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Fly-fishing tree helps kids

Peter Crnogorac
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 13/06) - There was a new catch to the Festival of Trees this year and it wasn't a sinker.

A tree decorated with fly-fishing accessories was raffled off last weekend, with the proceeds being split between the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation and a Northern youth fly-fishing program that teaches kids more than how to cast.

Seventy-five per cent of the money will go to the hospital foundation and the other 25 per cent will go to the Fly Kid Foundation.

"The Fly Kid Foundation is a non-profit organization that encourages and teaches conservation, environmental awareness and fly-fishing to northern youth," said Doug Niven of Trout Canada Unlimited.

"Fly-fishing is a way of thinking; a way of life, and it will help kids to focus," he added.

The tree, which was on display at City Hall, was organized by the Fly Kid Foundation, Trout Unlimited Canada and the NWT Fly-Fishing team.

Other prizes that were part of the fly tree auction included an Arctic grayling print, an afternoon cruise and barbecue with Mayor Gord Van Tighem on Great Slave Lake, a fly-fishing rod and reel and a special Trout Unlimited Canada membership.

The Fly Kid Foundation will use most of its share of the money raised to help a youth under 18 compete in the national fly-fishing competitions.

Mac Stark, coach of the NWT Fly-Fishing team, said that next year's championship is in Grande Prairie, Alta. In the past it has been held in Quebec, Manitoba, B.C. and Ontario.

"An individual has to pay their own way, which can be expensive," he said

Stark said the goal of the foundation is to someday send a Northern youth to the World Youth Fly-Fishing Championships.

"That is the eventual goal, but for now we are looking at the nationals," he said.

The result of the auction was not known by press time.