Trail fly-fisherman Don Freschi landed a lunker earlier this month, inking a major deal with one of the most-watched outdoor networks on TV.
Freschi is the host and co-creator of the popular TV program “Sport Fishing on the Fly” (SFOTF) and recently he signed a full-year deal with the World Fishing Network (WFN).
“Our sponsors were on board, but they had a choice, they could either go with Destination America or NBC, or stay on World Fishing Network and do a whole year now, do 26 shows a year and go full out. So what our sponsors decided, for better exposure, was to be on World Fishing Network.”
Freschi met with NBC, ‘Sportsnet,’ as well as with Discovery Channel’s ‘Destination America’ to discuss potential partnerships. Both meetings went well and the two networks accepted the show and wanted to air it . . . “but of course they wanted the big bucks that went with it,” said Freschi.
Freschi consulted with his sponsors and together they decided to accept the offer from WFN, that will see the number of episodes he produces every season double his 13-show output from previous years.
“I just signed the contract with the World Fishing Network for 26 shows so it’s guaranteed 52 weeks a year on the air, so we’re in big.”
Freschi began taping Sport Fishing on the Fly in 1995 with good friend Grant Fines. It was picked up by CHECK TV originally, then the Outdoor Channel, before being added to the WFN lineup.
The extra content means Freschi will be busier than ever filming and showcasing the show’s various sponsored gear.
The SFOTF crew will go coast-to-coast from the Cowichan River on Vancouver Island to casting for Atlantic salmon in New Brunswick, and will start production this spring, with the first episode hitting the WFN airwaves in July.
“We have a heavy schedule. Essentially we’re going all across Canada this year filming, down in the States and pretty well everywhere,” added Freschi.
WFN and WFN HD are available to more than 50-million cable, satellite, and telecommunications households throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, and is anchored by one of the top fishing websites in WorldFishingNetwork.com.
Entering its 20th season, SFOTF is now one of the longest running syndicated shows on television and continues to air on CHEK at 2 p.m. Saturday, and WFN every day at 6:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 1:30 a.m.
Don and his brother Dale grew up in Trail, spending countless hours prospecting local waters with an artificial fly, and many SFOTF programs focus on their favourite fisheries like the Columbia River.