There is some excellent fishing to be had in local saltwater destinations and local lakes and I will touch on them briefly in light of the hundreds of Valley folks involved with the programs in the title.
I have had reliable reports of sockeye showing up in Port Alberni and good showings of marked coho in local Area 14 waters along with respectable catches of chinook salmon. There are good clamming and oyster tides during the day this week that add another dimension to coastal recreational fishing. There is also some excellent trout fishing to be enjoyed before the lakes become too warm. Just let the winds calm down.
Bryan Allen and Jan McKenzie and their committees of volunteers are up to their respective necks in organizing and producing the Fishing Forever Program and the Family Fishing Weekend at the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA) fishing pond.
The Fishing Forever Program takes place over several week days when seniors and handicapped fishers are entertained at the club trout pond. The Family Fishing Weekend event takes place at the same location this weekend (June 14-15) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. You are invited to bring the whole family to enjoy fishing for trout in the pond on the club grounds.
It is a great event for children when they have a chance of catching their first trout. For those lacking rods and reels there will be loner outfits available. There are also limited amounts of bait available or you can bring your own worms from the garden. After you catch a fish, members of the club will clean it for you, then give you a plastic bag to put your fish into, then you can write your name on the bag and put it in a large cooler full of ice to keep it cool until you are ready to go home with your catch.
The pond is stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC with hundreds of catch-able trout up to a pound in weight. Quality Foods of Courtenay provides treats of pop and hotdogs during the event. Local sporting goods stores also assist by supplying tackles and bait. The Family Fishing Weekend is a national event and no license is required to enjoy fishing over the weekend of June 13-15 inclusive. In this new age of social media, much is made of the failure of our society to engage children in meaningful activities in the outdoors.
The Family Fishing Weekend celebration at the CDFGPA pond is an excellent example of club service to the community in promoting back-to-nature activities such as recreational fishing that take children and the whole family into the world of nature in a simple participatory process. Thousands of fishing careers will be lunched across the province this weekend.
The second phase of the CDFGPA’s service to the community is the Fishing Forever Program that takes place throughout much of the month of June in the club pool. During these events, bus loads of seniors and handicapped people are entertained by the club in the well-stocked pond. All tackle and bait is supplied and frequently there is much one-on-one assistance to the person doing the fishing.
The Fishing Forever Program illustrates the huge importance of participatory events in the lives of people who have lost much of their ability to fish on their own. Recreational fishing in all of its complexity is also one of the simplest of sporting events we can participate in throughout our life.
The simple act of catching a nice trout on a light, easy-to-use spinning outfit baited with a worm or artificial bait, brings great joy and satisfaction to the aging senior in their sunset years or child at the beginning of their lifelong career of recreational angling.
If you are new to the Valley these programs are good opportunities to visit the CDFGPA to better acquaint yourself with what this all-inclusive club offers Valley residents. It is a stunning example of the power of volunteerism in working toward goals that serve the Comox Valley in the field of fishing, hunting, shooting and conservation. Thank you, CDFGPA.
Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.