Excitment and plenty of good fishing was the order of the day at the annual Take Me Fishing event held yesterday.
“Participation has been really good,” said North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Spike Gouge as he rigged up a pole for a young participant. He said that earlier some 400 channel catfish had been stocked in the Tumbling Rock Reservoir at Westwood Park for the event Saturday.
“Events like this are an ongoing program for the Commission,” explained Gouge. He said participants in Take Me Fishing ranged from just a few first timers to more experienced anglers. Participants received a goodie bag from Gouge that contained items including a youth fishing tackle box with equipment, a fish identification guide and bumper stickers.
“We are hopeful events like this will get people interested in fishing and in the outdoors in general,” added Gouge. He said that he has seen a decline in interest in fishing.
Mount Airy Women’s League Spokesperson Lisa Goodin spoke highly of the interest children showed.
“It’s so cool how they get so excited,” said Goodin. “This gives them encouragement to catch something. The are supposed to come to us to get a free raffle ticket but they are more excited about the fish than getting a ticket.”
She quickly noted how members of the Wheeling Sportsmen’s group had earlier caught their limit of catfish. Wheeling Sportsmen is for disabled sportsmen and is affiliated with The National Wild Turkey Federation. Goodin said she has been excited about the way local businesses stepped forward to supply 88 items ranging from coupons to socket wrenches for the group to raffle off.
“Almost everyone in town has helped us,” said Goodin. She said that all proceeds from the event go toward the group’s community scholarship programs and other projects including beautification efforts, literacy programs, The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, Operation Smile and the Mount Airy Library.
“Every penny goes back to the community,” commented Goodin. She said that initially some did not see the connection between a women’s group and fishing but she feels this goes together with the Women’s League because women can make the event fun.
The Women’s League will host the Mount Airy Fly Fishing Expo on Saturday Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Riverside Park. The event’s admission is free and will feature artists, vendors, exhibitors and conservation education programs. Participants can also learn fly tying and rod building as well as watching casting demonstrations.
The Expo is a being staged in cooperation with the NC Wildlife Federation, The National Wild Turkey Federation, Wheeling Sportsman, Trout Unlimited, Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.