Stray Casts: Grand Opportunities Fly Fishing event runs June 7

The Stray Caster is hoping to see a large number of fellow anglers this Saturday at the Grand Riv­er Fly Fishing Forum this Saturday.

The Stray Caster is now so old that he can no longer re­member exactly when the for­um started, but he does remem­ber that it has been running since the mid-1990s, and it has been a fun event every year.

The show is a specialty of Friends of the Grand River. That group has taken it upon its­elf to look after the upper reaches of the Grand River and its tributaries. Members have spent hundreds of hours plant­ing trees, picking up roadside garbage, placing and emptying trash barrels at strategic sites, working to enhance parking and trails from main roads to rivers, stocking brown trout, checking the hatches of brown trout, running events promot­ing river conservation, holding fundraisers, and, with the little time they have left over, some of them even go fishing.

The show runs from 10am to 4pm at Belwood Lake Con­servation Area. Take the Orange­ville Road from Fergus, and the entrance to the park is just past the 2nd Line. If you reach Orangeville, you blew it and have to come back and start over.

There are a number of free fishing seminars, and, once again, the FOGR has brought in women instructors to teach the finer points of fly fishing to women and girls, from be­ginners to those who have ex­peri­ence. Women can do their practice at ease, with no males cluttering up the practice area. It’s women only, and the wo­men the Stray Caster has talked to have said it is an excellent course. It is run by mother and daughter Sherri and Heather Robins. It runs from 10am to 12:30pm, and participants should register in advance. Visit the Friends of the Grand river web site to sign up.

Other seminars, which are all free, include:

– 10am, ABC Cast­ing 123 (Larry McGratton);

10am to12:30pm, Women’s intro­duction to Fly Fishing (Sherri Robins and Heather Robins), which is limited to 16 partici­pants, so register in advance;

– 10:30, Tips and Tricks  (Steve May);

– 11am, Exploring new Rivers, reading water and find fish (Larry Halyk);

– 11:30am, Grand River Bugs (Insect identification)  (Ian Mar­tin)

– 12:30pm to  1:30pm, lunch, an FOGR steak barbecue;

– 1:30pm, Small but Mighty (Brian Primeau);

– 2pm, Top Notch Dries (Bill Spicer)

2:30pm, Nymphs, Nymphs, Nymphs (Mike Verhoef); and

3pm, Big Files Big Fish (Ken Collins)

For more information call (519) 843-3102

Used Equipment Sale

Do you have some equip­ment, rods, reels or tying materials that you would like to turn into cash, or better yet .. new fly fishing gear?  Here is an opportunity to shop those wares in a place full of fly anglers. The used equipment sale at Grand Opportunities is a place to bring old equipment and Friends of the Grand River volunteers will sell it. Register the gear and provide an asking price and when the goods sell the seller gets 80% of the amount that FOGR receives for the gear. The 20% commission goes towards worthy projects that improve the Grand River and its fishery.

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Organized fishing groups are not the only ones getting involved with fishing.

The OPP’s post-long-week­end report this year included charges against people fishing out of season or who did not leave patches so the catch could be identified.

It is nice to see the OPP is becoming more interested in protecting our natural resour­ces.

And the report was not local. It came out of OPP headquarters in Orillia, and cited several comments by Commissioner Julian Fantino.

Good on everyone involv­ed.

Cops are getting involved in fishing in more ways than enforcing the laws. They are also working in the community. While cruising the OPP’s crime site, the Stray Caster came upon an item from Huron County, where children under 16 were getting ready for the Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days, hosted by mem­bers of the Huron OPP and the Falls Reserve Conservation Authority.

That event was on May 31, and police provided a lunch to all our participants and there were draws for prizes as well.

The Kids, Cops and Cana­dian Tire Fishing Days is part of a grassroots program to encourage youngsters to enjoy the benefits of recreational fishing supported by Fishing Forever – Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days, the Police Association of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, the Huron Fish and Game Conservation Association, Denis and Diane’s Food Basics (Goderich) and Falls Reserve Conservation Authority.

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Meanwhile, in another dir­ection from Wellington County, Ministry of Natural Resources Donna  Cansfield was joining a celebration for the one million Atlantic salmon stocked in Credit River.

Thanks to the efforts of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, the At­lan­tic salmon is making a come­back in Lake Ontario, after an absence of more than 100 years.

On May 28, the celebration and the stocking took place on the banks of the Credit River at the Belfountain Conservation Area.

Cansfield and Rae Horst, the Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Valley Con­ser­vation assisted in the release of salmon fry into the Credit River. 

The release of a million fish is a key milestone, made possi­ble through the support of the major sponsor, Australia’s Ban-rock Station Wines, which has committed $1.25-million to the project, their largest contribu­tion to any conservation project outside Australia.

More than 30 partners and sponsors took part. In addition to Banrock Station Wines, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Ang­lers and Hunters, Liquor Con­trol Board of Ontario, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Associa­tion, Fishing Forever Founda­tion, Fleming College, Trout Un­limited Canada, as well as conservation authorities, local community groups and private landowners are providing sup­port to the program.

The program is one of the largest freshwater conservation projects in North America. It includes fish production and stocking; habitat restoration and water quality enhance­ment.

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And, finally, for the kids who read these ramblings, some things found on the internet sent to the Stray Caster.

What do you call a fish with no eyes?  A f sh.

Two fish swim into a con­crete wall.  One turns to the other and says "dam."

Two fish are in a tank.  One says to the other, "I’ll  man the guns, you drive."

Tight lines until next week.