Eight-year-old Chase Mackinnon gets some instruction from West Kootenay Fly-fishing Club member Wally Verigin at the 14th annual Fly-fishing Symposium in Castlegar on Sunday

Getting ready to land the big one

14th annual Fly-fishing Symposium has another successful year.

The 14th annual Fly-fishing Symposium ran Saturday and Sunday at the Castlegar Community Complex, presented by the West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club, and Castlegar Sports Centre and Fly Shop.

There were draws, raffles, casting demonstrations and seminars, plus a large number of vendors who had the latest in fishing gear.

Organizer Rod Zavaduk, who has owned the Castlegar Sports Centre and Fly Shop for the past 29 years, said the event is the only free fly-fishing event of its kind.

“We get anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 people coming in from all over,” said Zavaduk. “There are two families that I know, that come from Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls every year.”

Zavaduk added the event brings in not only locals but visitors from all over Canada, the United States and even some transplanted Australians every year.

“It really brings our members together too,” he said. “We have anywhere from 120 to 150 paid members per year and do a lot of club outings and fly-tying events for them.”

The family-friendly event included numerous places for kids to join others in tying their own flies and there were hourly seminars for the really serious enthusiasts.

Graham Cloutier, of Chill Billy Sportfishing Charters, runs fully guided tours on the Columbia River. Cloutier said he enjoys the river perhaps more than Kootenay Lake and had an impressive display of photographs of large trout to prove he knows where to find the big ones.

“I like to teach people,” Said Cloutier. “What to use, where to use what and at what times of the year.”

The two-day schedule of events also has an economic impact locally. Zavaduk said suppliers and attendees spend money on hotels, meals and other services while in Castlegar.

Zavaduk wanted to thank the event sponsors for making it all possible: Columbia Power Corp., Columbia Basin Trust and Teck.

 

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