Sunday, March 10, 2013

Challis Chamber Steelhead Derby Underway

Sarah Baker is an avid Steelheader and won the Women's Divison in 2011.
The 13th Annual Challis Area Chamber of Commerce Steelhead Derby began March 1.  Now that the Deadwater Ice Jam is gone, the popular Steelhead Derby will really gain momentum.  The Steelhead Derby features two chances to win.  One is a straight out "Big Fish Contest" and the other is the "Mystery Fish Contest."

Derby participants buy an Entry Ticket for $20.  Derby cards must be purchased at The Bent Rod Outdoors on Hwy 93 in Challis before fish are caught and measured. Up to six steelhead may be entered in either the Big Fish or the Mystery Fish Contests.  The top three longest fish entered in Men's, Women's and the Youth categories will be announced at the April 6th Steelhead Ball.  First place wins $100; 2nd place $75 and third place $50.  Each week during the Steelhead Derby a random measure is drawn and the fish closest to that measure wins. In the first week there were six entries and Mike Rukavina's 22.75 inch steelhead won.  Rukavina and each upcoming weekly winner receives a $50 gift certificate from The Bent Rod Outdoors.

Rules for the Steelhead Derby are detailed on the poster below.  Steelhead Derby winners and the length of their fish  for the past 4 years are listed in a table below the poster. The Steelhead Derby ends at 5 pm April 6th an hour before the Steelhead Ball begins.
Throughout the duration of the Steelhead Derby, the Challis Chamber of Commerce sells 250 raffle tickets for $50 each for a chance to win  brand new 2013 Hyde Contender Series Drift Boat (Dark Blue) and trailer. It's a raffle with very good odds for participants. Buddy Wilton won the boat in 2012; Rick Forestier in 2011 and Dani Harvie in 2010.  There are many other great raffle prizes besides the boat.
Corey Rice displays a steelhead caught last weekend.

The Steelhead Ball begins at 6 pm and features an evening of dinner, dancing, raffles, auction and more.  The Steelhead Ball will be staged in the new Challis Community Events Center located on Clinic Road.  A major highlight of the Steelhead Ball is announcement of winners of The Big Fish Contest winners and the boat raffle.  Entertainment for the Steelhead Ball will be provided by "Horsin’ Around."  Musicians Travis Hardy, Wanda Swiggert, Chris MacDonald and Scott Lee are known for their wide range of music including: Oldies, Rock, Country, Classics and Contemporary.  Dinner is provided by The Village Inn and will be served from 6-8 pm.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for chilren 13 and under.

Steelhead Derby and Ball sponsors include The Bent Rod Outdoors; Watkins Distributing (Budweiser); Linger Distributing (Pepsi); Lambs Market; Challis Village in Motel & Restaurant; Thomsen Stephens Law Office and many others.

The Steelhead Derby and Ball are the Challis Area Chamber of Commerce’s primary fundraising event of the year. While membership dues pays for the chamber office and overhead, it is fundraising income that allows the chamber to have a part-time employee, participate in community projects and promote the Challis

The Challis Area Chamber of Commerce is located in the MadDog Gallery on Main Street in Challis. Melissa Perkins Fitzgerald is Executive Director.  For more information call 208-879-2771 or email:

Here is the Chamber website:

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