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Fishing in style

58th annual Huck Finn, Kids, Cops and Vets fishing day

Wyatt Hume, 5, left, gives fishing pointers Saturday to his sister Evelyn Hume during the 58th annual Huck Finn Kids, Cops and Vets fishing day at Little Rascals Pond.

Winners at the 58th annual Huck Finn, Kids, Cops and Vets fishing day:

Costume contest:

Ages 2-6 division:

• First-place Huck Finn: — Jaden Gallegos

• Second-place Huck Finn — C.R. Dial

• First-place Becky Thatcher — Jessica Whitecotton

• Second-place Becky Thatcher — Michelle Baysinger

• First-place Kid Cop — Shelby Wilson

Ages 7-12 division

• First-place Huck Finn — Sebastian Hadley

• First-place Becky Thatcher — Isabella Sanchez

• Second-place Becky Thatcher — Kaylee Foster

Fishing contest:

• Largest fish — Jacob Lindley

• Second-largest fish — Tristen Walls

• Longest fish — Jacob Lindley/Makaylah Hampton (tie)

• Ugliest fish — Kalob Hillewaert

• Youngest angler — Caiden Sadvar

• First trout — Makaylah Hampton

• Most fish — Miki Klimper

• Smallest fish — Miki Klimper

When two-year-old Caiden Sadvar reeled in a 10-inch trout Saturday, he achieved two distinctions.

First, he caught his first-ever fish.

Second, he became the youngest angler to catch a fish during the 58th annual Huck Finn, Kids, Cops and Vets fishing day at the Little Rascal Pond in Craig.

The event, which is one part fishing derby and one part costume contest, played host to 118 children and their families. It was sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the American Legion Post 62, local law enforcement agencies, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Prizes were awarded for best costumes in three categories: Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, and Kid Cop. Fishing prizes were awarded for longest fish, ugliest fish, youngest angler and more.

Caiden's father, Justin Sadvar, said his son has been working all season to catch a fish. He was grateful for the event.

"It's really cool that they do this," Sadvar said. "It gave him a chance to come out here and finally catch a fish."

VFW Commander Mark Wick said that's what it's all about.

"It's a good way to get them started," he said.

Hayden resident Tom Lindley said his son, Jake Lindley, 6, has already gotten a good start. Jake won prizes for the largest fish, and he tied for longest fish.

"He's a good fisherman," Tom said of his son. "He's to the point now where he tells me how to fish."

Not everyone was so lucky, however. Craig resident, Keanna Luft, 4, said she didn't catch a fish, but she caught

something else.

"A bunch of seaweed," she said.

Despite a strong turnout for the event, there were few participants in the costume contest, VFW member and event chairman Don Offutt said.

"There were probably about a dozen in all three categories," he said.

Offutt recalled participating in Huck Finn events in Ohio as a child in the 1950s.

"You'd dress up for Huck Finn day, and you'd have 300 kids you'd be competing against in your age group," he said. "I'm serious. You had 300 kids. If you'd go up there to compete, you'd better have that down right because you got 300 kids you'd be going against."

Hayden resident Jessica Whitecotton, 5, came correct Saturday. She was awarded first place for her Becky Thatcher costume in the ages 2 to 6 division.

Mother Julie Whitecotton said she finished sewing the costume's apron, bonnet and bloomers just hours beforehand.

"I was up until 4 (a.m.) this morning making her outfit," she said. "I'm a little tired."

Craig resident Isabella Sanchez, 7, won first place for her Becky Thatcher costume in the ages 7 to 12 division.

Grandmother Delaine Voloshin said the dress Sanchez wore is now part of a legacy. Sanchez's mother, Anna Voloshin, won the same honor in 1991 while wearing the same dress.

Whitecotton and Sanchez were both awarded $15 in Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks.

VFW auxiliary member Mary Walters remembers a time when there were no prizes. Walters, 64, recalled participating in Huck Finn day in Craig in 1959 at age 12.

"Back then, winners were winners," she said. "Money was tight back then."

Times have changed.

The VWF and American Legion served free food out of the Cedar Mountain Lions Club canteen. In total, they served 160 hamburgers and 200 hotdogs, Wick said.

Wick also said local law enforcement officers dug into their own pockets and delivered a full pickup truck full of prizes.

"The police went way out of their way," Wick said. "The law enforcement guys chipped in and bought that stuff."

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said the event was a success.

"It went well," he said. "We had a good turnout…awesome weather. The kids caught fish and got prizes, and that's what it's all about.

"We couldn't have asked for anything better."

Jantz added that fishing at Little Rascals Pond is now officially open for the season.

And, there are some big fish lurking in there.

Justin Olson, a district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the pond was stocked with rainbow trout two weeks ago. Some of them were brood fish.

"Brood fish are in the four- to five-pound range," he said. "I don't think any of those got pulled out today, so they're still cruising for future catch."

Ben McCanna can be reached at 875-1793 or bmccanna@craigdailypress.com.

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