Family fishing is focus of festival

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BETHEL – The Bethel Chamber of Commerce, in co-operation with Trout Unlimited, will host a free family fishing festival on Saturday, June 3, along the banks of the Androscoggin River at the BIG Adventure Center and Bethel Outdoor Adventures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free casting workshops are planned for the morning. Members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited will teach the workshops. Instruction will follow the curriculum developed by Trout Unlimited’s “First Cast” program for kids. Instruction will include spin casting and fly casting.

A “Kids Catch” to practice newly learned, casting skills is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Big Adventure Covered Bridge Pond. The event will help to teach the catch and release’ ethic. Each youngster will receive a pocketsize tackle box with hooks, bobbers and sinkers courtesy of the Hooked on Fishing Program.

In the afternoon, kids will learn how to tie flies. Materials will be provided by Trout Unlimited and will include alpaca fibers. The breeders from Sunday River Alpacs will show their yearling alpacas at the event. Every child will be able to take home a hand-tied fly.

Exhibitors include the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with a mobile unit information booth, the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program; and the Maine Conservation School of Bryant Pond, a camp facility for juniors and adult offering programs in Maine’s traditional outdoor activities.

Families are welcome to bring a pack lunch. An outdoor barbecue and cold drinks will be available at the festival. All parents and kids registering will be eligible for prizes from local outfitters and businesses.

The weekend of June 3 and 4 is a free fishing weekend in Maine. Resident and non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived. June 3 is the first day of National Fishing and Boating Week, a program of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

For more information, contact the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-442-5826 or on line at www.bethelmaine.com.

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