With schools in the Valley closed until at least April 24, two Mount Si High School juniors have opened a fishing charter business to encourage kids to experience nature during their time away from the classroom.
Snoqualmie Valley Youth Fishing Charters was started by Caleb Dalgleish and Charles-Grant Finney a month ago with the purpose of getting kids aged first grade and older outside. During the charters, Dalgleish and Finney take kids around to fishing hotspots in the Valley and help teach them about fishing.
Dalgleish said that with school out, this is a safe way to get kids outside. The trips are limited to three people, and supplies and equipment are cleaned.
“We thought that especially during this time with the virus, it would be a great opportunity for some kids to learn some life skills and get out of the house while not being out in the public too much,” Dalgleish said.
Finney said the kids that take part in the trips vary a lot in fishing experience.
“We’ve taken kids who have never even touched a rod in their life and we have to teach them the basics, we’ll walk them through how to cast,” Finney said. “Before they know it, they’re reeling in fish and casting on their own.”
Along with teaching basics to beginners, they also take kids who have fished before but haven’t had the opportunity to fish recently or may have lost their passion for fishing.
Finney said it’s a great feeling to see one of the kids catch a fish during one of their trips.
“I’ve fished for my entire life and I love fishing on my own, but I get way more excited seeing a first time kid who hasn’t gone fishing in years get that joy on their face when they finally reel in their first fish,” Finney said. “That is better than me catching any fish ever.”
With classrooms closed, Dalgleish said fishing can teach kids about patience and how to embrace nature.
“When everyone is just sitting at home doing nothing, this is a really good time to learn some important life skills, and maybe fishing could be one of them,” Dalgleish said.
During the school closures, they are offering discounted prices for their fishing trips.