• Outfitters Ministry leads fishing clinic

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    Retired Col. Jeff Vordermark led a Outfitters Ministry Fishing Clinic Sept. 1 at Frontier Chapel and Sept. 2 at Smith Lake assisted by retired officers Henry Young and Rich Pace. Twenty-two people ranging in age from 5 years old to adults signed up for the event.
    Vordermark, who teaches strategy and Middle Eastern studies at the Command and General Staff College, said safety and equipment were the primary topics covered during the first day of the clinic. He said the first session was primarily to cover the basics of fishing.
    “We always try to discuss what to include in a basic fishing kit,” Vordermark said. “We talk about the importance of safety and go over the primary purpose of the reel.”
    Vordermark said a basic fishing kit should include a knife, pliers, stringer to hold any fish caught and a current copy of local fishing regulations. He said rods and reels have different purposes depending on each fishing situation.
    “There are many types of rods and reels,” Vordermark said. “The kind of setup you choose should depend on the fishing you are going to do.”
    Vordermark gave a demonstration of the basics of a fishing setup and casting, which included explaining the function of the drag settings on a reel. He said the fishing line is the most critical equipment component.
    “Using the proper line in presenting lures or live bait, upon hooking a fish and landing the fish is key to a successful catch,” Vordermark said. “There are new types of fishing lines available today for specific uses.”
    Young, a retired Family Life chaplain, told the class about catching a 53-inch muskellunge on Lake Wabaskang in Perrault Falls, Ontario, Canada. He said he was able to land the fish despite his reel having a lightweight line.
    “I like to set the drag at 50 percent of the weight of the fishing line. Two-pound line, I set it to one and so forth,” Hank said. “I let the fish run ... she ran under the boat and eventually became tired enough to bring in. There’s a video of the catch on YouTube.”
    Pace said his enjoyment of fishing led him to volunteer to help. He said the purpose was to provide instructional basics and environmental conservation awareness to those in attendance.
    “I hope everyone has fun and catches fish. We emphasize that you don’t always have to spend lots of money on equipment to fish,” Pace said. “It’s also important to be considerate of wildlife by not leaving items like old fishing line behind because of its potential for harming animals.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Air Force Tech. Sgt. Will Page brought his 8-year-old son Solomon to the clinic. Solomon said he was looking forward to fishing at Smith Lake.
    “I’m trying to get a bass,” Solomon said. “I learned that I should not carry my pole with the tip going forward because it might injure someone or break.”
    Page said his motivation in bringing Solomon was to spend quality time together while learning something new. He said they currently participate in outdoor activities through Scouting, and fishing seemed to be a natural addition.
    “We’ve got the camping thing down, so the fishing experience is the next hill to climb. We are building memories,” Page said. “Some of the best memories I have of my father are of us camping and fishing together.”
    Vordermark’s wife Susan Vordermark said Dennis Showers volunteered to help cook food for those attending the Sept. 1 evening clinic at the chapel.
    “Jeff planned this two-day fishing clinic as part of the Outfitters Ministry, with volunteers helping execute it,” Susan said. “He just enjoys helping people, teaching people and the children, especially.”
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