Fun for children and families at Elks Lodge fishing derby (updated May 17 with results)

A family enjoying the Elks Lodge Fishing Derby on Sunday, May 16. Photo by Chris Rabago.
A family enjoying the Elks Lodge Fishing Derby on Sunday, May 16. Photo by Chris Rabago.

WINSTED —  It was a great morning for children and their families who all enjoyed The Elks Lodge #844 annual children’s fishing derby on Sunday, May 16.

The event is a town tradition that has been held annually since 1955, except for last year when it was canceled for the first time due to the Covid pandemic.

Event co-organizer Brian Machowski said that the event is about “a little of everything.”

“It’s about sport, fun, and patience,” Machowski said. “When you get here you see all of these big fish swimming around in front of you. But you can’t put your line in until 9 a.m., so it makes the kids excited to fish. There are a lot of people here with their kids and grandkids. The parents and grandparents all remember being here when they were young. This has been a tradition that has been going on for over 50 years and our lodge hopes to keep this going for another 50 years

According to co-organizer Julie Wilcox Machowski, 48 kids participated in the derby, with 53 fish caught during the event. 

“We had the donations from 22 local businesses and community members for which we are very grateful,” Machowski wrote via email. “The big winners of the day were Micaiah Patrick, 6, from Torrington who caught the biggest fish of the day, a 22 1/2 inch rainbow trout. The biggest fish caught by a girl was caught by Cheyenne Halstead, 5, from Torrington. Thanks to R & B sports World and Six Spoons Chocolatier every child that registered got a free game of mini-golf and a bag of saltwater taffy. Also, thanks to all our great sponsors. Every child who stayed until the end of the derby got a prize, even those who didn’t catch a fish.”

Micaiah Patrick, 6, winner of the Elks Fishing Derby. Photo by Susan Koloski.

Cheyenne Halstead, 5, from Torrington, the winner of the girls division of the fishing derby. Photo by Ariel Halstead.

Photos by Chris Rabago

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