Pyeongchang in Gangwon-do Province is host
city of the Winter Olympic Games. Prior to the international event, the city organized
the Pyeongchang Trout Festival to make the winter truly unforgettable.
Let’s take a glimpse of the festival to enjoy the seasonal beauty. Pyeongchang is one of the coldest and snowiest
areas in Korea. Because of the cold weather, all the rivers freeze to a thickness of up
to 30cm or 12 inches every winter. The trout festival takes place on a 25,000㎡(square
meter) frozen part of Odaecheon Stream in the city. “This festival provides many fun winter activities,
including open-ice fishing, tent fishing, and barehanded fishing, which is the most
popular activity that takes place twice a day. It also has various programs for children,
so the entire family can enjoy quality time. ” Offering the unusual experience of ice fishing,
this festival draws over 50,000 visitors from all across the country every year.
The first step to catching trout is to make a hole in the ice. Then drop a baited line
below the ice hole. There are some special tips for trout fishing. “Fishing requires patience. While waiting,
we have to jerk the bait to give fish the impression that it’s alive. That way, everyone
can catch trout.” Fishing is all about waiting… and more waiting.
The anglers are waiting for their trout in all different ways. “I’m lying down here to see trout swimming
through the hole. It’s very interesting.” After gently holding the rod in the cold weather
for a while…They get trout they’ve long been anticipating. Trout are a cold-water
fish that live only in the cleanest water with a translucent quality. Since trout fishing
is relatively easy, children can also enjoy fishing. “It’s a cool experience to come out here,
and enjoy something that I really don’t get to do anywhere else. So I think it’s pretty
cool.” “I’m really excited to be here, excited to
catch some fish,…and participate in Korean culture.” The whole family can engage in this ultimate
winter festival, making treasured memories together. “I’d like to catch as many trout as possible,
but I’m happy regardless as my children are having fun here. ” “Cause I get to bring my daughters with me
and my father, so it make this is into a family event…so I think it’s a lot of fun.” The festival organizers stock the stream with
trout every 20 to 30 minutes to enable the visitors to catch as many trout as possible. “We release about 4 tons of trout every day,
which is about 14 to 15 thousand.” Pyeongchang is the first city in Korea to
develop trout farming back in 1965, and now it’s the biggest producer of the fish in the
country. The trout at the festival were also raised in Pyeongchang. Fishing is not the only way to catch trout
at this festival. Visitors can also get them with bare hands through the noodling event.
To participate in the event, visitors have to wear shorts and t-shirts in the sub-zero
weather. Then they have to go into the icy water to catch trout barehanded. The key secret
is to corner the fish and quickly grab it. My toes are really cold. “I can eat as many trout as I want here. I
came after many failed attempts at fishing.” The real highlight of the festival is eating
the freshly caught trout on site, either raw or grilled. Cheers How does it taste? “Actually get to catch the fish and watch
it go through the cycles…and once it’s in your belly, it’s nice and full, it’s fresh,
it’s delicious, and here.” “I’ve eaten trout both raw and grilled,
but I personally prefer it grilled. The only thing missing is some alcohol.” The festival offers all different kinds of
winter activities. The clean and vast snowfield in Pyeongchang is a wonderful playground for
both children and adults. From snow sledding…to snow rafting… it’s full of fun activities
for families to enjoy quality time “I’m happy about the variety of activities
the festival offers. I will definitely like to come here again next year. My children
had a good time, too.” “I think this festival is very interesting.
We didn’t catch any fish, we tried, but it was a good time anyway.” The Pyeongchang Trout Festival is set to take
place until the end of February throughout the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Pyeongchang is a beautiful and exciting city
offering fun-filled activities for the entire family. Don’t miss the Pyeongchang Trout
Festival and make the most of this cold season.