MEEKER I The 12th annual Buy-Fly Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday to catch the fish that will be used in June to benefit the Buford School through the annual Buford School Fish Fry.
Buford School dates back to May 5, 1889, and served the towns of Buford, Elk Creek and Marvine. Today it stands a short distance off County Road 8, along County Road 17, not far from the Lake Avery turnoff, and is located just south of the town of Buford.
In 1961, folks from the community formed the White River Community Association, which continues to host the fishing tournament and to be the caretakers of the Buford School.
In 2005, members of the association decided to host a buy-fly fishing tournament, focusing on white fish in the White River. The fish caught provide the main dish for the club’s annual fish fry, which has three purposes: raise money for the upkeep of the historic Buford School, secure the white fish for the annual community fish fry in June; and provide a fun, competitive opportunity for the community.
Mark Scritchfield initiated the plans and worked with the group to put on the inaugural tournament.
There is only room for 12 teams to compete, so entrants are urged to sign up quickly.
As of Monday, there were already teams signed up from New Mexico, Nebraska, Colorado’s Front Range and other areas of Colorado.
Also this year, a team of military war veterans from Project Healing Waters out of Grand Junction will be taking part, and they are being sponsored by Mountain Valley Bank.
The cost is $400 per team, payable upon submission of the entry form, and there is a maximum of four persons on a team for the two-day event. The entry fee entitles fishermen to use two personal flies of choice per day with the option to purchase the use of a third fly or a fourth fly for $25 each, each day.
The two-day event this year will be Saturday and Sunday. Hours will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Check-in for teams and judges will be Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Buford School. On Sunday contestants will meet at the teams’ fishing holes.
First- through third-place prizes will be awarded. First-place prize is Tenkara handmade fishing rods, second-place prize is backpacks fully loaded with fishing supplies and third-place prize is backpacks.
An individual prize will also be awarded for largest fish. While prizes overall are based on the total weight of the white fish fillets caught for a two-day total, the individual award for largest fish will go to the person with the heaviest fish, which must be weighed in before being filleted. All fillets will become the property of the association for use in the June fish fry. Each team will have a judge with them.
Lunch will be provided on Saturday, and there will be a chili dinner on Sunday, immediately following the weigh-in along with the awarding of the top prizes.
Rain, snow or sunshine, the anglers will set out to catch the area’s famous white fish. The fishermen will fillet their catch each day and bring them in for weighing and give them to WRCA members for freezing.
For more information contact Boots Campbell at 970-878-5677 or Dee Weiss at 970-878-0955.
WRCA president is Tony Weiss, vice president is Randy Forrest, Boots Campbell is secretary/treasurer and Dee Weiss is historian.
“We are really looking forward to this year’s competition,” Weiss said. “We are looking forward to the Project Healing Waters team taking part and we are looking forward to all of our anglers bringing in at least 200 pounds of fish for the fry.”