July 10-12 was the second Ontario Family Fishing Weekend of 2009. During family fishing weekend, Canadian residents can fish in Ontario waters without a license. Several Canadian provinces and US states have one or two of these free fishing weekends each year with the goal to encourage non-fishers to try and hopefully adopt the sport.
From a family perspective the emphasis is usually on encouraging younger kids to get out fishing with the parents. This weekend I had the opportunity to take my kid fishing but he has actually moved into adulthood. I picked up fly fishing when he was just entering his teen years and at the time it wasn’t of much interest to him. This has changed recently and so the free fishing weekend provided an opportunity for him to pick up the fly rod for a bit.
We picked a local spot where I knew it was possible for us to wet wade in relative comfort so as to keep the equipment requirements to a minimum. The choice was a spot on the Rideau River pretty much in the centre of Ottawa where I had fished before and had success with some decent sized smallmouth bass.
While Matt has handled a fly rod a few times before, it had been a while since the last time. However he picked it up quickly and after a bit of searching we managed to locate some cooperative bass. They weren’t large but that really wasn’t the point. It was a lot of fun to be out with my adult son sharing something I enjoy with him and seeing him have a good time doing it. Perhaps it is time to graduate from the free weekends to a more regular partnership.