PINEDALE – Children crowded the crystal-clear waters of the CCC Ponds in the warm afternoon sun Saturday, eagerly waiting for a fish to swim by and take the bait during the annual Kids Fishing Day.
Through the cooperative effort of local fly shop Two Rivers Emporium, Trout Unlimited, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (G&F), children received a crash-course in all things fishing throughout the morning hours, before getting a shot at catching some fish on their own later in the day.
The day began with casting practice with a spin rod, where the goal was to hit large, plastic targets a few feet in front of them.
Later, fish biologist Pete Cavalli had the group of children huddle around him as he explained the ins-and-outs of fish anatomy and biology. Cavalli opened up both a rainbow trout and an arctic grayling to show the curious children fish anatomy, including the various organs present and what they do, along with how gills, fins and the body shape of fish assist with easily moving through the water.
Mike Kaul, of Two Rivers Emporium, then took over to show attendees how to properly cast a fly rod by hitting target rings placed a few feet away. Over in the parking lot, a large fish-stocking truck sat filled with rainbow trout, which were released by Wyoming G&F personnel through placing a handful of fish in five-gallon buckets and walking them over to the CCC Ponds.
After meandering through the myriad of educational stations, the children had all the tools they needed to go out and be successful anglers on water. Children grabbed a spin rod, which was rigged up with a bobber and hook, and headed out to test their luck. After rigging up the rods with worms, youngsters began reeling in both rainbow trout and arctic grayling. It wasn’t long until bobbers began to twitch.