Special to The SUN
Summer is full of outdoor activities and one that is always a hit is fishing. On July 27, the Four Corners Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) hosted its first annual youth fishing derby at Bruce Spruce Ranch, located east of Pagosa Springs near Treasure Falls.
The young fishermen and women were up and at it at 7 a.m. and kept at it until well into the afternoon. Over 15 participants cast lures and flies into two different ponds awaiting a bite from a rainbow trout.
The participants ranged in age from 3 to 10 years old. Parents helped some of the youngsters cast out into the best spot while the little ones reeled in the line. While some of the kids had their serious faces on, others were having a dance party while fishing.
“I liked it,” said 8-year-old Kailey Vincent, of Pagosa Springs, “I almost caught one, it came right to my bug, but he didn’t eat it.”
Following a morning of enjoying the outdoors with family and new friends, a hearty field-to-fork lunch of elk burgers was provided. Next, prizes were awarded for biggest fish, smallest fish, first fish and first fly-fishing fish. Each of the other contestants received a collector’s edition Four Corners Chapter SCI cap.
“We will be back next year,” said Lance Lucero, father of 4-year-old participant Orion Lucero.
The biggest fish award was given to Kayson Taylor, of Bayfield, with a 22 3/4 inch fish. He is receiving a replica mount of his fish.
The winner of the first fish was Tucker Howell with a 10-inch fish. He received his very own tackle box to store all of his lures. The smallest fish was caught by the smallest participant, Reece Haddon, 4, of Bayfield, who won an Ugly Stick fishing pole. The award for the first fish caught on a fly went to Kelton Lee, of Bayfield, who received a private half-day fly-fishing trip with a professional guide and his very own fly rod.
“It was great seeing the kids having fun and being successful,” said Jason Deweese, Four Corners Chapter of SCI’s treasurer. “Even kids that didn’t manage to get a fish had a good time.”
The Four Corners Chapter of SCI is a nonprofit organization which 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 forests, 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 empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation.
Visit Four Corners Chapter at www.FourCornersSCI.org or the SCI home page at www.safariclub.org/north-american-hunting, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
Special to The SUN