Fishing Mentors

Posted at: 03/20/2013 8:15 PM
Updated at: 03/21/2013 11:05 AM
By: Laura Kennedy

If you want to be a river fisherman, you need to learn the basics.

The Lake Superior Steelhead Association started a mentoring program three years ago. Board member Gary Siverson says the goal is to share their passion for fishing with the next generation.

"If you go on the rivers in the spring, you see a lot of old guys like me but you don't see very many young guys," Siverson said. "We perceive that as a problem."

The group will hit the rivers in a couple of weeks, but first young fishing enthusiasts like Natalie Daly had to pick up some necessary skills.

"We first learned how to stick the reel on the fishing rod and then we set up the hook and the sinker and we made spawn bags," Daly said.

Minnesota conservation officer Kipp Duncan wants to see Northlanders out enjoying the North Shore fishery. You don't need a boat or expensive equipment to cast a line in the river.

"They come down and cast right from shore. They can do it in tennis shoes or they can do it in waders, either or," Duncan said. "It's fun and it's easy access. It's not easy fishing but it's easy access."

This mentoring program caught Natalie's interest. She plans to go fishing this summer.

"I've never had one before, a fishing rod," she said. "So now that I have all this new equipment I can go fishing. "

A fun learning experience for the kids, and the folks from the Steelhead Association find themselves having a good time too.

"We have no problem getting volunteers from the grizzliest old steelhead fishermen down," Siverson said. "They'll jump at the chance to teach these kids. The kids really enjoy it and hopefully we'll see them on the river in the future."