West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium casts off on weekend

West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium will be held this weekend at Castlegar Sports Complex.

For locals with fishing on the brain, there is no better place away from the water than to indulge one’s passion for the sport at the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium this weekend at the Castlegar Sports Complex.

Hosted by the West Kootenay Fly Club and Castlegar Sports Centre and Fly Shop, the event attracts string-throwing luminaries and fly tyers such as Peter Morrison, John Newbury, and Trail’s own Don Freschi, producer and host of  “Sport Fishing on the Fly” on the World Fishing Network.

“I’m mainly just going to greet people, talk to them, and do some fly tying for people to watch and pick up any tips they want,” said Freschi from an airport in San Diego.

The Trail native is also co-founder of Firebird, a local company recently merged with 5-N Plus. He spends most of his time on the road, yet still finds time to produce the popular fly-fishing program.

“I try to plan out my holidays around producing the show,” said Freschi. “ But we were lucky though, we actually got a couple years ahead, or even a year ahead, because we did lots of filming last year. Now it doesn’t take as much time . . . and trying to balance it all is a juggling act but it works.”

Freschi is already planning next year’s episodes, highlighted by a trip to Cuba in April to fish for permit on the fly, but will also feature many local waters.

“This summer, we are going to do a lot of stuff in Trail and a lot of things in the Columbia. I’ve got some new techniques I want to show everybody.”

In addition, special representatives from gear and rod manufacturers will be on hand, local conservation groups, the best area fly tyers teaching young and old alike, as well as hourly fly-casting demonstrations for all levels.

The family-oriented event is open to all and admission is free.

Indulge your passion or start a new one. The Symposium goes Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Castlegar Complex.