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

The 22nd Annual Women's Derby

June 22, 2014

After a weekend full of amazing fishing, delicious eats, live entertainment, creative costumes, and all-around fun, it is with fond memories that I declare the 22nd Annual Women’s Derby come to a close. Looking back, it is amazing how much excitement and activity we managed to experience in just four days.

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  • Salmon Fishing Painter

On Thursday the ladies arrived to a Welcome Dinner where they were presented with goodie-bags full of Women’s Derby jackets, hats, and many other treats. They were assigned their tides and guides for the following days, and left to mingle over delicious dinner and some cocktails. The ladies eagerly chatted about their anticipation and expectation of the weekend ahead.

The following day, the ladies brought in an astounding 749 pounds of salmon total. Lucy Shay brought in the largest fish at 20.1 pounds, with Diane Dique at a close second at 19.2 pounds, and Robyn McDonald just behind with a 17.3 pound Chinook. On Friday night they indulged in another wonderful dinner courtesy of our Executive Chef Kevin Wallace, and some prizes courtesy of OBMG and our sponsors.

Saturday was a memorable day for all. The first tide brought in dozens of fish, even larger than the day before. Maridee Fitch landed the largest fish of the day at 28.4 pounds, with Brenda Wentworth and Michele Pilon-Payne closely behind with 22.6 and 22.0 pound fish, respectively. Overall the ladies outdid the first day with a sum of 793 pounds of Salmon. We began celebrating in the early evening with a wine & cheese reception, followed by a 3-course dinner in Legends Dining Room, and finally a theme party with more prizes and a live DJ. Oh, and all this while dressed up as notable TV Show characters. The costumes were both thoughtful and hilarious, from “I said yes before the dress” Brides to the entire Ninja Turtle cast. It was a night we won’t soon forget.

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The last day of fishing fell on Sunday, and boy was everyone ready to catch that winning fish. Hundreds of pounds of Salmon were brought in once again, including a beautiful 25.5 pounder by Fiona Weller and a nice 24.4 pound by Karen Shields, but still none contended with Maridee Fitch’s catch from Saturday. Until one of the last to arrive, Lois McRae, pulled out a huge Spring from their boat. The crowd gasped, curious as to whether it would be “the one.” Remarkably, Lois’s fish outweighed Maridee’s by a mere .2 pounds. The 28.6 pounds Salmon was the Derby winner, and Lois McRae earned herself a free trip back to next year’s Derby. A big Congratulations to her guide, Rocky Semkiw, for leading Lois to the winning fish. In second place, Maridee took home a 3-day fishing trip to OBMG’s Canadian Princess Resort in Ucluelet, and in third, Fiona Weller, a brand new bike. Amazing!

The final night of dinner and live music was a final opportunity for us to celebrate the winners, hand out more prizes, and look back on the fantastic weekend we’d just shared. In total, our women brought in a whopping 2,053 pounds of Salmon.

To everyone who attended, organized, and sponsored the 22nd Annual Women’s Derby, thank you for all the memories and friendships you fostered. We’ll see you next year!

All the best,