Reeling in family ties at Pike Run Youth Fishing Festival | New Today |

2022-09-17 07:45:46 By : Ms. Rose Wu

Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 83F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph..

A few clouds. Low 61F. Winds light and variable.

Ryan Dibble gives hands-on instructions on casting the line to his stepdaughter Paityn Gajan, 8, of Washington, during the 22nd annual Pike Run Fishing Festival at Rotary Park, California.

Miles Krulock, 12, of Brownsville and David Lowde of Coal Center admire their catch of the day during the 22nd annual Pike Run Fishing Festival at Rotary Park, California.

Ryan Dibble gives hands-on instructions on casting the line to his stepdaughter Paityn Gajan, 8, of Washington, during the 22nd annual Pike Run Fishing Festival at Rotary Park, California.

Miles Krulock, 12, of Brownsville and David Lowde of Coal Center admire their catch of the day during the 22nd annual Pike Run Fishing Festival at Rotary Park, California.

Standing along the side of Pike Run in California, Ryan Dibble patiently shows his stepdaughter Paityn Gajan how to cast her fishing line, using a hand-over-hand technique.

Within minutes of the start of the 22nd annual Pike Run Youth Fishing Festival, the 8-year-old Washington, Pa., girl had hooked a rainbow trout.

“I love to fish with him,” Paityn said. “He’s taught me how to cast and reel. It’s been lots of fun.”

They have fished together many times, but this was the first time they came to the festival.

“It’s about bonding,” Dibble said. “It’s amazing just to come out with her and spend time together.

“That’s how I got into it. My grandfather took me fishing. There’s nothing better than seeing a little one getting into it.”

On a cool, overcast morning, more than 80 anglers came out for the recent annual fishing festival. They patiently waited until the 8 a.m. to start to “get their lines wet.” Some pitched tents or built small campfires to keep warm.

The annual youth fishing festival is held along Pike Run near Rotary Park in California. It is free for youths 15 and under who are accompanied by an adult.

The Parks and Recreation Society at California University of Pennsylvania sponsors the festival each year with the program planning class.

“This is a beautiful area,” said Caitlyn Michaels, president of the Parks and Recreation Society. “A lot of families love to come here.”

The society provided T-shirts for all participants. Those youths who did not have their own fishing gear could borrow equipment through the state Fish and Boat Commission’s Borrow-A-Rod-and-Reel program.

The stream was stocked with nearly 600 rainbow, brook, brown and golden trout.

Vendors sold bait, tackle, food and beverages at the park. The Parks and Recreation Society sold tickets to a 50-50 raffle that helped fund next year’s festival.

Marko Demaske of Jefferson has attended the festival each year for the past decade. He brought his son, John, and grandson, Eric.

Within the first half hour of the festival, the boys already had three fish in the bucket.

“I come down for the kids,” DeMaske said. “They love to fish. It’s a generational thing. I learned to fish from my father.”

Miles Krulock, 12, of Brownsville proudly displayed his catch, a 17-inch rainbow trout. He also caught a brook trout.

Neil Chambers of Fallowfield Township attended with his sons, twins Jake and Joel, both 11, and Josh, 9. They came along with Leo Patterson and his son Gage, 10 and the boys’ friend T.J. Hoyel, 10

Their first year attending, the group found out about the festival from neighbors.

“It’s a special time with the kids,” Chambers said. “I went fishing with my dad. I’m just trying to carry that forward.

“My best memories with my dad were just the stories he’d tell and the breakfast by the side of the road.”

Chambers said his son Jake “has been a fisherman since he could walk.”

“It’s fun to feel the bites,” Jake Chambers said. “It’s a lot different than watching it on TV.”

Jake Volosin of Roscoe said he enjoys fishing and likes that the festival is close to home.

“I like the excitement of fishing,” Volosin said. “When you get a hit and bring it in.”

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