Fish in Frisco for the Fourth | SummitDaily.com

Fish in Frisco for the Fourth

Leo Wolfson
Special to the Daily

There are few better ways to celebrate our nation's birthday than heading to the local pond for a relaxed morning of fishing. And there's absolutely no better way to find a love for fishing than to start as a child.

From 9-11 a.m. today, the Gore Range Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be hosting a kid's fishing derby at Meadow Creek Pond in Frisco.

"Fishing is a part of American tradition and the culture of Frisco, so we thought it only made sense to continue this event on July Fourth," said Vanessa Agee, marketing and communications director for the Town of Frisco.

The pond was recently stocked with trout, making it a great day for kids to enjoy their first (or second) introduction to fishing. Trout unlimited volunteers will be on hand, providing their fishing expertise and assistance to the kids. They'll also be taking donations for the organization.

"We believe this is an opportunity to work with kids and teach them great fishing practices, creating a new generation for the future of fishing," Greg Hardy of the Gore Range chapter said.

"Last year the Gore Range volunteers were very helpful," Agee said. "They explained to the kids different aspects of fishing culture, how to put on a bait and cast. They even helped my 5-year-old catch a 6-inch trout."

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The derby

This year, Gore Range will be stepping up their involvement even more by providing fishing kits to all participants. The kits will include hooks, line and a little bit of bait

The derby will be open to all children under the age of 15. Participants must bring their own rod, bait and enthusiasm for fishing. Hardy recommends that kids bring lighter rods — nothing heavy-duty — as it will be a fairly laid-back event.

One important aspect of fishing all kids need to learn is that it's not all about catching fish. Patience is a virtue when fishing, because it can often take a while to reel one in. Even in a stocked pond, nothing is guaranteed: At the 2014 derby, only 28 fish were caught between 60 participants.

The Gore Range volunteers will provide prizes for winners at the derby. Top-three performers from each age group will be recognized, and the kids who catch the three largest fish will be immortalized with photos.

Last year's derby was dominated by girls, with only one boy winning an age group. But winning is hardly the point. It's more about teaching kids to learn and enjoy the sport of fishing.

"It's important for them to learn about water and conservation, and there's no better way than through fishing," Hardy said.

Family fishing 101

Even if you can't make it to the derby, there is still a multitude of great kid-friendly fishing to be had in the Summit County.

Dillon Reservoir is a great place to start. It's fairly free of overhanging trees and brush, which makes it great for casting. It's also well-stocked with fish. Traditionally, inlets on the lake are where the most fish will be found.

If looking for a smaller, pond-like experience, check out the Copper Mountain ponds or Trent Park in Silverthorne. Another option to beat the crowds is to visit high-elevation spots, like Montgomery Reservoir near Alma, or hike the Meadow Creek Trail to Lily Pad Lake in the Eagles Nest Wilderness north of Silverthorne.

If lure-fishing on a river, avoid taking your children in the water, as levels are still dangerously high. This can change for older children when water levels drop, but it's best to use caution on unfamiliar waters.

"There needs to be added safety put in place when fishing with kids," Jamie Lambrecht of Mountain Anglers said. "This isn't Disney World and there are consequences to having poor footing in a river. Supervision is a real-big must."

When it comes to fly-fishing, Lambrecht recommends waiting until kids are 12 years old or older to introduce the sport. For younger kids, the best bet is taking them spin fishing.

"With kids they want to see instant gratification," Lambrecht said. "In fly-fishing it takes repetition and experience to catch fish. They just won't appreciate it if they're not old enough."

Simple flies and worms are perfect bait for beginners. Sports Authority in Dillon and most local angling shops carry kid's fishing poles. Most of these kid-friendly kits come with bait and hooks.

It's also important to wear sunscreen and a hat when fishing because the high-altitude sun can do significant damage to skin this time of the year.

Like any outdoor sport, it's important to do your research prior to going fishing. If done right, fishing with family on the Fourth — or any other time of the year — can become a lifelong tradition.

"Fishing on the Fourth is great because you're outside spending time with family, and there's always good communication when you're enjoying nature," Lambrecht said. "it's a context to spend time together."

Frisco Kid’s Fishing Derby

What: A kid-friendly morning of fishing, with instruction by volunteer guides from the Gore Range chapter of Trout Unlimited

Where: Meadow Creek Pond, behind Wal-Mart and near the corner of East and Main streets in Frisco

When: Saturday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Cost: Free

What to bring: A fishing rod and any other gear (including bait), sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

For more information on the fishing derby and other holiday activities in Frisco, see the town website at http://www.townoffrisco.com.

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