Fishing derby hooks area children |

Fishing derby hooks area children

Certain absolutes come with summer comes -we can expect snow-free days (hopefully), fishing season to be in full swing, and the Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby.

This year marks the 11th year for the local derby to be held on Saturday, July 17, at the Cold Stream Pond behind Donner Memorial State Park. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. The free event is open to boys and girls 12 and under.

Children are asked to sign-up at one of the following local businesses, Bradbury’s Office Supply, Bud’s Sporting Goods, USA Media, Sierra Sun newspaper, Longs Drugs, and Mountain True Value Hardware and Sports.

The derby is sponsored by founder Bob Tilton of the Nevada County Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Truckee Noon Rotary.

Children have had the opportunity to begin their fishing pastime at this outing. My own children have fished in this event and found it extremely enjoyable.

This year the Noon Rotary club is running a lunch special. You can purchase a hot dog, chips, soda and cookies for $2.

Hot dogs, sodas, chips, cookies and bottled water will also be available at the snack stand. Please support them by buying some lunch.

Tournament founder Bob Tilton began this derby as a way to introduce children to the sport of fishing. He felt that by keeping his children busy doing something in the outdoors, they would be less likely to get into trouble. I could not agree with him more. Children who get involved in something wholesome like fishing have a much better appreciation of their surroundings.

For those of us who enjoy fishing, seeing children catching their first fish or getting very excited brings back memories of our own childhood. When I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a father and uncles that made sure that I learned how to fish.

I have tried to pass this interest on to my own niece and nephew and, of course, my own children. This has worked remarkably well. In fact, my nephew enjoyed the outdoors and fishing so much that he chose a career with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Getting them started with some success is a real key to keeping a child’s interest. Most children have a very short attention span. For this reason they must catch a fish or at least see one caught. A fishing derby, such as this one, is a great way to get started. Since the lake is well-stocked prior to the event, the odds are pretty good for catching a fish.

Seasoned veterans of this derby know the best spots to fish. It seems the prize winners for this event consistently come out of the same area. As a result, many get to the derby early to “stake out their positions.” Whether the kids win prizes or not, the sponsors make sure the kids are winners.

The one thing that you can do to increase your chances for your child to catch a fish is to have their tackle in proper working order. If you do not fish or have minimal knowledge, have some of the local experts help you out. Several of the sponsors who sell tackle can help you in this area.

The one thing that I see each year that will limit your success more than anything is to have too little line on your reel. Typically, reel will be spooled with line four to six pounds in test. Anything heavier than this will make it harder to cast.

If the line is not filled to within about one inch of the edge of the spool, the line will not cast smoothly.

The ability to cast far enough out is critical. Because the good fishing spots are limited, it takes a long cast in other areas to get them into the trout’s feeding zones. Having the proper amount of line on your reel is fundamental in achieving this goal.

I would recommend a closed-face spinning reel for children, the kind with a push button, because of their ease of operation. Anything else is a little too difficult for most beginners to cast effectively.

I urge you to get good equipment for your children. By good, make sure that the rod and reel will last and that the reel has a decent drag.

The drag mechanism will allow the fisherman to land a large fish. Landing the “big ones~~ is always the major challenge. During past derbies we have seen some truly large trout put into this large and caught. Without proper operating equipment your chances of landing a large fish is greatly reduced.

Get some egg sinkers, BB shot, and some bait and you will be in business. The most successful bait in the past has been Power Bait.

Volunteers will be roaming around the lake to give people a hand in rigging up their tackle properly. Allow them to assist you if you do not know much about fishing. Enjoy the derby and remember to get those kids signed-up at one the six locations mentioned above and have a great time!


Boca – (39,984 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Most anglers fishing from shore are having success. Most anglers use nighterawlers or Powerbait and lures from shore. Boaters are also having success. Most were using a combination offlashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Kokanee fishing has been good. Flyfishermen near the inlet are having fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers, and emergers.

Donner – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west-end and near the launch ramp have had some success. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success.

Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6228.91) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish typically are in the five to seven pound range. A guide is highly recommended fyou are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is improving.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbiess hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed) Fishing is fair to good. The warmer temperatures in the lake have caused fishermen to concentrate on early morning and evening hours. Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and Griffith’s Gnat are good choices. Try a blood midge in the evenings. Lots of midge activity on calm days and in the evening. Midge pupa patterns can be good.

Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair to good. Recent plants along Highway 89 have spurred fishing.. Fishing has been fair to good near the inlet area of the Little Truckee into Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen fishing this stretch between Stampede and Boca concentrate on nymphs and streamers, but there has been some fair dry fly action at times.

Prosser – (28,345 ac. ft.) Fishing has been fishing good as it typically does when the lake gets this full. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerba it. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (223,554 acft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are still catching fish. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerba it. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. Most used a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release is 312 cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. The bulk of the run-off appears to be over. The river appears to be in better shape to fish. The river has slowed down to 496 cubic feet per second in the Truckee area. Fishing has been good. Nymphs and streamers have accounted for most of the fish, but dries such as the Humpy, Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, and the Quigley Cripple should catch you some fish as well.

Other Waters – Davis and Frenchman lakes fished well this past week. Reports indicate that fishing remains good, but the fish are in deeper water.

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