Monday, December 27, 2010

Archers & Casters & Horses....Oh My!

It was the day after Christmas and I was expecting a crowd and parking challenges...but not at the Lower Arroyo Seco Nature Park in Pasadena!

Maybe it was the week of rain; maybe it was the desire to walk off Christmas dinner; maybe it was the Rose Bowl/Parade visitors; regardless, the Lower Arroyo was so busy with walkers, dogs, fly fishermen and equestrians that it was almost impossible to find parking in the park's lot!

Though this bucolic spot is a favorite with joggers and dog walkers, the Lower Arroyo, as we fondly call it, is also the home to some of Pasadena's oldest outdoor recreation groups.

First, there are the Pasadena Roving Archers (PRA), "dedicated to the art of the bow and arrow in the Lower Arroyo Seco since 1935." Men, women, young adults and children are all members of this long-standing non-profit group. All are bound together by the sport of archery, or the bow and arrow, my dad would call it. PRA is home to beginners, weekend enthusiasts, regional, state and international archers.

Did you know archery in the Arroyo Seco has a long history with organized competition starting in the early nineteen thirties? The Pasadena Roving Archers has been a part of that history and is charged with operating and maintaining the Lower Arroyo's archery range.

PRA members provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to maintain these facilities and provide archery instruction to archers from 8 to 80. All of the PRA archery instructors have been certified by the National Archery Association. Archery classes with the PRA are a good way to learn the sport and this club is always looking for new enthusiastic members. Check them out at

Another terrific group that has been calling the Lower Arroyo home since 1947 is the Pasadena Casting Club, where current and future fly fishermen can practice the scientific art of angling and casting. This Club, a charter member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, also supports fish, habitat and natural resource conservation. The park's large casting pond is the ideal spot for fishermen young and old to take casting lessons or just hang around and tell fish tales at the PCC Clubhouse. You can find out how to join this club at

Curious how the Arroyo Seco would look and act if it was not covered in concrete? Look no further than the Lower Arroyo because, thanks to the City of Pasadena and BFI, a naturalized diversion of the stream wends its way through the area, reminding visitors of both the river's past and its hopeful future to once again flow free.

It appears that the Lower Arroyo is no longer a Pasadena Best-Kept Secret but that shouldn't stop you and your family from coming down for a little river fun in the city.

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