Fly fishers will be as prolific as a July caddisfly hatch on the Columbia River when the doors open at the Castlegar Rec Centre this weekend for the 15th annual Fly Fishing Symposium.
Hosted by the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club and Castegar Sports Centre and Fly Shop, the symposium offers everything from promoting quality gear and accessories to fly-tying and casting seminars as well as info on guided tours of the Kootenay’s best water.
“We have quite a few new presenters this year,” said Castlegar Sport Centre and Fly Shop owner Rod Zavaduk. “Our Fly Fishing Symposium will have fly-casting demonstrations, all kinds of rods and lines, the works.”
Some of the area’s best fly fishers and tyers will be on hand sharing their expertise on fly casting and tying. Luminaries such as Washington State Fly-tying Hall of Famer, John Newbury of Chewelah, will share his unique and significant creations with fly-tying enthusiasts, and Ruben Breikfest, a Federation of Fly Fishers master fly-casting instructor, will demonstrate the proper technique for throwing string. The pair will join a myriad of local fly-anglers tying flies and offering instruction.
“We have the full 30 or 40 fly tyers from the club and we have Sage and Reddington and Rio all taken care of, we have St. Croix rods coming in, Minkota motors, the Humming Bird fish-finders guy coming, we have a new pontoon boat company (Outcast) coming to show off their stuff, and we’ll have all the other guys.”
Local fly tyers such as Don Freschi, Phil Milburn, Paul Piro, Bruce Kruck, Rollie Hill and many more will share some of there favourite fly imitations for area waters, along with Bill Hanlon and his exquisite hand-made nets, wood fly-boxes, and fly-tying stations.
Well-known guides and St. Mary fly-shop owners Kelly and Karen Laatsch will join Chilly Billy Charters’ Graham Cloutier, and Action Angling’s Kirk and Heidi Daley to offer anglers a variety of destination options.
The popular Kids’ Tying Table will be in full swing to get youngsters involved and interested, raffles and door prize tickets go on sale all weekend, and corporate supporters such as Columbia Power Corp, Interfor, and Teck will have representatives available to answer questions on environmental and remediation concerns.
And for all those aspiring outdoor writers, the editor of Fly Fusion Magazine, Chris Bird, will be there to talk about the business of fly-fishing, photography, and writing.
The Symposium goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.