Event Recap: Father’s Day DerbyJune 28, 2019 | 8717 Views
Memories Made – Father’s Day Derby One for the Archives
By Don Wells
The West Coast Fishing Club’s second annual Fathers’ Day Derby proved once again that there is nothing like a wilderness fishing excursion to create lifelong memories and strengthen the ties that bind.
The trip presented a rare opportunity to spend uninterrupted time on the water and participate in a friendly fishing derby, followed by memorable evenings that included a chance to listen to a celebrity guest speak about his experiences in the outdoors and live music on the deck overlooking Parry Pass. To top it off, a professional photographer captured all the action, enabling each of the 48 guests to take took home photographic memories that will endure for decades to come in family archives.
The individual highlights were too numerous to mention, but one of them belongs to Joerg Goetsch, who on his 15th visit to The Clubhouse caught and released his first-ever tyee, a beautiful fish at 38.5 pounds and one that earned him second place in the derby. To top it off, Joerg’s son Adrian caught a perfect take-home halibut of 41 pounds later that afternoon.
Then there was Rodney Bennett who journeyed back to The Clubhouse from his home in Tennessee as guest of his son Jordan. Almost exactly 22 years earlier, Rodney made his first trip to The Clubhouse and caught the 104-pound Opah that can be seen mounted in the lodge. The trip was everything he and Jordan had hoped for, highlighted by Rodney finishing high on the leaderboard with a 30-pound tyee.
But perhaps the most poignant moment was when six-year-old Ethan Grange and his only slightly older fishing buddy, Heston Hawksworth, doubled up on a pair of chinook salmon and landed both, much to the pride and elation of Ethan’s father, Brian Grange.
There was also the father and son combination of special guest Les Stroud, author, musician and host of the popular reality TV series Survivorman, and his son Logan, who finished third in the derby with a 32-pound chinook. Les gave a presentation on the second night of the trip, followed by a lively Q and A with guests of all ages. Naturally he also brought a guitar and played some covers and original tunes that garnered two enthusiastic encores to close out the final night.
And first prize? That went to Bryan MacFadden who set the bar high on day one of the competition with a 45-pound chinook salmon, triggering the adrenalin glands of fellow anglers, including those at home, eagerly anticipating upcoming trips. Bryan’s win gave him first crack at choosing from the prize table, from which he selected a Les Stroud Outdoor Pack (custom survival hammock, knife, soft pack and a copy of one of Les’s books) while Joerg claimed a superbly crafted Islander reel. A fine selection of other prizes went to the other six other top finishers, including Helly Hansen rain suits and Yeti coolers.
And then all too soon it was over. Guests awoke on departure day to a clear and windless morning, making it that much more difficult to leave. Not surprisingly, the conversation included a few folks talking about returning next year, and no doubt some will.
For as long as there are fathers and children and family members of every description, and as long as there are wild Pacific salmon in its mystical waters, Langara Island will remain a place where hearts can meet, and in the most unique and wonderful way.
Final Standings of The West Coast Fishing Club’s 2019 Father’s Day Derby
- Bryan MacFadden – 45
- Joerg Goetsch – 38.5
- Logan Stroud – 32
- David Montague Jr. – 31
- Richard Piche – 31
- Chase Rowland – 30.5
- Rodney Bennett – 30
- Jason Green – 28.5