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Youngsters at fishing camp learn art of casting, fly-tying

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By Sandy Barnes

A few days after stocking ponds at Buchanan Park with 300 pounds of rainbow trout, members of Evergreen Trout Unlimited were teaching youngsters how to catch them.

From casting lines to tying flies, kids at the fishing camp were caught up in the learning curve on Saturday. 

After reeling in a 17-inch trout earlier in the morning, 5-year-old Addison Kerper was among those watching Dr. Leonard Wheaton wind thread around a vise as he crafted a fly for trout.

“I think the smart thing is to first show you how to do it,” said Wheaton, who was wearing a hat inscribed with, “Here, fishy, fishy.”

As kids gathered around, Wheaton carefully wound thread around the vise, trimming the excess. He then added a feather, carefully securing it before tying a knot.

Other TU members were stationed at tables giving fly-tying demonstrations and also showing kids the real McCoy in the form of insects that fish eat. Mayfly nymphs are among the species that attract fish in the ponds, said TU member John Ellis. 

In creating artificial flies, the goal is to “match the hatch,” he explained.

Some of the kids who came to the camp were experienced in casting lines, Ellis said. 

And others had beginner’s luck. Jeff Armitage caught four trout in the morning, including two that were 13 and 14 inches in length. 

After catching them, Jeff and other young fishermen put the trout back in the water — as is the rule at Buchanan Ponds.

Catch-and-release is the required fishing method for the ponds. Also, barbed hooks are not permitted at Buchanan.

Fishing at Buchanan Ponds

To fish at Buchanan Ponds, a daily fee is required, which can be paid at Buchanan Rec Center. Wristbands are available at the rec center's front desk and must be worn while fishing.

Net and barbless flies are required for fishing in the ponds.

Daily admission fees for district residents are $20 for adults, $10 for children 14 years old and younger accompanied by adults, and $15 for senior adults and youths ages 15 to 18.

Cost-saving, multiple-use punch cards also are available for purchase at Buchanan Rec Center.

A limit of 10 fishing permits are sold daily; no state fishing license is required at the ponds.

For more information, call Buchanan Rec Center at 720-880-1100. 

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreeco.com.