Worley angler Gary March didn’t do well in this year’s salmon derby on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
A mule deer hunting trip to an icy eastern Montana recently didn’t lift his spirits.
He had his boat along to fish Fort Peck Reservoir, but a mishap sent it and his pickup truck over an embankment of a Montana backroad.
“I was in an area that didn’t have cellphone coverage, and 9 miles from the boat launch when I lost control of my truck and boat, and went off a 30-foot embankment,” March said. “There was a little damage to the boat, but the truck is totaled. It took me a few days to get the trailer fixed before I could get it home.”
As he waited for repairs in a Jordan, Mont., motel room, March got a call from the Northwest Marine Trade Association.
The voice message on his phone informed him that March’s name, entered in a drawing after fishing in The Big One Salmon Derby on Lake Coeur d’Alene last summer, had been drawn from more than 4,000 anglers at the end of the 2017 West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series.
He was the winner of a new boat.
March had won the grand prize, a 22-foot OceanPro Hewescraft aluminum boat with Honda motors and trailer valued around $85,000.
Coincidentally it was the same boat he lost over the embankment north of Jordan.
“My emotions were pretty low at the time, and then I was right back on top,” March said. “I had a pretty big swing of emotions at that moment.”
March, who retired after 45 years with White’s Boot Company in Spokane, lives on the lake near Worley.
He plans to make good use of the new water skimmer.
“I will definitely be fishing this derby every summer,” he said.