Free family fishing festival

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troutforpleasantrivermotel290It’s spring, and the fish are biting. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited are hoping to hook families on fishing with a free Family Fishing Festival on Saturday, May 30.

The festival will be held at the Grand Summit Hotel Pond at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, from 9 am to 2 pm, rain or shine.

For those new to the sport, free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction will be available throughout the day. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents.

No need to bring equipment, Maine’s Hooked on Fishing—Not on Drugs Program will supply complimentary rods and reels for festival use.

Get this: the Grand Summit Pond will be stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and participants can take home any catches.

There’s even swag: Each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance. Kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by Trout Unlimited and fibers from Sunday River Alpacas. Families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses.

Of course, food, too: an outdoor barbecue will feed tired anglers.

Can’t make it to Bethel? The weekend of May 30-31 is a free fishing weekend throughout Maine. Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day.

For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments. Check with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.