Tara Bowie Ray Bowes from the Keremeos-Cawston Sportsmen Association helps Grade 7 student Faith Sanders tie her fly during a lunch hour class at the Similkameen Elementary Secondary School last week.

Flying high on tying flies

The local sportsmen association holds a six-week course to teach elementary school kids to tie flies

  • Jan. 31, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Twenty-three elementary school children have been giving up their lunch hours the last few weeks to learn how to tie flies.

Kathaleen Gibbs, of the Keremeos-Cawston Sportsmen Association said the number of students that want to learn amazes members every year.

“This is the third year we’ve done it and we always get a good group of kids out. We volunteer our time and bring in kits for them. After the first introductory week we teach them how to tie a fly each week until the last week when we go out and use them at Yellow Lake. Now, that’s a fun day.”

Gibbs noted there is always a high percentage of girls that participate.

“I think it’s fantastic. It’s great to see so all the girls and they’re not intimidated to be learning what was at one time was really considered to be a boys thing to fish. They pick it up fast and show a real interest in it and it’s great.”

Faith Sanderson, is a Grade 7 student, at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School and although she doesn’t have a fishing pole of her own she loves learning about the sport.

“It’s just interesting. This is my third year of doing it,” she said.

She got into it at the encouragement of her friend Simone Kotyk who also attends the fly tying night that’s free for children at the Keremeos-Cawston Sportsmen Association throughout the winter.

“I’ve been doing it a couple years now. We’ve made some really neat ones that look like Christmas flies and stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Keaton Heinrich, a Grade 5 student, said he’s planning on using his flies when his uncle visits from Alberta.

“He loves fishing so I’m learning so we can take them out and fish together,” he said.

Gibbs said the class wouldn’t be possible without the help of teachers at the school and the volunteers from the club that come out on their lunch times over the six weeks to teach the children.

“Everyone is awesome. It’s such a great opportunity to connect with the kids and do something fun that they will remember,” she said.