Casting room: Pasadena students ditch pencils for fly-fishing rods


Terry Byrne of Tight Loops outfitting company Tight Lines teaches Pasadena elementary students a knot to connect a line to a hook or fly. (Troy Turner/CBC)

Anglers were positioned, casting rods with precision and grace.

They dropped their lines in the desired targets and were patient.

But there were no salmon on the grounds of Pasadena Elementary School in western Newfoundland this week. Instead, the fishermen, all young children, were learning the skills needed for one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s favorite summer pastimes.

Kastine Coleman and Terry Byrne of Newfoundland fly fishing outfitter Tight Loops Tight Lines spent two days with the students teaching them the basics.

“We were practicing how to fish and how to hold fish and seeing different types of flies that you can catch fish with,” said Micah Ball, a Grade 1 student.

Kastine Coleman, left, of Tight Loops Tight Lines, teaches Daisy MacInnis the intricacies of casting a fly rod. (Troy Turner/CBC)

“If you have one of these rods, you pull out a bit of line and hold it up to your ear, like it’s a telephone, and you say ‘hello’ and then you say ‘this is for you’ and you hold the fishing rod and throw it.”

While this isn’t Micah’s first time holding a rod, he said he learned a lot about proper technique and how to hold a fish, and some skills he takes with him to the end. next river or pond.

“I would say it’s going to work out well,” he said. “I just like to fish because sometimes it’s calm and fun.”

Grade 1 student Micah Ball likes to fish because sometimes it’s quiet and fun. (Troy Turner/CBC)

Her classmate Charlotte Foley was impressed with the lessons learned. She said she can’t wait to try out her new skills the next time she goes fishing.

“I was on my pop’s boat and we were fishing and it was my turn to fish and I cast it and I felt a pull and I brought it back and it was a really big fish” , she said.

The idea for outdoor learning came after Grade 1 student Evelyn Wight won a youth fly-tying competition. Principal Jim Pink saw a post about the win on social media and noticed Tight Loops Tight Lines reacted to it. He decided to call them.

“Whenever we have the opportunity for our children to learn outside of the school curriculum, outside of the classroom, whether it’s in our backyard, on our trails, building things and doing things like snowshoeing and having an opportunity like this, where we learn about the ecosystem, the rivers and the salmon and how important it is to protect them and be responsible, it goes way beyond of the program,” he said.

Charlotte Foley can’t wait to take her new schools on her next fishing trip. (Troy Turner/CBC)

“They love it. They’re very well behaved and they’re very excited, especially to use the fly rods and see if they can cast a line and so on, but they’re really enjoying it and having a great time. is a great achievement.”

Pink is an avid fisherman himself, having been taught by his father when he was young, so he helped out with the lessons.

Pasadena Elementary principal Jim Pink came up with the idea for a social media post. (Troy Turner/CBC)

“When you come to Pasadena and you see that it’s a very outdoor community and we’re surrounded by all these beautiful rivers, and we have a lot of outfitters around, so it’s just an opportunity to spread it to our children and keep it going, he said

“A lot of them will come home and talk to their parents about it and I know a lot of them are already fishing anyway, so it’s just to expand on what they’ve been doing a bit more.”

In addition to gear and education, Tight Loops Tight Lines is also featured on a Sportsman Canada TV show. They begin filming their second season next month.

Learn more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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