Plan ahead: Maine Free Family Fishing Festival

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Fishing for a good family getaway? Angling for a deal? The Maine Free Family Fishing Festival, June 5, in Bethel is just the ticket. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited is hosting this free event at Angevine Park on the North Road, from 9 a.m .to 2 p.m, rain or shine. The weekend of June 5 and 6 is a free fishing weekend in Maine: Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day

Maine Free Family Fishing Festival itinerary includes:

free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction taught by local Maine guides and members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents.

free use of rods and reels, courtesy of Maine’s Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program.

• opportunity to practice newly learned casting skills in a one-acre pond, stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and a take home your catch.

In addition, there are a slew of kid- and family-friendly activities:

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 local outfitters and fly shops. Children will be able to take home their hand-tied flies.

• families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses as well as L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post.

And, of course, food: The Bethel Fire Dept. will host a barbecue of hotdogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks and families are welcome to bring a pack lunch.

Need lodging: 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.

Note: The Family Fishing Festival is one many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The events are promoted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.