Painter's Lodge - Campbell River, British Columbia, V9W 4S5, Canada

This year, the 23rd Annual Women's Derby kicked off to the tune of blazing sunshine, cameras snapping relentlessly, and a lot of new faces. As the girl behind the camera, I was here to see it all through my lense.

On Thursday evening, we welcomed 68 ladies to Painter's Lodge to begin the festivities. Guide draws determined who would be fishing with who, and the next morning, the fishing began. Down the dock, women came in pairs, stopping to pose for a photo as the morning sun lit up the lodge in the background. We get all types of women here every year, and this year was no different. Some are quiet, unsure of what to expect, and some have been taking part in this event for 10 years or more! Regardless of their experience, everyone was excited and eager to feel the pull of the rod, and they set off at 6 am Friday morning with smiling faces to take on the day.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Our themed dinner is all set up on the barbeque patio and ladies are showing up dressed to match that theme: HAWAIIAN LUAU! We saw women dressed as pineapples and pigs. We saw colored wigs, dresses, umbrellas and skirts, and the best of all, was the turning pig roast. Photos don't do justice to the fun had that night, despite the incredible heat, and 68 women fell asleep with full stomach's, ready for their last day of fishing.

Awards took place on Sunday night, after three days of fishing to catch that prize winning Chinook. In the Granny Painter room, after a slideshow of their photos and being joined by a few of the guides, the results were in. 

In first place, with a 26.8 Lb Chinook, was Lisa Strong-Lee. She pulled in the winner on Saturday afternoon and was cheered on by everyone on the dock. Lisa won a fully paid for return trip next year, and was handed the trophy from last year's winner.

Second place was given to Patti Heerhartz. The colors on this fish were outstanding, and the fish came in at 24.1 Lbs

And finally, the third place prize was awarded to Donna Stubbings. Her 23.6 Lb Chinook won her a beautiful bike, which she rode almost out of the building!

Overall, it was a beautiful weekend. We always look forward to the Women's Derby for it's wide array of participants and the lively energy they bring to the Lodge. It's a pleasure to see them supporting each other on and off the water, and to hear their stories as they come to the dock with fish is an experience we plan to repeat for years to come.

Wonderful fishing, and wonderful weekend ladies. We'll see you all next year.

 Elisha Berk - Marketing Coodinator - Painter's Lodge

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