Fishing derby draws more than 100 young anglers, families – Albany Democrat Herald

As the bright morning sun warmed the lake at Timber-Linn Park in Albany on Saturday, bundles of fishing poles stood available to any kid, dad, uncle or mom who wanted to borrow one.

The Northwest Steelheaders Association, a group dedicated to angling for the giant silver trout, provided the poles and the tackle, while the Calapooia District of the Boy Scouts of America hosted its traditional fishing derby, now in its 25th year.

The previous day, workers had dumped a truckload of rainbow trout — 650 in all — into the lake. About 40 had blue tags; the lucky angler who caught one of those won a $5 Bi-Mart gift certificate.

A little more than 100 kids and their families dotted the pond and cast their lines, which floated through the morning air in lazy arcs, made silver in the light, delivering lures and baited hooks into the still water. Nine-year-old Jordan White could barely walk fast enough as he made his way, borrowed pole in hand, to the wooden bridge, where his brother, Jason, 12, sat with his line already in the lake.

“I’m gonna use the bobber later because the sun will be higher,” Jordan said, hanging his hook over the side and fumbling to set the reel.

“I’m just gonna sit here and wait,” replied Jason, reclining in a folding chair, his line as motionless as he was.

Jordan shook his pole, trying to drop his hook lower.

“Push the button!” Jason said from behind his sunglasses.

“I like fishing, but my dad really doesn’t, so this is the only time I get to,” Jason remarked. “Jordan caught a fish last year.”

Over on the far end of the lake, 8-year-old Jessie Brown had set his pole in a stand made of rocks, so he was fishing hands-free. Even better, he and his brother, Griffin, 7, had built the stand at last year’s derby and were excited to find it still in place.

“I think the water washed up on it so nobody could wreck it,” said Griffin.

The boys’ pole stand was just one method used at the derby. Others cast spoons and castmasters halfway across the lake, while others sat on tailgates, watching their set pole for any movement. All were settled into the pace and dimension of trout fishing. It’s a junction where time sort of slips away, everybody becomes relaxed and everything seems to be dialed into the everpresent potential for a fish to bite.

“You catch any?”

“Not yet.”

“Had a nibble, I think.”

When Jessie Brown pulled in a nice 10-inch rainbow, his mom, Amy Brown, helped him finish it off, using a stone to whack it on the head. Inside of five minutes, Jessie had another. It seemed as though the fish were waking up.

Back on the bridge, Jason White’s plan to “just sit and wait” paid off as well. He caught himself a nice rainbow, working to remove the hook from its mouth so he can cast again.

All the young anglers continued to fish until midday or so, if we’re keeping with the loose chronological protocol of fishing time. They also enjoyed drawings for door prizes, all donated by Thrivent Financial.

Of course, we all know the adage about a bad day fishing being better than a good one working. This was definitely a good day fishing.