345 Anglers on 63rd Annual Boxing Day Derby
Posted on December 19th, 2006 by Chris Gadsden

Maple Ridge angler Wade Gienow tops 345 anglers in annual Boxing Day Steelhead Derby held on the Chilliwack Vedder River.

Derby winner Wade Gienow accepting trophy from Chairman Don Kozak (photo: Gordon Gadsden).

The 63rd annual Boxing Day Steelhead Derby held last Tuesday on the Chilliwack Vedder River drew 345 anglers but the number of steelhead was near a record low level as only 4 steelhead were entered.

This is below the number of fish that were entered by a comparable number of anglers that participated in the last 3 derbies. 10 steelhead were entered in 2003, 13 the following year and last year 11 fish were brought to the weigh scales. At the derby deadline of 2 pm Wade Gienow from Maple Ridge landed the biggest steelhead of the derby, a fish weighing 13.48 pounds.

Don Kozak, the Chilliwack Fish and Game Protective Association chairman for the derby and combined fund raiser, said after the event, "we had a feeling the catch would be low this year because the anglers had to fish for the most part in less than ideal fishing conditions," he said. "The recent flood during November in the Chilliwack River Valley has created several new clay slides that are creating silty and unfavorable water conditions, especially in wet and mild weather conditions that we have had post flood," Kozak stated.

The winning angler, Wade Gienow from Maple Ridge who is a guide on the Fraser River most of the year beat the odds stacked against the anglers in this derby as he coaxed a 13.48 pound doe steelhead into taking a liking to his roe and wool combination.

Gienow's fish was well ahead of second place finisher Todd McIntyre's 10.66 pounder.

Rod Toth, another Fraser River guide was the only Chilliwack based angler to enter a fish, a 8.24 pound steelhead. Toth took his third placed fish on one of the jigs that he manufactures.

Ed Stanley from Coquitlam took first fish weighted in honors; he caught his 6.88 pound steelhead shortly after nine and had it to the scales at 9.35lb.

Gienow is no stranger to catching a steelhead in the derby as he finished in 7th place last year and has taken part in about 8 derbies over the years.

Gienow who connected with the Kingfish around 10 am described in a post derby interview and after receiving the coveted age old Ferguson Furnell perpetual trophy how he found his winning steelhead.

"I threw out a cast behind this boulder, in about 2 feet of water; my float went about 1 foot and to my surprise a steelhead swirled at my float," the now relaxed Gienow said. "I even saw the whole body of the fish from head to tail, I also saw it was a hatchery fish" which was good news to Gienow as only hatchery steelhead can be retained. "The steelhead then disappeared under water grabbing my bait a she went, I set the hook real hard and the battle was on," Gienow said.

"The fight did not really last that long, maybe one minute and after a couple of decent runs I had it near to shore, saw it was indeed a hatchery so I quickly pulled it ashore, it sure was one hungry fish," the smiling Gienow concluded.

Gienow weighed in his fish at 10:24 and he then crossed his fingers, paced the floor of the clubhouse until the 2 o'clock weigh-in deadline, hoping that his fish's weight would hold up to give him top boasting honors among his fellow anglers.

Kozak was very happy with the support the derby received, not only from the anglers but the business community who donated close to $20,000 in prizes. "I was overwhelmed by the support of so many, including the volunteers from our club, we could not have made it happen without them," he said.

"The best news is the derby and fund raiser made a total profit of $13,873.42, this total included a donation made by Art Decker from Westform Metals who donated $1,300 he won on a draw back into the derby coffers,"Kozak added.

"This means we will have money to use for habitat restoration projects in the Chilliwack River Valley that will include some money hopefully donated to the Chilliwack River Action Committee for their ongoing work the last 10 years to repair the clay slides on the Chilliwack River", Kozak said.

Send us a news tip!

Back to Fishy News.

Great Rate and Great Times!
Located in Downtown Vancouver, Bites-on Charters offer fully guided salmon fishing adventures in Georgia Strait and Howe Sound. Contact us at 1-877-688-2483 or visit our website!
Check out the New Stealth Float!
A new high quality, high performance, affordable alternative to the European clear floats is now available. At $3.99 you cannot afford not to fish with Stealth floats!
Fraser River Fishing Lodge
Spectacular riverfront lodge with stunning mountain and river views. Near Vancouver and Seattle. Salmon, Sturgeon, Steelhead, Trout. As featured on BBC, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media. Visit us at!
Get your Boating Licence!
Coast Guard accredited safe boating course and exam for the Canadian boating license (Pleasure Craft Operator Card). Study for free and print a temporary card when you pass. Start now!
Copyright © Fishing with Rod Production. All rights reserved.