What would Huck do?

Rain doesn't keep youngsters away from fishing event

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Despite chattering teeth and blue lips, children at Saturday's Huck Finn Day at Loudy-Simpson Park maintained an optimistic attitude about bringing in a big catch.

"I came out here in a dress and sandals, and now I'm in two layers," 6-year-old Randa Reed said.

She caught some fish throughout the chilly, damp morning, but sent them back to the pond. "I don't want to eat catfish for lunch," she said.

The pond was stocked just a few days prior, said Mike Bauman, the Colorado Division of Wildlife's district wildlife manager for Craig. But the rain pushed the trout to the bottom, making bullhead catfish a popular catch.

The event, which is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and the Ladies Auxiliary, drew 49 children.

"Considering the weather, I thought it was alright," Bud Nelson, the VFW's incoming post commander, said of the turnout.

Organizers are used to seeing the pond's bank lined with eager fishers. "The response wasn't as great, due to the weather, I believe," veteran service officer Johnny Garcia said. "But any response is better than no response."

The children seemed excited to reel one in and have Bauman measure it for them.

They won prizes for costumes, the number of fish caught and the size of their fish. They also ate free hot dogs and hamburgers at the end of the morning.

"Downtown merchants donated prizes, and we thank them, or else this wouldn't have gone off," Garcia said.

Bauman was happy for the rain, because it's good for the land, but understood it put a damper on the children's morning.

He has been involved in Huck Finn Day for many years, and thinks it's a fun way to promote the recreational activities available in the area.

"It's a great opportunity to get kids involved in the sport of fishing with their family," Bauman said. "It's such a good family sport."

Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com

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