Fly fishing fans flock to symposium

More than 1,500 people attended the 12th Annual Fly Fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Community Complex over the weekend, according to organizers.

Grant Saprunoff

Grant Saprunoff

More than 1,500 people attended the 12th Annual Fly Fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Community Complex over the weekend, according to organizers.

Hosted by the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club and Castlegar Sports Centre & Fly Shop, participants came from all over the province to experience the last free event of its kind in the province.

“We’re stabilized,” Rod Zavaduk, president of the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club said of the attendance.

“We’ve gotten better at what we’re doing.”

Aside from visiting the various displays and tables, Zavaduk said the event was a good excuse for people to visit each other.

“It brings old friends back together and fly fishing people back together.”

Seminars over the weekend included different talks on tying, fishing the Elk and St. Mary Rivers, fly casting demonstrations and one on “understanding bugs.”

The show featured various handmade products, including tie flys, tackle boxes, clothing and hats. The shows sponsors, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power and Teck all had displays as well.

“They make it as valued as [the show] is,” Zavaduk said of the sponsors.

The hot ticket item of the weekend was a custom-built fly rod as one of the door prizes. Participants were able to purchase a string of tickets and then they could distribute their tickets into various draw boxes.

“We have really promoted kids’ participation in this event,” Zavaduk said. “Fly fishing is a family event.”

In recent years, Zavaduk said he’s not only seen an increase in children joining the sport, but also women.

As the most active club in the region with 150-180 members any given season, Zavaduk said they travel to help other clubs get off the ground.

“We venture to help other clubs learn and promote the sport,” he said.

“The interest is so vast in our club that we seem to get to all ends of the world.”

With the season just starting, there’s plenty of time to join. For more information, visit:

flyfishingclub.org.