Kids Turn Out In Good Numbers For 1st Of 3 Skykomish Steelhead Days

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.

AVA KINDER SHOWS OFF HER SUMMER-RUN CAUGHT DURING THIS PAST SATURDAY’S KIDS STEELHEAD DAYS AT REITER PONDS ON THE SKYKOMISH. (JADE KANZLER)

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.

KINDER BATTLES HER FISH. (MARK SPADA, SNOHOMISH SPORTSMEN’S CLUB)

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.

YOUNG ANGLERS FISH BELOW THE REITER PONDS OUTFALL IN HOPES OF HOOKING RETURNING HATCHERY SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

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.

AS KIRAN WALGAMOTT WATCHES HIS BOBBER, A VOLUNTEER UNTANGLES ANOTHER KID’S RIG FROM A SNAG. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

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.

“WE CAUGHT SEVEN FISH,” THE BROTHERS WALGAMOTT WOULD PROCLAIM BACK AT THE TRUCK, A TALLY THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE INCLUDED ANY FISH, BUT FOR SURE TWO HOT DOGS, TWO GATORADES, TWO PLATES AND A LEAF THEY REELED IN. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

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