Hide and Seek with the World’s Largest Trout
This Thanksgiving, what do you plan to do? For about 500 people at Woodbury Resort, playing hide and seek with the Kootenay Lake Rainbow Trout is what’s in store. And the prizes, which seem to increase every year, make the game that much sweeter when you win. Tickets sell out every year, as fisherpeople come from far and wide to compete for the $4000 first prize and the best fish tale.
As Fish Tales Go, This One’s a Whopper
I phoned Woodbury resort to get the details on this year’s Rainbow Derby, and to find out how big these fish really get. She told me that last year, a 36 pound Rainbow Trout was caught, but that, a couple years ago, right before the actual derby (how convenient) a 38 pound fish was caught. Hmmm…sounds…fishy to me.
The Gerrard can regularly reach 33 pounds, though, and the competition is fierce for these stealthy fish, who so enjoy hiding in the depths of Kootenay Lake. Ticket holders may try their luck on any (or all, I suppose) of the three arms of Kootenay Lake, and each fisherperson has their own tricks of the trade for trying to catch not just a fish, but the largest fish. From special bait to sonar, ticket holders will venture out onto Kootenay Lake from day break October 11 through noon on the 13th.
Tickets cost $50 per person, and every person needs to have both a ticket and a valid fishing license. but the fee is small for what is, really, an entire weekend full of events. Lunch, oysters, daily prizes as well as the three main prizes for the biggest fish caught — plus, of course, the sheer awesomeness of being surrounded by 500 avid fishers who are all out to catch the world’s largest Gerrard Rainbow Trout. These fish average 8 pounds, but can grow as long as 4 feet and reach over 50 pounds, according to National Geographic.
Perhaps because of something that has come to be known as a fish tale, if you are taking part in this derby and would like your fish to count, it must be weighed at Woodbury Marina. A picture will be taken of you with your fish, and, basically, whoever has caught the heaviest fish will win the $4000 prize. Second prize is $2000 and third prize is $1000.
I had the chance to speak with Max Berkeley about competing in these derbies, and he emphasized “the fun of catching a really big fish.” I get the impression that, though there is prize money to be had, the fun of the sport is what keeps the fishermen and women returning year after year to reel them in.
Of course, prizes are great, too. And on top of the three main prizes, there are also daily hidden ticket number prizes, where a ticket number will be called, three times per day, and if you hear your number called, you receive a $100 prize. So, if you choose to participate, make sure you stay tuned to your radio while you’re searching for your Rainbow Trout.
To purchase a ticket for this year’s Rainbow Derby, phone 1-877-353-7717 or stop by Woodbury Resort, Jones Boys Boats, Barrons in Kaslo or the Gill and Gift at the Balfour ferry terminal. The tourism website has lots of information on charters, marinas and Kootenay Lake.
We hope to see you at the Rainbow Fishing Derby this year. If you need a place to stay while visiting, check out Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism for great ideas on all sorts of accommodation.