SOUTH FORK — Nothing says summer like the annual Youth Fishing Clinic at Tucker Ponds near South Fork. The annual Father's Day weekend event is a way to spend the day with family and friends learning the fundamentals of fishing.
The South Fork Visitor Center in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) hosts the event every year to help educate up-and-coming anglers on the dos and don’ts of fishing in Colorado.
Tucker Ponds is 16 miles outside of South Fork. Young anglers can, in a sense, get their feet wet. CPW sets up stations and divides participating children into groups to learn about Colorado fishing regulations, the type of aquatic life in the area, how to bait and cast a fishing pole and so much more. Each station is hands-on and geared toward educating youth on the basics of catching fish and what to do once it’s been caught.
Colorado State rules and regulations can be confusing, even for adults and this event gives local CPW officers a chance to start teaching future anglers at a young age. Several volunteer officers come and show participating children how to identify certain species of fish that reside in local waters, how to be safe while in the woods, and how to follow important rules and regulations.
South Fork is home to some of the best fishing in the state with Gold Medal waters all along the Rio Grande and the plentiful lakes and reservoirs within 20 miles of the town, which includes Tucker Ponds.
For the event, CPW stocks the two small ponds so that participants are pretty much guaranteed to catch a fish and there is nothing better for Father’s Day than to hear the laughter as young anglers reel in their first fish for the day.
After the stations, children with family and friends are allowed to hit the shores and fish. Each child has a chance to go home with a fishing pole if they do not already have one thanks to the donations made by CPW. A hotdog lunch will be served in the afternoon and families are encouraged to make a day of it and stay to fish.
The event begins at 8 a.m. on June 18. For more information, visit www.southfork.org.