How did you get into ice fishing? Has it been something you have loved since you were a youngster? Or maybe you just got into it as an adult and wished you were into it as a kid? Regardless of how old you were when you started, we can probably agree that learning ice fishing as a kid is the best time to start…and that goes with mostly everything. But, it just so happens that the Frenchtown Pond Ice Fishing Clinic, which is just outside of Missoula in Frenchtown and free to the public, is scheduled for Saturday, January 22nd! Join the community in getting kids involved with ice fishing!
Youth in the Outdoors includes a fantastic group of people that puts this event together every year, with the help of some other pretty amazing individuals and organizations. Steve French with Youth in the Outdoors purchases prizes and equipment for the kids who attend the clinic. Many volunteers look forward to clearing their own schedules to show up and guide the kids by teaching them proper ice fishing skills. One example of those volunteers is Mike Violette, an avid ice angler, a long-time volunteer at the clinic who looks forward to helping out every year. It’s an awesome collection of people from
An awesome bonus is that there is hot chocolate and lunch provided by Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (MTSFW). They donate all of the hot chocolate, hotdogs, the buns, the chili, the cheese, the bags of chips, cookies, bottled water and the condiments–not to mention the bowls, napkins, utensils and cups. They feed anybody who gets in line for lunch or for hot chocolate, as other volunteers, Youth in the Outdoors members, parents, guardians and guests get hungry, too! The last time MTSFW provided the food, they gave out approximately 250 hot dogs! That’s pretty awesome. It’s a wonderful thing to have sportsmen organizations in Montana supporting youth events such as this. In case somebody is feeling lucky, they will also be selling raffle tickets to win a 2021 Polaris Ranger 570, and the winner will be drawn and announced at their upcoming Annual Pig Roast Fundraiser on Saturday, April 23rd at 2:00PM at the Sanders County Fairgrounds in Plains. Having such incredible community support and for all they do representing sportsmen in the state, it is worth it to become a member. You can conveniently join their membership online at www.mt-sfw.org.
Here is a video by Team Hippie Fish that highlights last year’s Kid’s Ice Fishing Clinic:
One thing to remember about this particular event is that it is free to the community because of the volunteers and organizations that donate time and supplies, prizes, etc. to encourage the kids involved to learn about ice fishing. Even if it is just a $5.00 bill, your donation is a generous thank you that offsets the cost of this event. Every penny really does count. Just to be clear, I am not speaking on behalf of anybody or any organization involved in the event, but I am betting it would be a nice gesture for all involved. You can also Venmo donations to @missoulafish or mail donations via check or money order directly to Youth in the Outdoors, 930 S Hole in the Wall Rd, Bonner, MT 59823.
Here are ways you can help out with this event and other events like this:
- Bring as many kids as you can to take advantage of this awesome learning opportunity!
- Leave a few bucks in the donation container
- Mail a donation
- Become a member of the organizations involved
- Donate items
So, clear your and your youngin’s schedules on the morning of Saturday, January 22nd from about 9am – 1pm, and let’s show these kiddos how fun ice fishing is!