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Learn to Fish Program

Learn to Fish – a British Columbia Program that Teaches You How to Fish

It may still be winter but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about things to do in the spring. One activity to plan for, especially if you have youngsters, is participating in a Learn to Fish program. Check out below.

Learn to Fish Program
Learn to Fish Program – Fishing Brothers | PoMoDee

What does someone who knows absolutely nothing about fishing, and lives in BC, do to rectify that?  Well, you can read up on the subject on the internet, visit your local fishing supply store and they will be happy to give you a 101 on Fishing.  But how do you involve the 5-15 yr olds?  That is very simple; you enroll them in a Learn to Fish Program offered by Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (GoFish).   The Fishing Programs offered are Learn to Fish, Family Fishing Waters and a Free Rod Loan Program.

We attended a “Learn to Fish Program” held at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.   They had an attendance of approximately 30 children – all of whom were eager to learn and I was very surprised at the knowledge the little ones had with the ability to identify the different species of fish, especially from the 7-9 year olds.  After a brief knowledge session, it was time to outfit the children with rods so they could practice casting on the grass field – some were natural born casters while others struggled with the concept of thrusting the rod forward (while hanging on to it) and releasing of a button in order for the line (adorned with a nice little float) to make a graceful dismount into the grass.

On the dock
Learning to Fish – On the Dock | PoMoDee

Once all the children had taken their turn at the sport of grass fishing, they were led to the edge of Lafarge Lake which was stocked the week before with 1,000 Fraser Valley 3N rainbow trout. The total fish that are stocked annually at Lafarge Lake are approximately 10,000.

At the lakeside is where they were given their final reminder, “Please keep an eye out when casting, you don’t want to hook anyone that is behind you”.  Well as you can imagine that was short lived as a Grandpa was soon sporting a shiny little hook in his jacket.  After a few casts the wee ones were getting the hang of it – so much so, that as soon as the hook made a splash in the lake, it was being reeled in to cast again.  By 11 am, there were a lot of parents and grandparents doing the casting, because as you know – the attention span quickly diminishes if no fish are biting. As a matter of fact the only fish that was caught that session was by an avid angler in his donut styled blow-up devise about 20 meters away, nestled in a spot on the lake far away from the sploshing and splashing that the 30 children were doing.

Learning to Fish. Photo: Justine Russo
A Learn to Fish Attendee Watching His Bob | Justine Russo

Freshwater Fisheries offers Programs like this one throughout the summer months, and other programs throughout the year.  Check their events calendar (March events are already posted for Metro Vancouver) and see if a lake or campground near you has this incredibly fun sporting event to get your kids off the couch and out the door and into the world of FISHING.

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For places to camp and fish in British Columbia go to the Camping Map and check Stocked Fishing Lakes.

Share your fishing, camping and BC travel photos using hashtag #campinbc.

Learn to Fish While Camping This Summer in British Columbia

Learning to Fish. Photo: Justine Russo

Learning to Fish. Photo: Justine Russo

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has been introducing anglers to fresh water fishing through the Learn to Fish program since 2006. Over 800 programs will be delivered this year at more than 80 different locations across the province. Many of these introductory lessons will be delivered as a two hour program at a lake location, for children ages 5-15 with an accompanying adult.

The Learn to Fish program is a hands on, interactive program where participants will learn the basics of freshwater fishing including:

Having fun Fishing. Photo: Justine Russo

Having Fun Fishing. Photo: Justine Russo

  • How to identify different species of fish in BC
  • How to rig a fishing rod and what tackle to use
  • How to cast a fishing rod
  • How to properly and safely handle a fish
  • The ethics and regulations of fresh water fishing

The second half of the program is hands on fishing at the lake with all the gear and tackle provided.  Programs run rain or shine so make sure you’re dressed for the weather.

Learn to Fish is offered throughout the province thanks to the generous support of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Rapala, Yamaha Motor Canada, BC Ram Dealers, Teck Highland Valley Copper, the Province of BC and BC Parks.

I Caught One! Photo: Justine Russo

I Caught One! Photo: Justine Russo

To find out if the Learn to Fish program will be hosted near your favourite summer camping site visit the events calendar. Programs are continuously added through the summer so keeping checking back.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks over 8 million fish into about 800 lakes across BC. When planning your camping trips this summer knowing what lakes are stocked may help you decide on where you should go. To get a map of BC’s stocked lakes and the stocking reports visit the Where to Fish Map. Don’t forget if you are 16 years or older you need a licence to fish fresh water in BC. You can also read the handy How to Fish section of the website.

For places to camp visit Camping & RVing in BC which also shows lakes that are stocked with fish.

Published: April 27th, 2017

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