Family Fun at Kids Fishing Derby

Thirty years and going strong, the annual Kids Fishing Derby sponsored by the Rotary Club of Truckee will be held on June 16 at the Coldstream pond behind Donner Memorial State Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is free to children ages 12 and younger. Both residents and visitors participate in this event.

Bucket list #22

Both of my children did and we still have conversations about the event to this day. To say it was a memorable experience for them would be an understatement. Oddly, it may have been a catalyst for their adult lives. Both are involved in water sports. My daughter was a full-time fly-fishing guide for the last five years and is now a part-time guide and leads women’s programs for the Ashland Fly Shop in Ashland, Ore. My son works on both sailing and motorized tour boats in Hawaii.

We think that the Kids Derby may have had something to do with their love of the outdoors; this was the intent of the founder of the event, Bob Tilton. He wanted to get kids to enjoy the outdoors. He began the event when has was the owner of a local sporting goods shop, Truckee Sports and Awards. While the business is no longer going, the derby is going strong. It was later taken over by the Truckee Noon Rotary Club.

While there is a limited amount of gear to use, people are encouraged to bring their own so to be assured a chance to fish. The Rotary also will have food and drinks on site.

Finally, while the event is for ages 12 and younger, Dill encourages any older kids to come out and help out the younger ones, especially if they have participated in past derbies. If you are an experienced fisherman or -woman, walk around and lend some help to those who need it. Your reward will be the smiles you get in return.


Boca | The road over the dam is closed until further notice. Inflow is at 109 cfs. and the outflow is 147 cfs. Powerbait, nightcrawlers and lures are working. Fly-fishers have been catching some fish near the inlet with nymphs, streamers and dries.

Donner Lake | Fishing has been fair to good. Kokanee fishing has been fair to good. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Mackinaw fishing has been good. Fly-fishers are catching some fish with streamers.

Lake Tahoe | All tributaries are closed to all fishing until July 1. Fishing has been fair to good for mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Most shore anglers use inflated nightcrawlers.

Little Truckee River | The flow is at 109 cfs. This is a fairly low early-season flow. Nymphing and dries should both work at this level. Dry dropper rigs are also recommended. Hatches similar to the main Truckee.

Martis Lake | Zero kill. Catch and release only with barbless artificial lures or flies. Fishing is the best early in the season and again the fall. The lake is typically good until around mid-June and again in the fall.

Prosser Reservoir | Fishing has been fair. Anglers using bait, lures and flies have all caught fish. Fly-fishers have done well near the inlet areas. Bass fishing should improve as the water warms. Mostly blood midge and callibaetis now.

Stampede Reservoir | The road is closed over the dam for construction and will remain so this season and next. Access to the boat ramp will be through the Hobart Mills side. Fishing has been fair from shore. Nightcrawlers, Powerbait and lures have all produced from shore. Fly-fishers have been doing well near the inlets with nymphs and streamers. Kokanee fishing has been good. Smallmouth bass fishing should improve as the water warms.

Truckee River | The flow out of the dam in Tahoe City is at 358 cfs. The flows through Truckee are at 962 cfs. Fishing has been fair to good for those working hard. Nymphs and streamers are producing best during the spring flows. Blue Wing Olives and March Brown mayflies and some caddis are showing. Some surface activity. This water is special regulation, artificial only with barbless hook. Catch-and-release fishing is encouraged in this section, but an angler may keep two fish with a minimum size of 14 inches
until Nov. 15.

Davis and Frenchman lakes | Both are full. Boat, shore and fly anglers are catching fish. Reports from Davis are only fair. Water temperatures are climbing quickly. Damsel hatch could begin soon.