The annual Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA) Outdoor Show is a festival of things to do outside in the natural world. The title of the show, which goes this weekend (June 7-8) does much to promote the almost endless things you can do in the outdoors.
Positive recreational pastimes do much in creating a bonding relationship between the participants and the site where the activity takes place. Examples of this practice are common – the beaches for swimming and walking as is the case of Goose Spit in Comox, or the fishing for chum salmon in the pool below below Condensory Bridge on the Puntledge River.
In both cases you must be outdoors to participate in these activities that can lead to a lifetime of leisure pastimes such as swimming and recreational fishing.
The outdoor recreational show event showcases the joy of doing outdoors things outside away from sedentary habits of watching events on TV. To get the most out of this show I recommend that you go about the show in a low-key speed that gives you ample time to enjoy the particular activities you do most frequently. Take extra time to participate in these pastimes if they are set up for your participation.
The children’s fish pond is a somewhat artificial way of getting children to participate in the all-encompassing field of recreational fishing in its many forms, but it is very popular with the children and they will be lined up all day for a chance to “fish”. Other activities directed at participation such as archery, trap and skeet, and black powder shooting are first steps in the growing interest in
the Valley of these sports. Take time to talk to people that are displaying their wares, as in knife makers and fly tiers.
My message is to consciously browse your way through the CDFGPA show at a slow pace to allow you time to enjoy the multi-faceted character of this
outdoor show. One of the best ways to get started with this show is to come to early morning pancake breakfasts they offer both mornings starting at 9 a.m. It is a treat.
While you are on the grounds take time to check out the fish pond, camp grounds, archery range, shotgun facilities and the Cowboy Action Boom Town. If you are a newcomer to the Valley take extra time to check out the resources of this very large outdoor-oriented place. It has one of the largest memberships of any fishing and hunting club in Canada.
Close on the heels of this annual show is the Family Fishing Weekend where the club is open to all visitors on June 13-15. No fishing license is required for this three-day event that takes place across Canada on Father’s Day weekend. Children who take their first fish in the pond during the weekend have passed a participation marker on the road to adulthood and the marvellous challenges of recreational fishing.
During the three days you are invited to share the pond with hundreds of
fellow anglers in their quest to catch a fresh fish to take home for supper. The fish are stocked by the Fresh Water Fisheries Association, a Crown corporation charged with enhancing the fishing opportunities in the thousands of freshwater lakes and streams in the province.
When you catch a fish, take it to the cleaning table where members of the club will gut the fish, put it in a plastic bag with your name attached and put the fish on ice until you are ready to take it home and fry it.
As if the two open events are not enough, the club takes an active role in promoting the Fishing Forever Program which concentrates on helping seniors and handicapped people to enjoy fishing. This program is run by volunteers from the club who frequently work with our guests on a one-to-one ratio.
If you are a club member and have some time to spare I suggest you phone Bryan Allen at 250-338-0091 to volunteer your service during this prolonged period of heavily committed fishing events. Guaranteed you will enjoy the event and the pleasure of sharing your skills with those less fortunate.
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.