Fish Guy is floating for cash for kids

Les Rutledge, better known to kids in Western Montana as “The Fish Guy,” will be floating an area river for cash later this month.

Rutledge and his volunteers conduct classes throughout the year in participating area schools teaching kids in the fourth and fifth grades about fishing and the environment that sourrounds them.

Many businesses around Western Montana benefit when a kid takes up fishing — both directly and indirectly. Yes, they spend money or maybe their parents do to participate in the sport, but more importantly it keeps them focused and helps keep them out of mischief.

Rutledge and Bob Culp will be soliciting businesses for a cash donation in the next few days, so please help them out with whatever you can. You can contact Rutledge at fishguy@bigsky.net or you can call 626-5755.

Since we are on the subject of kids, Gordon Holland from Hooked on Fishing International (HOFI) e-mailed me some tips on taking your kids fishing. You might call it a do’s and don’ts list to fishing fun with your child.

These are things that HOFI tells its volunteers at clinics throughout the country. They’re well worth passing along:

-Use live bait to increase the chances of catching fish. while catching a fish isn’t the end all to fishing it certainly gets the attention of the youngster so he or she will want to come back for more. Holland suggests the adults handle the worms on the sharp hooks.

-Don’t ever forget to bring lots of delicious snacks. Keep wet wipes on hand for use before and after snacks.

-Make sure you give the little angler their own outfit. It gets them to take ownership and remember short rods for short people work better.

-Bring a camera for lots of pictures. The first day fishing will live in the memory for along time, but the details will come flooding back even a generation later when you haul out the family photo album.

-Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and first aid basics.

-Try and go to a fishing hole close so you don’t have to drive to far. Try to eliminate “Are here yet”?

-Don’t fish to long, Try to leave a little fishing desirein the memory bank for the next fishing trip.

-Remember to be patient and that you are out to make your little anglers day a special one. Have fun and keep it simple.

FISHING REGULATIONS: The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will be meeting today in Helena in the first stage of putting together new fishing regulations for the state.

The commission will be establishing what is called the “tentative regulations” which are the proposals that anglers will be able to comment on before the final regulations are set.

In recent years, the fishing regulations covered a two-year span. This time, the commission will be setting regulations for the next four years – the 2004-2007 time span.

It will be well worth your while to check out the tentatives and make your feelings known on them after the tentatives are set. With the new regulations due to cover four years, you’ll have to live – and fish – with the results for a long time.