Determination was the operative word for participants who drove to the retreat from the area where a freak snowstorm had taken parts of Ontario by surprise. The women from the affected areas arrived safely at the retreat location, a Holiday Inn north of Toronto. Joining us there were three women from Quebec, two of who assisted the CFRC team, and another staff person from Ottawa.
Although snow did not fall in the area where we stayed, the Saturday was windy and chilly. However, everyone was keen to put theory to practice, so bundled up and with our rods, we went to a nearby park to practice. The day was full, with lots of learning about the technique of fly-casting, knot tying, and some good information about where good fishing spots might be, along a river, or in a pond.
After a gourmet dinner Saturday evening, we reconvened at the Holiday Inn for more conversation. This dialogue had begun as soon as the participants met each other the day before. Humor and seriousness both had a place at this retreat. There was a very meaningful exchange of information and experiences, which made for rich discussion.
The fishing experience on the Sunday was spectacular. First, the weather was perfect. The sun was out and the air was still and warm. We were taken by bus to a private fishing club, with itsí own pond. Each woman was matched with an experienced fisherman. The pond was full of rainbow trout, and many of us were shown the delicate art of release, after the catch. It was a happy morning, and concluded after an outdoor barbeque put on for us by the club members. During the bus ride back to the Holiday Inn, there was lots of expressed enthusiasm for future fishing experiences, and gratitude for the opportunity to meet other women who have traveled a similar journey.
A special thanks to Kathryn Maroun for all the work she did to make the weekend interesting, educational, safe, exciting and heartwarming.
Liz Dohan, Staff,
Ontario Retreat October 13-15, 2006