KARL YU/THE NEWS BULLETIN Mike Lawrence, left, and Wayne Pealo will teach fishing workshops and courses through the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department. The two say fishing is a great activity both for outdoor recreation and for fitness.

ACTIVE LIFE: Go fish, suggests Nanaimo parks and rec

Fly fishing and other courses are available through city programming

If you seek outdoor recreation opportunities, the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department is telling you to go fish.

The city has a number of offerings and according to Mike Lawrence and Wayne Pealo, fishing course instructors, it is an appealing sport for all ages. Both say it is an activity families can take part in and a way to keep fit.

“There are a lot of local lakes that they stock that are easy access to get to, but some of the best fishing is in the lakes that you can’t actually easily access,” said Lawrence. “So you’re hiking in there, you’re packing your gear in with you … you usually pack a lunch and your water so you’re packing an extra 30-40 pounds with you each time you go out to these different remote areas, so it’s definitely fitness to get out to the good spots.”

“It also has the biomechanics, whether you’re using a spinning rod and you’re casting this way or if it’s a fly rod, so it helps with some of your muscular development and it keeps your joints a little bit looser, you get a little bit of stretching out of that. You build strength through it. It’s an all-inclusive type of activity,” said Pealo.

There will be a fishing rod-building workshop which takes place at Beban Park social centre April 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a fly-tying workshop, also at the social centre, from 1-3 p.m. on May 5 and 6.

Free Learn to Fish classes go May 27, June 24 and July 15 between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Loudon Park at Long Lake with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. Classes will also run 1-3 p.m. May 13, June 3 and June 10 at Colliery Dam Park and July 29 and Aug. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the jetty at Westwood Lake.

Another course will introduce Tenkara, or Japanese fly-fishing, to participants. Courses take place today, April 10 (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday, April 14 (9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) at Bowen Park.

“We have rods and so everybody’s going to have a rod, very basic type rod and they’re going to learn how to set their rod up, the type of equipment they’re going to need. We are going to do fly-tying,” said Pealo.

A family fishing day takes place June 17 (Father’s Day) at Lower Colliery Dam Park.

For more information, including the price of the different courses, call 250-756-5200.


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