Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Fishing fun for everyone


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Bob Mytty holds up Kieu Snow's 4.91-pound northern pike. Snow caught the biggest fish in this year's Seeley Lake Kids' Fishing Tournament on Saturday.

SEELEY LAKE – As the boats floated towards Big Larch boat launch for the Seeley Lake Kids' Fishing Tournament weigh-in Saturday, June 22, the smiles could be seen from the dock.

"We've got a monster," pronounced Bob Mytty as he grabbed the dock. "I had the winner in my boat last year too. I think Kieu has it this year."

Seeley Lake third grader Kieu Snow was confident that she beat her older sister Isis who caught a 1.59 pound northern pike last year. Kieu was right. She took the biggest fish category with her 4.92 pound pike that she reeled in herself and Mytty helped land.

"I thought it was half the size it was. I was amazed when I saw it," said Kieu. "It was so fun to beat my sister."

Not to be completely outdone, Isis took the most weight of fish caught with 3.22 pounds of perch and sunfish.

Since 2002, the Seeley Lake Kids' Fishing Tournament has offered a free opportunity for children ages 7-13 to get hooked on fishing. Taken out by volunteer boat drivers with all the gear provided, this is often the only time many of the children make it out fishing in a boat.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

All of the participants and organizers of the Seeley Lake Kids' Fishing Tournament pose together following the barbecue and awards ceremony. Everyone received a t-shirt, participant plaque and bag filled with goodies.

Boat operators and fishing guides Wes Tanner, Bob Mytty and his father Mel of Missoula all enjoy the tournament and getting the kids out fishing. They all have participated in the tournament for several years and are just as competitive with each other as the kids are.

This year there were four boats with 15 participants. While the weather was cool and overcast, the fish were biting.

Justyn Shamp of Missoula missed the boats in the morning but that did not stop him from participating. He fished off the dock and caught the highest number of fish recorded for the day, 34 perch.

Jacob Long of Florida entered the tournament for the first time. He was visiting his grandparents Kim and JR Long of Seeley Lake. While he didn't bother to weigh them in, he proudly held up two perch caught. When asked what the best part of his morning was he smiled and said, "When I caught the fish."

Tournament organizer Bobby Maddox said that while the turnout was lower than he would have liked, "If two or three kids show up and they have a good time then it is worth it. We will do it again next year and hopefully it will turn out even better."


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