The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited will host a free family fishing festival on Saturday, June 2 in Bethel, Maine. The festival will be held along the banks of the Androscoggin River at the BIG Adventure Center from 9 am to 4 pm.
Free casting workshops are set 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 both spin casting and fly casting. Maine's Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program will supply rods and reels for use at the festival.
A "Kids Catch" to practice newly learned, casting skills is scheduled from 11 am to 2 pm at the Big Adventure Covered Bridge Pond. The event will help to teach the 'catch and release' ethic important to preserving Maine's fishing resource.
In the afternoon, kids will learn how to tie flies. Materials will be provided by TU and will include alpaca fibers. The breeders from Sunday River Alpacas 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 adults 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 for the event will be eligible for prizes from local outfitters and businesses.
The weekend of June 2 and 3 is a free fishing weekend in Maine. Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day. June 2 is the first day of National Fishing & Boating Week, a program of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. RBFF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need for protecting, conserving and restoring the nation's aquatic and natural resources. The Bethel Family Fishing Festival is one many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The festival welcomes three-generation and single parent families.
For information contact the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance at 1-877-275-3363 or on line at www.upperandro.com. 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.
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