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Ray Kucharski: Fins & Feathers – “Kirby”

May 22, 2012

By Raymond Kucharski

The blast of a siren, a high-pitched scream, the laughter of children and dozens of bobbers hitting the water at once echo off the hills. Cascades of children’s primary colors form a kaleidoscope of colors that are reflected in the blue water of Corcoran Pond. “I GOT ONE—I GOT ONE,” a small girl, in a brilliant pink wide-brimmed hat, shouts as she struggles to bring a fighting trout to shore.

This is the usual morning scene as the Waterville Valley, “Casting for Kirby” youth fishing derby gets underway. A hundred children, all hoping for the big one, trying to catch a fish that will fetch a prize. Families working together, to select a spot, rig the rod, set the bobber, bait the hook, and casting to the perfect spot.

Kirby is one humongous fish that has been living in Waterville Valley since the ice age. On quiet nights one can sometimes hear the loud splashes as Kirby leaps out of the water. He has never been caught, but Chris Hodges and Tom Quackenbush managed to catch his baby brother (below).

The “Casting for Kirby” youth fishing derby takes place during Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 26, 2012 on the shores of Waterville Valley’s Corcoran Pond. The $5 pre-registration fee ($7 on event day) includes a t-shirt (first 100 registrants) and starter bait. It is open to all youth ages 15 and under.

The derby begins at 8 a.m. with staggered starting times. Age 7 and under start at 8 a.m., ages 8 to 11 start at 8:15 a.m., and ages 12 to 15 start at 8:30 a.m.  Derby Day registration opens at 7:30 am. Save time checking-in by pre-registering with Waterville Valley Recreation Department by calling 603-236-4695 or e-mailing  (Download & print a registration form here.)

The event is sponsored by the Town of Waterville Valley – Departments of Public Safety and Recreation, N.H. Fish and Game, Trout Unlimited, Boy Scout Troop 56, The Margret & H. A. Rey Center, Town Square and Walmart.

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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