Record set at WRCA fishing tourney

RBC — The White River ran cold and the cowboy fishermen ran hot for the White River Community Association’s (WRCA) fourth Buy-Fly fishing tournament March 8-9.
Forty-three anglers from New Mexico and Colorado caught more than 250 pounds of whitefish fillets. The tournament’s purpose is to raise funds for needed repairs to the historic Buford schoolhouse, to supply the fillets for the annual fish fry in June and to provide a fun-filled community activity.
After instructions from organizer Mark Scritchfield, 11 teams (Tom Braugh, Brandon Briscoe, Buckin’ Rainbow x 2, JW Trucking, Marvine Ranch, Sable Mountain Outfitters, Scritchfield/Atwood, Seven Lakes Lodge, Sleepy Ass Ranch and John Wix) grabbed sack lunches prepared by association members and with a great deal of enthusiasm headed out to brave the elements to fish the White River. Rio Blanco Ranch was unable to field a team but presented its entry fee as a donation to the association.
For the two-day tournament, the fishermen filleted their catch, brought them in for weighing and handed them to WRCA members for preparation and freezing.
Saturday, club members provided chips, dips and tasty treats for the teams. Sunday after the weigh-in, association members, fishermen and their families were treated to a homemade chili dinner, with chips, crackers, salsa, salads and a variety of desserts. Nobody left hungry, as there was plenty to eat.
In an effort to have “something for everyone,” area businesses (Fritzlan’s Guest Ranch, Gary’s Steakhouse, Radio Shack, Meeker General Mercantile, Northwest Auto, Rocky Mountain Bowstrings, Samuelson’s True Value, Stage Stop Meat Market and Deli, Harry and Betty Tucker, Wendll’s Wondrous Things, Old Crow Liquor, Fawn Creek Gallery, Seven Lakes Lodge, Nichol’s Store, June Striegel, Sue Baker, Carquest, A Village Floral, Elaine Jordan, WRCA, JML Outfitters, Sable Mountain Outfitters, Chad Shepherd, The Bistro, Mountain Valley Bank, White River Inn, Dale Hallenbach, Mark and Melodie Scritchfield and White River Liquor) contributed gift items for a silent auction.
Again this year was the opportunity to take a chance (deck of cards) on a pack trip to Marvine Lake, generously donated by Fritzlan’s Guest Ranch and Sombrero Ranch. Betty Tucker was delighted to win the trip.
New this year was the addition of two drawings to express appreciation to our judges and to our next generation of fishermen. For the judges, W. W. Anglers donated a fishing trip on the San Juan River won by Joe Sullivan. Kegan Roady won the fishing trip for the youngsters donated by the Buckin’ Rainbow to Elk Fork Ranch. Needless-to-say, the winners were delighted and relatives of the winners will now be working to go along.
At the end of the day, anglers remarked that in spite of their cold hands, they had a grand time, sharing the outdoors and the event with their teammates. The prizes were awarded for both team and individual winners:
n Scritchfield Team (Mark Scritchfield, Travis Anderson, Rowdy Atwood and Dave Roady) took first place honors with 62.7 pounds of fillets,
n Seven Lakes Team (Cory Ruchti, Earl King, Bryce Ducey and Travis Flaharty) took second place honors with 45 pounds of fillets, and
n Briscoe Team (Brandon Briscoe, Chad Shepherd, Derek Keihmeir and Doug Craig) came in third place with 43.8 pounds.
Travis Anderson (first), Travis Flaharty (second) and Doug Craig (third) took individual honors with the final total of all fillets being 250.9 pounds. That’s a record for this two-day event.
There will be plenty of fish for the annual fish fry the first part of June that will be another fund-raising event for the group. Watch for tickets to be on sale in May.
Our youngest team (Mason Brown, Nate Walsh, Kegan Roady, Ty Dunham and Karch Bullard) again had a grand time. The WRCA expressed their thanks to these youngsters with a small gift to encourage their participation. While they did not catch the most fish, they certainly showed the adults that they could share in the excitement of the tournament.
“This event could not have been so successful without the enthusiasm and expertise of our participants and judges, the generosity of our sponsors and contributors, the landowners and the hard work of our members,” said club President Arlene Fritzlan. “I extend special thanks to all our members that have worked so hard to pull the event together. It has been a real community event.”
Members extend special thanks to the Buckin’ Rainbow, Wyatt’s Sports Center, Rio Blanco Ranch and Watt’s Grocery for their assistance in making this event a success. The group is grateful to our sponsors (Meeker Lodging Tax Board, Peggy Shults, RBC Abstract, Redi Services, LLC, and Dean Hubbell — and anyone who contributed); our contributors (listed above); the fishermen and the gracious judges (Tommy Allen, Larry Beck, Joe Sullivan, Ted Edmonds, Tom Tucker, Joe Livingston, Terry Ivie, Bailey Franklin, Bob Campbell, Bob McIntosh and Scott Nielsen).
Each judge received a commemorative gift for his assistance.
To the landowners who generously allowed teams to fish on their property, our sincere appreciation is extended from the entire group. Any omission of contributor or sponsor is an oversight — please accept our apology and know that the contribution helped to make this year’s event a record-breaking success.
Preparations will begin soon for next year’s event; so plan
to join us next year for fun and fishing.