National Fishing and Boating Week: Captain’s Column (6.12.15)
By angelamontana

Posted: June 11, 2015

Fishing and boating go hand in hand. Whether your boat is non motorized or is powered there is a good chance that you have probably fished at one time or another out of your watercraft. I have even seen more and more folks fishing on lakes recently in a kayak. It appears to be a good way to get some exercise while you wet a line fishing. June is the month that fishing and boating is celebrated across America.

In fact we are right in the middle of National Fishing and Boating Week according to   It is a week designated to highlight the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing people’s’ quality of life and preserving our country’s natural beauty. It is also a time when most states offer free fishing days. Montana is one of those states, however the free fishing days this year in Montana are actually next weekend June 20-21to coincide with Fathers day weekend. Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time.

If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing, out on the water for the day. One question I am asked periodically by parents is where would I recommend that they take their kids fishing for the first time. Kids like to catch fish to keep their interest so the bodies of water that come to mind are ponds that are stock with fish. Frenchtown Pond and McCormick Park in Missoula are to places to try. Fishing from shore or a bank gives your child the opportunity to play in a nearby park or explore the area if they tire of fishing.

Many children have a short attention span when it comes to fishing for the first time so it is smart to give them the option of other activities at the same time. Beavertail Pond east of Missoula and Harpers Lake on your way to Seeley Lake just past Clearwater Junction are also two more bodies of water that might work for your first adventure. There are a few landowners that have ponds on their property that they stock every year with trout.

These private ponds are always a great way to get the kids excited about catching fish. Most of these landowners would love to help introduce your child to the sport of fishing, all you need to do is ask. Fishing equipment for a beginner can be very simple and inexpensive. Rod and reel combos can be purchased for as little as $19.99 and most sporting good stores have a beginner selection of fishing tackle that is also reasonably priced. If your child wants to get into fly-fishing then beginner fly rod and reel combos can be purchased for as little as $79.99.

As I mention earlier, boating is also a great way to spend time with the family, whether you are fishing or enjoying other water sports. In fact according to the website- Boating is ranked as one of the top 3 of all stress-relieving activities, 90% of Americans live within an hour of navigable water, and a portion the funds from your fishing licenses and boat registrations go towards the conservation of our natural aquatic areas.  

So with also this hoopla about free fishing and the benefits of boating this month I think it is time to quit wishing and go fishing!

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