Story by Kristina Hoti
Families came from near and far on Sat., May 6, to the Wawayanda Stream on the Baird Farm, for the Annual Take a Kid Fishing Day, sponsored by the Warwick Valley Rod & Gun Club. Although a bit overcast, the weather cooperated nicely, with temperatures in the lower 60s, and rain staying mostly at bay for the duration.
“We dodged the storm today!” said event chairman, Jerry DeBold excitedly, as the event kicked off.
As early as 6 a.m. on Saturday, DeBold and other members oversaw the delivery and release of a truckload of trout, which was purchased by the Rod & Gun Club, specifically for this event from the Beaverkill Hatchery in Livingston Manor, NY.
Vasudeva and Savithri S. Kamath were among the first to arrive, with their grandson, Vinay, who was eager to catch his allotted three fish. The Kamaths moved to the area just one month ago from India.
“It is wonderful how events like this are put on, for the children’s enjoyment!” exclaimed Mrs. Kamath.
Craig and Kelly Smith, along with their children Casey, 9, Shea, 7, and Garrett, 6, who typically fish only while on vacation in North Carolina, were first-timers at this event, and even bought fishing rods for the whole family, in anticipation.
“These came in a kit, and included the rod, reel, and lure for only 20 bucks each,” said Smith.
More seasoned fishermen, Jason Beams and his two sons, Liam, 12, and Jason, 7, have been coming to this event for at least the last five years. Liam even caught the day’s biggest fish in 2012, so he arrived ready to break records.
Ava Kraszewski, 9, made waves early on when she made her first catch of the day, running downstream to announce her success. Perhaps the tiniest fisherwoman at the event, was 21-month-old Caroline Lyons, who came fully equipped with her very own pink fishing pole, and a box of Cheez-its, to enjoy the day with her big brother, Chris, 4, her parents, and grandparents.
This is a non-competitive event, so to ensure that all children have a chance to catch a few fish, the Club limits each child to three fish, and has plenty of prizes to give out at the end, so that every child has something fun to bring home. Rods and reels, lure and bait were available onsite for anyone needing equipment. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and cold drinks were available for purchase at incredibly family-friendly prices.