Locals fish on opening day

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Gone are the days when the Phenix Sportsmen’s Club of West Warwick would set up its famed “Chuck Wagon” – a.k.a. mobile kitchen – on the banks of Seidel’s Sanctuary and feed upwards of 300 kids a full breakfast on Opening Day of Rhode Island’s Trout Fishing season.

Gone are the days when the Seidel family, which owns the picturesque property and pond located in the Fiskeville section of Cranston, held the storied Seidel’s Trout Derby that featured bicycle giveaways in a number of categories like what angler age 14 and under caught the biggest, longest fish, etc.

Nevertheless, Opening Day of Trout Fishing season was again special, even if there wasn’t a human circle of kids – backed by their father’s and grandfather’s - around Seidel’s Sanctuary Saturday.

Nor was there a crowd of kids fishing Sunday at Seidel’s.

Yet, the special sound of water gushing over the dam at the small fishing pond that’s located off seven Mile Road in the Fiskeville section of Cranston, was were Scott Collard and his daughter Sydney, 5, shared some special moments Sunday afternoon trying to catch a rainbow trout.

“This place is still special in a number of ways for me,” Collard, who grew up in the Pawtuxet Valley but now lives in Warwick’s Governor Francis Farms and is an accomplished electrical contractor, said while helping his daughter cast her line. “I still remember the (Seidel’s) derby; I was one of those lucky kids who won a BMX bike.”

Sunday, there was no breakfast from the Phenix Sportsmen’s Club or any other upstart angler at Seidel’s, just a father-and-daughter, who proudly showed off her small container of Red Worm bait she bought at Walmart and looked excited just to have a fishing pole in her hand with dear ol’ dad standing by her side.

“We’re going to give it a couple of hours here,” said Scott Collard in hopes that Sydney could reel in a rainbow trout that last week was stocked by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. “If we don’t get one, nothing is lost. Just being here where I grew up – with my daughter – is priceless.”

Not many of the youth anglers had the good fortune of catching a trout last weekend, simply because several people close to the Seidel family noted that early arrivals in Saturday’s rain reeled in 25 rainbow trout that may have lessened the Collard’s chances Sunday.

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