Inaugural Power To Fish catches support and insight

John McRoberts has a new victory to add to his trophy case. The four-time Paralympian with two silver and one bronze medals to his name, can officially add the title of the fisherman with the largest salmon caught at the Power To Fish tournament. He is quick to point out that the experience was the real win for him though.

“It wasn’t about catching the biggest fish. It was an amazing experience being at the lodge where they are fully aware of different people’s needs and took care of things,” he says, adding Power To Fish was a dream trip to a place he had always wanted to see.

John was one of 17 Power To Be supporters who convened at Langara Lodge in Haida Gwaii in June for four days of salmon and halibut fishing in some of B.C.’s most spectacular wilderness for this inaugural event. In addition to connecting Power To Be supporters, Power To Fish raised funds to support Power To Be program delivery in both Victoria and Vancouver.

While fishing was the main activity focus, there were also opportunities to explore. On one windy day, when the fish weren’t biting, John’s boat pulled into a sheltered area they quickly dubbed Jurassic Park. “It hadn’t been touched in 10,000 years,” he says. “It evoked a real emotional response. We had a cup of tea and just enjoyed being in such a special place.”

“Exploring this incredible landscape with our supporters connects all of us in a way that isn’t possible anywhere else,” says Tim Cormode, Power To Be Executive Director“The generosity of Langara Lodge, our hosts, and John, who shared his point of view and story, allowed us to talk about inclusion and the importance of connecting to nature with a new perspective.”

On the final day of fishing, John had his line out when a fish latched on and started to run. “There I was, trying to fight the fish, not fall out of my wheelchair and hang onto my rod (being a quadriplegic made that an extra challenge). I couldn’t of done it without my great team,” says John who eventually landed the 17.5-pound salmon to win the tournament. “It was an amazing group. It’s a win-win.”