being on the water, listening to the sound of the water in it’s self is very relaxing. This along with learning a new skill makes for a most memorable day.”