Cast and Blast

"Cast and Blast" Weekend in B.C.

Last Thursday afternoon, I made my way up north for a 4-day weekend adventure in Squamish, B.C.

My first stop was near Delta, at fellow fly-fishergal Paula Shearer’s relatives’ place to have an extended rest stop for the night. ( A BIG ‘Thank You’ to Paula and her family for the warm hospitality. I truly appreciate them letting me stay with them and welcoming me into their home).

Before dinner, Paula and I went into town and got some food and beverages for the weekend and laid low that evening before we would embark towards Whistler for “Cast & Blast” bright and early the next morning…

The two of us were en route towards Squamish by 7:00am and were at our hotel by 8:45.

We geared up and headed to Sunwolf Lodge (less than 10 minutes north of the hotel). When we got there, we met up with Adrienne Comeau and the three of us hit the local river.

Paula Shearer, Adrienne Comeau, fly-fishing ladies, Squamish River
Paula and Adrienne had me laughing before we were even fishing.

The three of us found ourselves a little spot to fish on the busy river, but didn’t catch anything more than a few tree branches, plus a small dolly on Paula’s part.

Lisa Schweitzer, Paula Shearer, Fly-fishing gals, Women who fly fish, Spey casting ladies, Squamish
At least we had fun trying…

After a fun, but unsuccessful morning, we went back to the lodge for some socializing, demos, casting practice and more socializing. I met a lot of wonderful people within just the first two hours of being there. I have never found myself laughing and being more at ease in such a small amount of time than I did up there.

Paula Shearer, Lisa Schweitzer, Adrienne Comeau, Fly fishing ladies, Squamish, Cast & Blast
Paula, myself and Adrienne
Sarah Henry, Lisa Schweitzer, Fly fishing ladies, Squamish, Cast and Blast
Sarah and I

I have said this before, and I can easily say it again: There are some really awesome women who fly-fish. There are great people in general who fish, but I met some exceptionally cool gals this weekend who share the same passion for fly-fishing and also just like to have fun. Just to name a few of the female anglers I met this weekend for the first time in person: Paula Shearer (after spending the entire weekend with this girl, it felt like we had known each other for a lot longer than 4 days), Sarah Henry from Langley (see photo above), Bobbi Gilchrist from Vancouver, Andrea Charlton, Catherine Laflamme and even though I had met her before– Adrienne Comeau and I had a chance to get to know each other better and definitely bonded. There were more ladies there I didn’t get a chance to talk to, but there is always next year! 

Brian Niska, Cast and Blast, Lisa Schweitzer photo
Brian Niska and Rayden (his wolf/husky mix, aka loyal sidekick)

The 3-day event was ran by Brian Niska of “Whistler Flyfishing“, along with Pieroway Rod Company and Sunwolf Lodge. I can’t even begin to list all the names involved in each days’ events, but it was a pleasure meeting the folks I did, and I learned a lot from the entire weekend– from fly tying to casting demos… I was able to soak up a lot of helpful information and definitely got inspired to tie more flies!

One of the big highlights for the weekend, was the first ever Homegrown Fly-Fishing Film Festival, which featured five short films about fishing, conservation and scenic beauty.

Photo by Lisa Schweitzer

My personal favorites were: Casting a Voice and Steelmetal, both made by folks out of B.C.. I highly recommend checking them out.

Casting a Voice by Dimitri Gammer is an important film about conservation on the Skeena river system and the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. It also features a few people I know who care a great deal about their local water and environment. (See a short preview of it HERE)

Steelmetal by Gregg Lauder features a group of hardcore steelhead fly-fishermen (and women aka Anette Lauder) from B.C. who eat, breath and drink steelhead fishing with spey rods, along with some heavy metal to keep them going. They made the video for themselves and for friends, so it won’t be one you can find online or in a local fly shop to purchase, but if you can get a hold of a copy or someone who has one, WATCH IT. You will want to get out and swing flies for steelhead– no question.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could honestly write all day about this past weekend, but there are just too many moments and stories to share in one post without it becoming a short novel, so for now, I will wrap it up by saying: If you want to have a fantastic time with some kick-ass Canadians who know a thing or two about fly-fishing and are fully passionate about everything it entails, go to the next “Cast & Blast” event. You won’t regret it.

Until next time…

~L.S.

“Swing Flies, Be Happy”

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