Saturday saw a great turnout at the first of this summer’s three Kids Steelhead Days on the Skykomish, an event highlighted by hot dogs, lots of helpers and a heckuva nice summer-run for Ava Kinder.
Her 6.5-pounder might have been the only one landed by the 67 young participants, but everyone had a chance to try their luck at catching one of the Northwest’s premier sport fish in a top spot.
Organizer Mark Spada of the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club reported there were a couple other missed opportunities too.
“Despite the lack of fish, all the kids seemed to have a good time, and we had lots of great help from parents and volunteers,” he said.
Spada’s club along with Matt Alexander and Sky Valley Anglers cohosted the event.
Through a WDFW e-reg, the north bank of the Sky from the Reiter Ponds outfall downstream a couple hundred feet was set aside for kids 14 and younger to fish from dawn till noon.
As their folks offered encouragement or helped, kids cast from the shore and from atop the boulders that dot this stretch, one that’s perfect for float fishing.
For those who didn’t have or bring their own gear, organizers had a number of rods set up for young anglers to borrow, along with replacement jigs, plus baits to try out too.
And expert anglers dudded up in waders stood by to free snags or offer replacement jigs.
Not far away, hot dogs and cold drinks were on offer too, and over by the rearing ponds proper where kids and parents signed in, freebie fish tape measures and Fish Washington stickers were available.
Back on the river, flows were below average, providing more room against the backdrop of invasive knotweed, and the weather was pretty much ideal, with the marine layer burning off by around 10 a.m.
Spada says that for the next kids day, slated for the first Saturday in July, the 6th, a trout pond might be added if more steelies don’t show.
The third is scheduled for Aug. 3. Kids need a free fishing license and catch card to participate.