SOUTH FORK— A lot has changed in South Fork over the past year, with several new things to enjoy in town, guests are sure to have a great summer in the small mountain town. Coming up in June are several activities for families including the annual fishing clinic at Tucker Ponds, a list of classes taking place at the visitor center and every day fun the town has to offer including river rafting, ATV trails and other outdoor recreation activities.
The town has grown in the last several months, welcoming new businesses, new owners taking over businesses and changes in regulations that allow the use of ATVs in town limits. The changes have opened the door for visitors to come and enjoy their stay while in the area.
On June 18, beginning at 9 a.m., the annual fishing clinic will take place at Tucker Ponds located about nine miles west of South Fork, heading up towards Wolf Creek Pass. The South Fork Visitor Center in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) created the event in order to gain interest in youth fishing, teach the fundamentals of fishing and to share the rules and regulations of Colorado fishing for young anglers. The event is an area favorite, having several participants every year.
CPW staff members will set up an identification station to show participants how to identify and recognize species of fish in Colorado waters. At certain times of the year, specific species may be off limits due to a drop in population, or if a certain type of fish is reproducing at the time and must be left alone. These rules are in place in order to protect the populations from becoming too thin or becoming extinct as well as helping to increase aquatic populations. Characteristics of each fish are pointed out to help children identify what type of fish they have caught. A rainbow trout for example, can be identified by its array of colors across its scales. Brook trout can be identified by the brown to tan colors of their bodies and Kokanee Salmon by their out-reaching jaw and pink tinge on their skin.
Another station teaches the technique of casting. CPW staff provide poles for those who are in need of one. Staff explains how each type of pole and reel work and the best ways of casting for each. Participants line up to partake in this station in order to perfect their skills before heading out to fish. From open reel to closed reel the kids learn all fundamentals of casting and have a great time while doing so.
South Fork Visitor Center Director Mark Teders has a station of his own where he patiently shows participants the techniques of knot tying. From survival knots used to connect two or more pieces of rope, to slip knots used to secure lures, participants are able to use the hands-on approach to learn techniques with the help of a knot tying devise.
A full list of activities is available on the visitor center website at www.southfork.org.