My 2008 soft water Blind Fishing Adventure season started the year with a 10-day fishing marathon in the company of Miles Hilton-Barber, A U.K. blind adventurer. http://www.mileshilton-barber.com
Miles first contacted me through my website last fall with the request that we hook up for some fishing in Canada. Over the winter months In organized three back-to-back events kicking off with our participating as a team at the 20th. Blind Anglers International tournament based out of the Nangor Resort on the Ottawa River near Cobden.
In addition to Miles and I partaking in some of Canada’s finest fisheries, our goal was to promote the sport of fishing to people with limited or no sight and to outfitters looking to expand their client market to include such fishers. We kicked off the adventure with a live interview on CBC Ottawa Radio.
Our ten days of fishing included 2-days fishing for Northern Pike on the upper reaches of the Ottawa river, 3-days fishing for Walleye on Lake Sasseginega in Quebec, and 3-days fishing for Carp on the St. Lawrence. 2-days were chewed up in transit to and from northern Quebec. In total, between the two of us, we caught about 30 Pike, 15 Walleye and eight Carp.
The tackle and fishing techniques I wanted to focus on were selected based on their applicability to fishing without sight. The outfitters were selected for the quality of their fisheries and their openness to hosting fishers without sight. The five guides I recruited donated their time and received “sighted guide” and “blind etiquette” training using training tools I’ve developed over the years.
With few exceptions, the over-all adventure was a tremendous success. At no time were Miles and I unable to independently employ the fishing techniques and gear selected. The guides and outfitters all seemed comfortable hosting or fishing along side non-sighted fishers.
On several outings Miles and I out-fished our guides. More importantly however, the adventure unfolded smoothly with the weather introducing the only real challenges. Spending 10 days fishing with Miles was a real treat and I have no doubt he’ll be back for more. In the mean time I’ve already begun planning similar blind fishing adventures in Canada’s great outdoors for some U.S. blind individuals.