Time to go fishing with Tommy | NevadaAppeal.com

Time to go fishing with Tommy

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal file photo Shawn Euse, 8 months old, helps his father Jay, of Virginia City Highlands, fish at the 2006 Tommy's Fishing Derby at Davis Creek State Park.
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For quite some time now, the Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2177 has held a fishing derby for kids at Davis Creek Park in Washoe Valley.

It began as the Elks Lodge fishing derby for kids, but close to 15 years ago, it became “Tommy’s Fishing Derby.”

He’s not sure why the name changed, but Tommy Chaney is having fun with it.

“I just started going out there,” Chaney said. “And somebody else started calling it Tommy’s Derby. It’s kinda fun.”

Chaney said in the first years, the derby was attended by just a few kids. Last year, there were 74.

Children ages 2 to 12 are welcome to register for the free derby at 8:30 a.m. Fishing is from 9-11 a.m.

“It’s kind of funny, watching the kids fish,” he said. “Some of them squirm a bit, some go, ‘aww.’ They only fish about two hours, then we call them in for prizes and gifts.”

Chaney said parents and grandparents are welcome to attend and help bait and cast the line, but the youths must reel in the fish.

At 11 a.m., each catch is measured and weighed. The biggest fish will get the grand prize – a bicycle.

“All the kids will get a prize,” he added. “And Corey the Clown will be there.”

Funds for the derby are raised throughout the year by members of the lodge. They hold a trout feed, 50/50 drawing and accept random donations.

“The lodge gives me a $300 budget to work with,” Chaney said. “My wife, Grace, and I spend that much on presents and prizes.”

Children should bring their own fishing poles. After the derby, everyone is fed hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soda.

“Dotty’s Casino, they’re a big supporter,” Chaney said. “They provide all the food for us, and candy. Then I go out and buy condiments.”

Chaney said he feels he has been blessed with the number of volunteers and the weather the past several years.

“It looks like it will be good again Saturday. No clouds or wind – a warm day again.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2177 annual “Tommy’s Fishing Derby”

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Saturday

WHO: Children ages 2-12

WHERE: Davis Creek Park, Washoe Valley

COST: Free

CALL: 882-3751