Thursday, April 18, 2013


    As a kid, I was particularly fond of frogs, turtles, insects—most anything that crawled, hopped, or tread in the out-of-doors.  

Now, while it’s still up for debate as to how “normal” I am, it seems I was a typical candidate for a lifetime as a dedicated fisherman.  Luckily, my father took the vital steps in insuring my future as such.  These are the kinds of people that are critical to the continuation of the sport we love.

    Annually, in an organized effort to introduce youth to fishing and the life lessons that are entailed, DGIF and other independent organizations host fishing days tailored to that purpose.  Whether it’s a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandkid, neighbor, student, or church member, any kid can benefit; and it is our job to help them to.  Here are a few dates to jot down on your calendar in the upcoming season.

April 20-21—13th Annual Va. Fly Fishing Festival

    The Virginia Fly Fishing Festival, held each spring on the banks of the South River in Waynesboro, has enough going on to get anyone excited about fishing.  Listen in on seminars by area experts, observe wildlife artists at work, learn to outfit and paddle a kayak for fishing,  watch casting demonstrations by Lefty Kreh, or take a fly-tying or casting class taught by Bob Clouser or Ed Jaworowski.  The Festival attracts countless vendors, and offers great atmosphere with live music, carnival food, and friendly people!

    A trout pool provides fun for youngsters, who will assist in releasing their catches into the neighboring South River.  The joint wine tasting festival offers relaxation for older attendees.

    Admission is $20 for a single day and $35 for a weekend pass, which covers all festival-related activities, including the wine tasting option for those 21 and older.  All kids 16 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.  Half of the proceeds from the event are forwarded to the Shenandoah Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited for Conservation efforts.  So come out, have fun, bring a kid, support a good cause, and wet a line in the South River!
    For more info, go to, or call (703) 402-8338.

April 27—19th Annual Mint Springs Kids Trout Fishing Day

There's no denying that a tug on the
line is crucial to interesting a kid to
fishing, and these events are great
first experiences!
    Located in scenic Crozet, a kids’ trout fishing day will be hosted by the Albemarle County Department of Parks and Rec, DGIF, Trout Unlimited, and the Kingfishers organization from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Mint Springs Park.  All kids ages 12 and under are invited to attend, and are not required to have a license.

    Participants are advised to bring their own bait and tackle, though supplies will be sold on the day of the event.

    Trout will be stocked in the two ponds on site to be caught by the youth, with the hope of promoting awareness towards cold-water fisheries conservation and involvement in the sport of fishing.

    For more information, call (434) 296-5844.

May 4—Kids’ Fishing Derby at Gypsy Hill Park

    The Staunton Department of Parks and Rec invites kids of all ages to wet a line in Lake Tams at Gypsy Hill Park on Saturday May 4th.  Historically, the lake has been stocked with rainbow trout and posted several days in advance, prohibiting fishing until the horn is blown to start the derby on Saturday.  Registration begins at 7:30.

    Prizes are awarded in numerous categories—biggest fish, smallest fish, most fish, etc.--and each participant will receive a hot dog lunch, a drink, and a goody bag.

    Kids 4-15 are not required to have a license.
    For more information, call 540-332-3945

May 11—Fly Fishers of Virginia Youth Event

    On May 11th, the Fly Fishers ofVirginia will again hold their Brotherhood of the Junglecock Campfire at Camp Brady Saunders in Goochland.  The FFV’s program includes informational sessions on fly tying, fly casting, fly fishing, spin fishing, bait fishing, lure identification, knot tying, and even a class on environmental 

    The event runs from 7:00 AM till dark, and is concluded by a served dinner and announcement of raffle prizes.  Every kid will win!

    This is a great event to get a child involved with.  For more information about attending, call (804) 262-3788.

    I was fortunate enough to have a father willing and eager to pass on the fishing bug, and I am deeply indebted to him for that, but not all are so lucky.  Even if you have no kids of your own, or they are grown, find someone willing to tag along and invest a day in their future.  It’s the only way to ensure the continuation of our sport.

Send Us Your Pics!

    Have kids fishing pictures?  We are always interested in seeing, and maybe featuring, them!  Send them along via the Contact Page, or by posting to the Facebook page!

Originally published in the Rural Virginian

1 comment :

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