This summer has been difficult for everyone, especially the youngsters who’ve had many of their summer activities canceled. On August 8 the Four Corners Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) hosted the second annual 4 Corners Youth Fishing Derby at Bruce Spruce Ranch R.V. Park and Campground located at the bottom of Wolf Creek Pass near Treasure Falls.
The young fishermen and women were up and at it at 7 a.m., ready to catch some fish. Social distancing measures were put into place as the families spread out around three large ponds and fished at least six feet apart. There were over 15 participants from the four corners area.
Any angler that didn’t have their own gear used fly rods provided by Let It Fly located in Pagosa Springs and fishing poles provided by Four Corners SCI. The youngsters received coaching from professional fishing guides who volunteered to teach casting techniques, proper fish handling, and habitat care. Jamie Aponte, Weston Clark, Josh Curtis, and Paul Dufour all taught fly-fishing and said that it was an honor to donate their time to teach the next generation.
With the help of guides, parents, or other family members, the youngsters cast out into the best spots. The little ones reeled in the lines hoping for “the big one.” Some of the kids had their serious faces on while others were having a dance party or celebration squeal as they felt the bites on the ends of their lines.
“What a fun day,” said Eddie Crane of Healing America’s Heroes. “It’s amazing to see so many kids having such a good time and none of them missed or thought of an electronic device.” Crane had a grin from ear to ear as he volunteered his time to race around the ponds to measure fish as the youngsters excitedly pulled them from the water.
After their morning of fishing, the youngsters snacked on their lunches and sipped some cool water. Then prizes were awarded for first fish, smallest fish, and biggest fish in the two categories of spin-fishing and fly-fishing.
A tackle box, crawfish trap, minnow trap, lures, flies, fly tying kits, anglers tool kits, practice casting rods, a Camelback backpack, and a half-day fly fishing trip were among the prizes that were awarded to the participants. The prizes for the event were sponsored by Ski and Bow Rack, PJ’s Fine Bamboo Rods, and Four Corners SCI.
“Who would think a hunting club would put on a Fishing Derby for kids?” said Lew Webb, Four Corners SCI board member. “Yes, SCI advocates for our hunting heritage, but we do so much more. The squeals of excitement and never ending laughter were infectious.”
The Four Corners Chapter of SCI is a non-profit organization that strives to promote good fellowship among all who love the outdoors and hunting. The group provides outreach and support to educate youth, sportsmen, and the public in the conservation of our wildlife and our forest, which is our natural heritage. SCI is proactive in leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian programs. Along with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, Four Corners SCI empower sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation.
Categories: Chapter Events