It is not often that we get to participate and volunteer in events that create much joy, pleasure, happiness and satisfaction as has been happening at the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA) over the past two weeks with the Fishing Forever Program and culminating with the Family Fishing – Father’s Day celebration this weekend.
I was unable to participate with the former but I had great pleasure in volunteering this past weekend. Once in a while somebody says just the right things in the right way in expressing gratitude to those who made the events a success, as was the case expressed by Evelyne Posetha in a card of appreciation she presented to Jan MacKenzie and Brian Allen – the joint chairpersons of the events. Evelyne spent much of her volunteer time at the fish cleaning table – on behalf of all of us, thank you, Evelyne.
Evelyne’s card of appreciation:
“Dear Jan and Brian,
“It is an honour to have worked with you both and for such good causes.
“Many thanks for your guidance, your generosity and all the support you give to the volunteers. You are both ‘Awesome,’
Keep up your ‘Great Work.’
PS I will wear the beautiful polo shirt with pride as soon as I am not cleaning fish. …
Inscription on the card read – “Kindness spreads like wildflowers … leaving happiness behind.”
The celebration at the CDFGPA did not happen in isolation of many other connected events. First the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC made the fishing possible with the generous supply of catchable rainbow trout they stocked in the ponds. Thrifty Foods of Courtenay generously supplied free treats of hotdogs, pop and bottled water to all participants on both days. These annual treats are a huge gift to all concerned and a sincere thank you to the Thrifty stores for their generosity and corporate support.
I took some time out from my volunteering to wander around the pond with my camera. Pictured with the column are a father and son enjoying some quiet, secluded fishing on a very crowded pond. It is an appropriate Father’s Day celebration where the child is spending some special time with father. In the process they are both getting an infusion of emotional medicine that helps to close the nature deficit deficiency so common in our increasingly disconnected society.
I spent most of my time putting together small containers of worms, (thanks to Dennis) and Power Bait plus untangling lines on what seemed like an endless chain of novice anglers with injured tackle. Throughout the whole process I never talked to one unhappy participant.
One lasting effect from the weekend will be the memory of large numbers of novice anglers and happy children and others who had caught a nice trout to take home for supper. It is reassuring to know that the celebration taking place in the club pond was being reenacted throughout the province wherever people were gathering to celebrate this Family Fishing – Father’s Day Weekend.
The overriding purpose of the Family Fishing Weekend is to interest families and others to taking up the family oriented hobby of recreational fishing in our thousands of freshwater lakes and rivers and rich marine waters that make up our beautiful and bountiful province. Indeed the promotion of free family fishing weekends in now a national custom.
Earlier in the week I came across an interesting little magazine-style booklet – Vancouver Island Fishing 2013. It is free and is available at tackle shops, tourist information centres and other places. It is published by Goldstream Publishing who are the people that produce the Angler’s Atlas.
The booklet features 22 Vancouver Island lakes with contour lines, special information pertinent to the lake plus directions on how to get to each lake. In my view it is a gold mine for freshwater anglers. On page 34 there is a detailed 2012 stocking list for each lake. It would be an interesting challenge to fish all 22 of them in one season.
In closing, I wonder what it takes for Valley politicians to think beyond athletic fields and stadiums to bring Maple Lake into the public domain – what a jewel it would be, developed as an urban family fishing lake.
Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.