Free fishing at Morgan Lake

By Josh Benham, The Observer June 13, 2014 10:44 am

Expect a lot of excited chatter out on Morgan Lake this afternoon.

 

The La Grande Grande Ronde Child Center is putting on its third annual free fishing event Friday at Morgan Lake. Its a joint project with the Grande Ronde Fly Fishers club to teach kids at the center the basics of fly fishing.

“We’re always looking for different community projects,” Jim Mollerstrom, executive director of the child center and also a member of the club, said. “There’s nothing better than showing kids how to fish.”

 

 

Friday’s are usually reserved at the child center for outdoor excursions, so it seemed like a no-brainer for Mollerstrom to join up with his fishing club to start this three years ago. The club will bring all the hooks, rods and fly-tying tables. All the kids have to is show up with a sack lunch and be willing to learn.

 

“A lot of our guys are very experienced with tying a tie, so we’ll show them how to do that, tie a quick pattern, that sort of thing, to give them a hand-on lesson,” Mollerstrom said. “Then with the staff we’ll take them out on Morgan Lake on our drift boats and let them try to catch a fish.”

 

The kids will break into small groups and get instructions from club members. Everyone gets to keep the tie they use, so Mollerstrom hopes that will be the beginning of increased interest from the children in fly fishing.

 

“It helps the center with getting them active and it exposes the kids to fishing,” he said. “Even though they leave here, some of the kids haven’t been to Morgan Lake ever, and if they have, they usually don’t have access to a boat. It’s pretty cool for 6- or 7-year-olds to be out on a boat.”

 

Having done this the previous two summers, Mollerstrom expects some young enthusiastic youngsters.

 

“They think it’s kind of cool to be with all of your friend out there,” he said. “They like to see who got the most bites, ‘I think mine was a big one’, ‘Hey, Billy, look at what I caught’. As club members its neat that we get to show kids secret hints. Hopefully then they can encourage their family to take them out, and they’ll come back with a little knowledge.”