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Youth fly fishing clinic being held June 8

by LAUREN REICHENBACH
Staff Writer | May 28, 2024 1:00 AM

SAGLE — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s third annual youth fly fishing clinic will happen on the opening day of the Waterlife Discovery Center this year.

On Saturday, June 8, 20 local kids from seventh through 12th grade will get the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing.

“No prior fishing experience is needed, just a true interest in learning the skill of fly fishing,” Debbie Crain, Idaho Master Naturalists’ Pend Oreille Chapter vice president, said. 

This is an educational event for youth that will also highlight the history and current operations of the Sandpoint Fish Hatchery. The children will also receive tours and presentations on the Waterlife Discovery Center, presentations on trout conservation and identification, fly-tying and more.

The hands-on fly fishing instructional clinic will include casting and proper catch and release techniques. There will be a special prize drawing for clinic participants at the end of the day.

Kids registered for the fly fishing clinic should wear appropriate seasonal clothing and footwear, and bring protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or sunglasses. All fishing equipment will be provided by clinic instructors.

“Their clothes shouldn't get wet, unless it rains or they fall into the pond,” Crain said. “Hopefully neither will happen.”

This event marks the summer season opening of the Waterlife Discovery Center, 1591 Lakeshore Drive in Sagle, located on the grounds of the IDFG Sandpoint Fish Hatchery. 

Check in is from 8:30 to 9 a.m. The clinic is expected to end roughly around noon, but may run a bit later. The online registration fee is $9.75, with proceeds going to the IDFG Aquatic Education Program.

Out of 20 available spots, only six are remaining. A wait list will be created if more than 20 individuals sign up for the clinic.

This event is hosted by the Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalists, in partnership with IDFG. Co-sponsors are Panhandle Chapter Trout Unlimited, House of Fly at North 40, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Trout Unlimited has conducted these clinics with the Clark Fork Junior and High school youth in previous years,” said Laura Forsberg from the Master Naturalists. “The clinic sessions conclude with youth fly fishing along the shoreline of the pond at the Waterlife Discovery Center.”

Visit bit.ly/450LZrP to register a child. Email Laura Forsberg at lbayless12@aol.com or the Master Naturalists imn.sandpoint@gmail.com with any questions.