It felt strange not being there last Sunday morning, at the end of Marine Park wharf, for the 19th Annual Salmon Arm Kid’s Fishing Derby.
I usually start working on the derby a few days afterwards. Things have a way of falling into place – especially after 18 years. But there is always that sense of excitement and anticipation as the day of the derby gets closer.
Come Sunday morning I was up early. I kept looking at my watch. I knew a lot of eager, young anglers would be putting their lines in the water hoping to feel a nibble. I waited a whole 10 minutes before I phoned to see how things were going and who had caught the first fish.
“It’s only ten after six here,” said Aly Vann over her cell phone. “We’re still getting set up and registering the kids. Don’t worry, everything thing is going fine.”
I’d forgotten there is an hour’s difference in time between Fort Steele (where I am currently the storyteller in residence) and Salmon Arm. I had to wait all over again to find out about the first fish. I knew, however, that things were in good hands. Vann, a perennial winner of the derby in her day and Aaron Alcott, who has been bringing his kids to the derby for years, had stepped in to help Donna Flatman (from Salmon Arm Recreation Services) with the derby in my absence.
It took a little while after the start, but Logan Herrington finally caught and landed the first fish of the day. During the awards ceremony following the derby, Herrington was presented with the Westside Stores Trophy, a rod and reel outfit and a $50 Westside Stores gift certificate.
Linden Walters landed a 1,550 gram whopper to secure first place in the Largest Fish category. Walters received the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union/W. J. (Bill) Murray Memorial Trophy, an IM-6 graphite fly rod and reel outfit, and will get to take his whole family on an all-expenses paid weekend fishing trip to a lodge which will include accommodations, boat and motor rental, and $100-worth of groceries from Askew’s Foods. Melody Low placed second in the Largest Fish category, while Peyton Blair took third.
Throughout the morning there was quite a rivalry between three or four ardent anglers vying for the Most Fish category. In the end, Nicole Andrews caught a total of eight fish to take first place. She walked away with the City of Salmon Arm Trophy, a rod and reel outfit and a one-year pass to the SASCU Recreation swimming pool. Archie Watson placed a close second with seven fish, while Jayda Koppel was third.
David North and Gabriel Dube caught and landed fish closest to predetermined secret hidden weights and each received a brand new shiny mountain bike from Canadian Tire.
Three parents won Parent Appreciation draw prizes of $100 worth of groceries from Askew’s Foods – not bad for just for bring their kids to the derby.
As with most events in this town, the derby is dependant on a lot of volunteers. I take my hat off to all the volunteers, as well as sponsors, who helped make this year’s derby another success.
Donna Flatman and I have worked together for 15 years to put the derby together. She truly is tireless. As for Vann and Alcott, I simply cannot say how proud of them I am.
I must say it made me feel pretty good Sunday, knowing the derby was in such good hands.