June 5 in Bethel: Free family fishing event

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The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited will host a free family fishing festival on Saturday, June 5. The festival will be held at Angevine Park on the North Road in Bethel, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. Free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction will be available throughout the day.

Local Maine guides and members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited will teach the workshops. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents. Maine’s Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program will supply complimentary rods and reels for use at the festival.

Families can practice newly learned casting skills in the one-acre pond and are welcome to take home their catch. The pond will be stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.

Kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by local outfitters and fly shops. Children will be able to take home their hand-tied flies.

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Families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses as well as L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post. The Bethel Fire Dept. will host a barbecue of hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks and families are welcome to bring a pack lunch.

The weekend of June 5 and 6 is a free fishing weekend in Maine. Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day.

The Family Fishing Festival is one of many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The events are promoted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation www.rbff.org. For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments.

For information on the Family Fishing Festival, contact the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance at 824-3694, fish@upperandro.org or www.upperandro.org

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