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Fishing the North: Helena Free Fishing Week

Last week was National Fishing Week, which allowed anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to enjoy our great outdoors and fishing for free.
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Last week was National Fishing Week which allowed anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to enjoy our Great Outdoors and Fishing for free.
 
This year, for the second year, I had the privilege of being an Ambassador for the National Fishing Week which entitled me to give out some Cherywood HD rods that came with pre spooled reels with eight-pound Triline XL combos, courtesy of  Berkley.
 
The highlight of the week came when I contacted a young Lady name Helena Fortin.
 
Over the spring and early summer, I saw Helena's fishing posts on Facebook about her fishing with her nephews and boyfriend Kyle Dickson.
 
After contacting Helena, she agreed to meet me with her nephews at the docks on the Mattagami River in Timmins, next to the boat launch this past Sunday.
 
To her nephews' surprise, I handed them each a Berkley Cherrywood rod and reel combo.
 
If you haven't had the opportunity to fish with kids, let me tell you, you don't know what you're missing till you do.
 
During the day I got to learn more about how Helena got into fishing and why she brought her nephews with her and at times when Kyle was able to accompany them. 
 
I asked her if she would like to appear in my column and if I could email her some questions for the article.
 
Here are the questions and her replies to them:
 
How old were you when you started fishing and who played a key role in introducing you to the sport?
 
I fished occasionally as a child but didn't have much of an opportunity but always really enjoyed it. I only started seriously in the spring of 2016. I was 35-years-old. I decided to find a healthy hobby and I thought what's better than fishing. I received a few things on my birthday and went out and bought more and started fishing. I learned a few things from friends but mostly thought myself from reading and trial and error. 
 
What was it that drew you into fishing as a youth and now?
 
I love the outdoors and anything to do outdoors so fishing seemed right for me. I can be very impatient but fishing has changed that for me. It has taught me patience. It is while I fish that I find peace and serenity. I do my best thinking when I'm fishing all while enjoying the thrill of fishing. I enjoy anticipating the first bite and the thrill of hooking and reeling in my catch. Eating my catch is great too! 
 
How old were they when you first took brought them with you.
 
I started fishing with Vincent the first summer I started. He was 9, now 10. We mostly did kayak fishing. Fishing for perch, sunfish and small catfish. Combining both sports that we both love. As for the younger one, Julien, 4, I only started fishing with him this summer but look forward to do it more with him as he gets older. I see natural talent and dedication in him. 
 
What were some of the reasons you decided to take them fishing with you.
 
I mostly take Vincent, my godson, fishing with me to get him out in the outdoors and because he truly enjoys fishing like me. I believe it's important for children to have positive role models in their lives and that's what I aspire to be for them. Teaching them how to fish and letting them develop their skills by practicing is a great way to develop their self esteem. I love spending time with them and fishing is a way that we get to do that. 
 
What would you say to someone that was thinking of starting fishing with their children, nieces and nephews.
 
Fishing is a great bonding experience to do with children. It's a great way to get to know each other and have some important conversations, this is when I get to know my nephew Vincent and what drives him. Showing the child patience and support all while learning to fish is something I believe in. Important life skills are to be learned out in the nature. 
 
What are some of the benefits you have received from fishing. (example relaxation, family time, shared memories with loved ones, etc.)
 
While fishing, I forget about life stresses and responsibilities. This is when I clear my mind of all negativity and focus on myself and my rod. I find peace and serenity while fishing. When I started fishing I needed to make changes in my life and fishing did just that for me. It allowed me to develop some self esteem and patience. I've created some lasting memories while fishing, especially with Vincent. Our relationship is very special to me and fishing has a lot to do with that. 
 
I think Helena would agree with me that you don't need to wait for National Fishing Week to come each year to go fishing with your child. children, nephews, nieces or parents.
 
If you don't have a boat, no problem, grab some worms, leeches or minnows and head to a lake you'd like to fish and enjoy your time with them.
 
It won't take you long to figure out the best places to fish on our favourite lakes, rivers, streams or reservoirs and what time of year that your spots produce the best fishing for you.
 
I hope this article has inspired you to get out fishing and start building memories with loved ones.
 
I'd like to thank Helena, Kyle, Vincent and Julien for the Amazing day I had with them and for the memory I'll cherish for years to come.
 
A little reminder that the Lund Angler Young Angler Tournament hosted by Guiho Saw Sales and Marine Ltd. will be held this Saturday at the Cache Campground on beautiful Kenogamissi Sea. Hope to see you there.
 
Whether you're an angler or hunter; a camp, lodge, resort owner; or just holding an outdoor event and would like some exposure, please feel free to email us at bungee001@gmail.com


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