The West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club and Castlegar Sports Centre hosts the 19th annual Fly Fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Rec Complex this weekend. Jim Bailey photo.

The West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club and Castlegar Sports Centre hosts the 19th annual Fly Fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Rec Complex this weekend. Jim Bailey photo.

West Kootenay Fly-fishing Club hosts annual symposium

Castlegar’s Fly-fishing Symposium offers information, seminars, prizes and fun for the whole family

Fly-fishing enthusiasts have a big weekend ahead of them as the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club (WKFFC) and Castlegar Sports Centre hosts the 19th annual Fly-fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Community Complex.

The symposium is a fun family event that offers a variety of information, products, and seminars for everyone from the jaded old guide to the young-up-and-coming fly caster.

“Everything anybody would ever need to know about fly fishing is going to be here,” said WKFFC president and owner of Castlegar Sports Centre’s Rod Zavaduk.

The symposium boasts an array of activities and products from fly fishing’s top brands and manufacturers of rods, reels, lines, waders, boots, fly tying tools, pontoon boats and more. The symposium also includes demonstrations on fly casting, seminars on fly-tying, and a special Junior fly-tying table.

Special guests include Trail’s own Don Freschi, host of Sport Fishing on the Fly who will tie some of his favourite patterns for the Columbia River and local still-water fly fishing.

“We have, on Saturday, one hour seminars, for free, and include fly tying, technique on casting, and fishing methods,” said Zavaduk. “There will be talks on the (Columbia) river. I do one on nymphing the river, that’s always a good draw and a couple of other people will do techniques on fishing in these seminars.”

In addition, Trail’s Bruce Kruk, a world-class spey caster, will offer a seminar on the secrets of the spey rod and casting.

Other big names include expert fly-tyers John Newberry and Ed Smith, as well as East Kootenay guide Kelly Laastch, and Courtenay Ogilvy from Mystic Fly Rods.

A new and exciting addition to the show this year is Semperfli’s Gary Hanke, who captained Team Canada at the 35th Annual World Fly Fishing Championship in Bosnia in 2015.

“Hanke has the distinction of being the only Canadian to win a gold medal for fly-tying in Europe,” said Zavaduck. “Which is kind of cool.”

Conservation groups will also highlight a booth on invasive species and promote care and safety on the water.

The seminars go every hour, with door prizes and raffles, and special thanks to Columbia Power Corporation, Teck, and Interfor for their sponsorship.

The Fly Fishing Symposium goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.