Register Online For The 2015 Belwood Lions Pike Derby

In just under a week it will again be time for the Belwood Lions Pike Derby at Belwood Lake, held May 23 & 24, 2015. Over $5000 in prizes will be awarded at the derby, with first place receiving an awesome $2000 cash prize. The number of draw prizes handed out each year is pretty incredible, and anyone attending the prize ceremony has a great chance at going home with some goodies. I won a collapsible rod one year that conveniently fits into my backpack (and pretty mush stayed in it while I was at school).

New for 2015 is the ability to register online for the derby at This is a great idea for someone like me who always talks about picking up tickets ahead of time, but never remembers to. The entry fee is $25 for for adults (15 and over), and $10 for youths (9 to 14). These are extremely reasonable rates for such a great event. If you prefer not to use the online registration, tickets can still be bought at some local tackle shops, Belwood Country Market, or at Belwood Hall during the derby.

Last year’s winning pike was an incredible 40-3/4″, so the big ones are out there. A couple of years ago I missed a huge one the week before the derby. Even if you don’t get a big one, there are always a fewer smaller ones willing to play. Some years the pike are biting like crazy and you can’t keep them out of the boat, yet other years they are slow and you just keep tossing lures in the hopes of one biting. Either way, it’s a great way to spend the weekend.

Don’t miss out on some fun fishing and great camaraderie, plan to be in Belwood next weekend and have a great time on the water!

Gear Review: FixnZip

Spring is here and with the warmer temperatures, growing leaves, and singing frogs, I find myself wanting to go camping. Camping is always such fun with the fishing, exploring, and lack of alarm clocks. However, it often leads to forgotten, missing, or worse, broken, equipment. One of my biggest pet peeves is having zippers that don’t work properly on the tent or the sleeping bags. I like for things to close up properly and I’ve had to force the zippers on many occasions. Of course, forcing things leads to breakage, and a broken tent zipper while camping is not my idea of fun. Fortunately, there’s a quick and handy fix available in the form of FixnZip.


FixnZip is a zipper repair kit that you can easily stow in a small space and have with you when you need it the most. With easy to follow instructions printed on the inside of the label for each package, and with an intuitive design, it’s simple to attach the FixnZip and continue on your way.

The solution appeals to me since I am by nature quite lazy. I like to have a simple fix kicking around, and in this case I like that I don’t have to sew a new zipper in, drop it off for repair, or try to jimmy-rig something. I eagerly accepted this product for a review because I thought I would like to keep it in the camping kit, but I quickly realized that there were many other uses for it. I’ve broken zippers on jeans and jackets and never gotten around to getting them repaired, but with the FixnZip I can continue to use them.

Being a reusable item is another bonus. You can attach it to a broken zipper, use it for awhile, remove it when you no longer need it, and use it elsewhere.

The FixnZip is available in different sizes, which is an important note to remember. I was hoping to try my review piece on a jacket with a busted zipper, but quickly realized that the teeth on the jacket zipper were too big for the size I had. If you buy one if these with an item in mind, make sure to get the proper size.

Outdoors enthusiasts know that it is best to be prepared for anything while adventuring. FixnZip is a great little solution to pack away for those unexpected mishaps along the way, making your day just that much easier.


Disclaimer – This review is my opinion and I received the FixnZip for free in exchange for giving said opinion. I have no association with FixnZip and was not reimbursed or paid for this review.

Orangeville Volunteers Work Hard At Tree Planting

Orangeville’s annual Earth Day Tree Planting was held this past Saturday and saw 500 trees and shrubs get put in the ground. Organized by Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT), the event was held in conjunction with the Rotary Club’s Make Orangeville Shine garbage clean-up.

Though Saturday happened to be Trout Opener around these parts, I found myself volunteering for this event for the third year in a row. The trout could wait a few hours as I drove to Orangeville for one of my favorite events of the season. This tree planting never fails to attract a great group of volunteers, and though the numbers of volunteers may fluctuate over the years, the enthusiasm and hard work never disappears.

Unlike the snow and rain of the previous two years, this year’s event received blue skies and brilliant sunshine, though it was chilly enough to need a jacket.


I had a great time working the registration table! (Thanks to Mark Whitcombe for the picture)

Volunteers began arriving by 8:30AM. Registration is a pretty informal process, but I enjoy signing people in for CVC and getting the chance to chat. There are always a few people who take the time to have a nice conversation and share a laugh. Tim Hortons once again donated hot beverages (much needed) and Timbits, enabling volunteers to get some energy ahead of their physical work.

While registration started fast and furious, the crowds at the tables dwindled faster than normal, and by the time I headed over to the tree planting site, we had 25 people signed-up; less than expected, but every single one very much appreciated.

With 500 trees and shrubs to plant, it mean that the 25 volunteers would have their work cut out for them. By the time I arrived on site there was just over an hour of scheduled planting time left and a whole pile of plants still in pots.The general consensus was that a number of trees and shrubs would be left unplanted, requiring someone to return at a later time to finish the task.

tree planting

The fantastic volunteers getting their hands dirty and getting trees in the ground!

However, as I said before, the volunteers in Orangeville are nothing short of spectacular. Reinforcements were called in, amounting to another five or six pairs of hands. Skipping the scheduled start for the BBQ, the volunteers stayed a little bit later and got every one of the 500 plants in the ground. Absolutely amazing.

Rotary Club members worked hard at the BBQ to make sure all the volunteers got something to eat. Cupcakes proved to be a big hit – I had a few and can vouch for their deliciousness.



The trees and shrubs were planted on the hill behind the Best Western. In this location they will help to slow runoff from the rain and snow melt, provide a natural area, increase habitat for wildlife, help air quality, and provide a noise buffer from the highway. Volunteers will be able to view the results of their work for years to come.

Great work by all involved and I hope to see everyone out there again next year.

Volunteers Clean The Credit River Ahead Of Trout Opener

For many anglers in Southern Ontario, the weekend before trout opener is a chance to prep gear and scout spots. For a group of dedicated volunteers from Trout Unlimited Canada’s Greg Clark Chapter and Credit Valley Conservation, the weekend before trout opener was a chance to clean-up trash around the Credit River, helping to keep the river as pristine as possible for the start of the season.

On April 28th, volunteers gathered at a property in Caledon to conduct the annual clean-up spearheaded by the Greg Clark Chapter. The landowners generously allow anglers to access the Credit through their property, and this event goes a long way in keeping the river open for everyone’s enjoyment.


An amazing group of volunteers came out for the clean-up.

Volunteers split into groups and worked their way along the river and down the road. Garbage was evident no matter where one looked, with Tim Hortons cups, plastic water bottles, and beer cans being the most frequently encountered items along the road. For those who take time out of their day to help at events such as this, it is difficult to fathom how these items end up in the ditch instead of the landfill.

Shining sun and warming temperatures put smiles on faces, even if those smiles sometimes turned to grimaces while working with a particularly foul piece of trash. Talk turned to fishing, trout opener, conservation, volunteering, and the long winter. Working alongside others passionate about helping the environment is a rewarding experience, and having a fishing chat is the perfect way to top it off.

As always, there were some interesting, and some disturbing, finds along the way. A traffic pylon was pulled out of the river. Three large black bags were found in the ditch and as they fell apart with movement, smaller bags containing dirty diapers spilled onto the ground. One has to wonder about the person who felt the need to dump dirty diapers in a ditch. Perhaps most unsettling, were the five or so full jugs of used motor oil that had been tossed in the ditch in two separate locations. Oil will cause serious damage to a river, or anywhere else for that matter, and needs to be disposed of properly.


The weather could not have been nicer for the morning.


Dirty diapers falling out of a bag…and two wonderful people cleaning it up.

greg clark chapter

Another group shot with the day’s collection.

In all, 902 lbs of garbage was collected and taken to the landfill. That’s some pretty awesome work by a great group of volunteers. Much appreciation to the Greg Clark Chapter and Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) for organizing this very needed event. It was a fantastic way to help the river, get ready for trout opener, and make some new friends.

If you would like to get involved and help out, both organizations offer some great opportunities.

For a list of volunteers events with CVC, see the events page on their website.

The Greg Clark Chapter is gearing up for some major restoration work at the Upper Credit Conservation Area. Many volunteers will be needed to help complete the work. No experience is necessary, just a desire to work hard, help out, and have some fun. For more information, check out their Facebook page, or attend the AGM on May 13 (see below).