RUMFORD — Two brook trout, each
slightly more than a foot long, netted Kyle Walker, 12, of Rangeley,
$175 in prize money at the Rumford Grange No. 115 Fishing
Derby on Saturday.

Walker was one of 16 children ages 12
and younger who participated in Joe Martin’s derby in the Upper West Ellis Fire Pond off Route 5.

“It was pretty cool and surprising,”
Walker said after winning $100 for biggest fish and $75 for most
inches of fish caught. “This was my first time at the derby.”

His fish each measured 12 and one-sixteenth inches long, for a total of 24 and one-eighth inches.

Taking second- and third-place prizes
of $50 and $25 for most inches, respectively, were Trenton Cohen, 9,
of Otisfield and Emily Laubauskas, 9, of Mexico.

Sponsored by Massachusetts-based
wind-power developer First Wind, the derby gave youngsters a chance
to fish for brook trout while accompanied by adults.

This spring, Martin stocked
about 250 8- to 9-inch brookies into his 500,000-gallon pond.
There were some left over from the previous derby two years
prior. Additionally, the trout spawn in a brook that feeds the pond.

“The biggest one in here is 4 to 5
pounds,” he said of a 20-something-inches-long fish.

That was all the youngsters needed to

Fishing in sets of three, each team picked a
spot after the 9 a.m. start and went to work.

“What I want you to do is cast it out
and reel it in some until you feel a fish on it,” Patrick Martin of
Boxborough, Mass., said to his 9-year-old daughter, Kelsey.

“Fishing is something that takes
patience,” Martin said as he put a worm on his daughter’s
hook, and then had to untangle her fishing line.

After casting into the center of the
pond, no sooner had he handed his daughter the pole than the tip of
it bent downward and the line went taut.

“You got one!” Patrick Martin
yelled as the tip bent farther down. “You got one! Reel it in,
keep going, all the way!”

“Oh, it’s just a tiny one,” Kelsey
said, eyeing the squirming brookie that her dad was trying to grasp.

“This is not tiny! This is a good
fish!” Martin said of the 10 and one-sixteenth-inch brookie.

On Kelsey’s second-round attempt, her
fishing rod that she’d won at her uncle Joe Martin’s first derby
broke, but she still landed a 10¼-inch brook trout.

Later, her sister, Haley Martin, 7,
caught two 11-inch brookies and won a new fishing pole.

Walker, who was still awestruck at
winning nearly $200, summed up the experience: “I was hoping that last fish would be
the big one, but oh well, I still had fun and everyone else had fun,
too,” he said.

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Four-year-old Anthony Rand, of Norway, strains while reeling a brook trout in with help from his aunt, Lorraine Edwards, at Saturday morning’s Rumford Grange No. 115 Fishing Derby in the Upper West Ellis Fire Pond in Rumford. The boy caught an 11 and 1/16 inch brook trout on this second attempt. His first measured 11 and 1/4 inches.

Nine-year-old Shaylee Morton of Rumford shows off an 11 5/16-inch brook trout she caught0 Saturday morning during the first round of the Rumford Grange No. 115 Fishing Derby in the Upper West Ellis Fire Pond beside Route 5 in Rumford.

Josh Flaherty, 8, of Scarborough, watches his dad for instructions while trying his hand at catching brook trout during Saturday’s fishing derby at Upper West Ellis Fire Pond in Rumford.

Seven-year-old Haley Martin, right, of Boxborough, Mass., wasn’t too keen to hold the brookie she caught during Saturday morning’s fishing derby in Rumford. Instead, relative Barney Martin holds the fish while Haley’s older sister, Kelsey, 9, tries to talk her into carrying the fish up to be measured.

Patrick Martin, right, of Boxborough, Mass., tries to pick up a lively brookie just yanked out of Upper West Ellis Fire Pond by his 7-year-old daughter Haley while daughter Kelsey, 9, watches in back. The fish was Haley’s first of two 11-inchers caught during Saturday morning’s children’s fishing derby in Rumford.

While watching the scoreboard at Saturday’s fishing derby in Rumford, Emily Laubauskas, 9, of Mexico, uses her fingers to count while adding inches from her first 11.5-inch-long brook trout to the length of her nearly 11-inch second fish being measured by Arnold Clark Sr. of Rumford.

With a helping hand from her uncle Barney Martin of Scarborough, Haley Martin, 7, of Boxborough, Mass., gingerly holds an 11-inch-long brook trout she caught during Saturday’s Rumford Grange No. 115 Fishing Derby at her other uncle Joe Martin’s fire pond in Rumford.

Wayne Hodgkins of Roxbury enjoys a Saturday spent with his 3-year-old granddaughter, Serenity Bair of Auburn at the Rumford Grange No. 115 Fishing Derby in Rumford. Even though Bair reeled in two brookies while Hodgkins held the small fishing rod, Bair was more interested in playing with the earthworms before her grandfather used them to bait hooks.

Safely out of reach of curious youngsters at Saturday’s fishing derby in Rumford, a frog watches the action from within the Upper West Ellis Fire Pond. It was a cool place to be on a hot summer day.

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