Soliders in town to fly fish

On Oct. 2, nine ill or injured Canadian soldiers will be coming to Pelham to learn fly fishing as part of their rehabilitation. With the support of Soldier On, a Canadian Forces organization dedicated to providing restorative experiences to these soldiers, the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited and volunteers will provide full day’s introduction to fly fishing. The day will feature casting instruction and practice in a local bass pond and fly tying demonstrations and instruction.

The Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) hosted 14 injured soldiers in August 2013 at a similar event and the feedback was so positive that the Chapter was asked to repeat the experience. The calm and quiet nature of fly fishing is often thought to be therapeutic and is used as a recovery strategy by groups as diverse as cancer survivors to PTSD sufferers. Fly tying requires concentration and fine motor skills and, with practice, can become a relaxing hobby in itself.

The day will involve volunteers from the Niagara Chapter of TUC and volunteers from other cold water conservation and Ontario fly fishing organizations. The day is generously supported by Grindstone Angling of Waterdown, whose owner, John Valk, will supply equipment and lead the casting instruction, by Calamus Estate Winery who have donated use of their facility for dinner and fly tying and by John Howard of Megalomaniac Winery who will provide a wine tasting opportunity at his winery.

The soldiers will arrive at 10am at the bass ponds of Doug Leavens off Sixteen Road in Pelham. Casting and tying instruction and practice will take place at the pond until lunch and continue following lunch until 3pm. The soldiers will then be treated to a wine tasting at Megalomaniac and then on to Calamus Estate Winery for fly tying instruction and a social evening featuring dinner from August restaurant of Beamsville.

Trout Unlimited Canada conserves, protects and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their cold water resources for current and future generations. Our work includes stream restoration, scientific research and education. We have a small core group of highly trained staff and a network of volunteers across Canada operating through Trout Unlimited Canada chapters.

Soldier On was founded in 2006 to empower retired and serving members of the Canadian Forces with an illness or injury (visible or non-­‐visible) to accept their new normal by adopting an active lifestyle through participation in physical, recreational, or sporting activities like fly fishing. This reintroduction to an active lifestyle helps them to develop new skills, build confidence in their abilities, and realize their full potential. Many ill and injured members credit Soldier On with helping them to overcome their challenges and open doors to other life opportunities.

For further information and exact locations, please contact Dennis Edell, President of the Niagara Chapter of TUC at 416 918-4448 or [email protected].

More information about the Niagara Chapter of TUC may be found on their website at

About the Author

The Voice of Pelham
Pelham's independent news source from the heart of Niagara.