Carihi students make up half of National Youth Fly Fishing Team

Rochelle Helstrom, Luke Dirom, Finnley Goodlife, Seth Bisson and Walker Kitts named to national team

Carihi’s Rochelle Helstrom has been named to the Canadian Youth National Fly Fishing Team, along with four of her peers, after their performances at the National Championships in Maple Ridge. Photo submitted

Over the course of just two years, the fly fishing program at Carihi has gone from a small after-school club to two official, for-credit classes and a competitive team.

And now, after their recent performances at the national championship in Maple Ridge, members of that competitve team also make up half of the Canadian Youth National Fly Fishing Team.

“We showed up eager and excited,” says coach Nick Pisterzi. “Some of us were fairly confident in our skills, while some were maybe a little over-confident and were humbled by the end of the weekend, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fly fishing, as in life, it’s all about learning. When you take a passion like that and put a competitve twist to it, there’s always going to be winners and losers, and I’m trying to show the kids that you have to handle losing with grace and growth, asking yourself what you need to work on to improve, just like with anything in life. And the ones who win, I just ask that they win with humility and respect.

“As they say, it’s called fishing, not catching, after all. Everyone has good days and not so good days, and it’s important for them to remember that.”

The two day event, Pisterzi says, was a bit of a whirlwind. With two teams of participants spread over four venues, it was impossible to tell of how well everyone was doing as the tournament progressed.

“It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on in terms of scoring at these things,” Pisterzi says. “There are two different lake venues and two different spots on the river, so there are different controllers monitoring the numbers of fish being caught by each competitor, but there wasn’t really a centralized place to communicate all that. All that information was brought together at the end of the day, and they put it all together and tabulate the standings.”

At the end of day one, things looked promising, but anything could happen on day two. After all, it’s not called “catching,” remember.

“All our kids were doing pretty decently on the first day of the competition,” Pisterzi says, “but on the second day, some started scoring blanks (catching no fish during the alotted time) and some were just lighting it up on the river – particularly Rochelle (Helstrom), who has now been acclaimed the third best youth fly fisher in Canada.”

In the end, Carihi’s Luke Dirom, Finnley Goodlife, Seth Bisson and Walker Kitts all finished in the top-10 and were named to Team Canada alongside third-place finisher Helstrom.

RELATED: Carihi fly fishers earn invite to National Chapionship

RELATED: Carihi fly fishing class/club raising money for fellow Tyee with brain cancer

While Pisterzi was impressed with the kids’ fishing performances, he was even more proud of how they behaved off the water.

“They were excellent ambassadors for the school,” Pisterzi says. “I had a ton of coaches and parents come up and pull me aside and tell me they were a great group of students and how respectful they were. To hear that was really cool, because they are good kids and they put a lot of effort and dedication into this.”

In terms of what’s next for the kids, Pisterzi says, that’s kind of up to them.

“I feel like I’ve done my part in getting them to this level at the national stage and now my journey with them – well, it isn’t over, but it kind of ends in terms of the school’s involvement, and if they want to pursue it further, they’ll be in contact with the organization that will be putting on the competitions.”

Upcoming competitions they could be off to include one in Quebec, another in Bolivia and one in the Czech Republic, “so there are some really exciting opportunities for them to travel the world sharing the passion for fly fishing with people all over the globe.”



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP
RCMP know of witnesses to Oct. 15 attack; want them to come forward

Appeal made to their ‘sense of right and wrong’

BC ELECTION
Liberal and NDP leaders’ election tours swing through North Island

Wilkinson holds forestry rally and Horgan talks wild salmon

MARS Wildlife Hospital just got approval for a new ambassador bird. They are hoping the community will help come up with a name for the bird, currently known as Barred Owl 783. Here, Barred Owl 783 stretches their wings as they’re accompanied by MARS President Warren Warttig on Oct. 11, 2020. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror
Hoot, hoot: MARS Wildlife Centre looks for name for new ambassador bird

Barred Owl 783 came to the wildlife centre after crashing into a window last fall

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Most Read