Maple Valley Fishing Derby

When I made the move to a small town in Washington (Maple Valley), there were a few charming things that immediately jumped out at me, making me excited for this move from the Hollywood Hills to the country.

1) We have a farm and feed store down the street that sells baby chicks in the spring. One of these days I’m going to actually buy some.

2) There is a seasonal fruit stand that turns into a Christmas tree farm in the winter. I love stopping by to get some fruit on the way home. In the fall, I love getting hay bales and corn stalks to decorate the front porch.

3) Another favorite is the annual Maple Valley Fishing Derby, held this weekend, April 29–30, at Lake Wilderness. This has to be the cutest small-town tradition ever. Everyone comes Friday night and pitches a tent. Camping is free. Kids run wild eating hot dogs and s’mores. Many women leave their husbands and kids to stay the night in the tent while they have a girls’ night and arrive fresh and well rested in the morning. At midnight, the event begins. People jump into motor boats or start casting from the dock. Some will fish all night; others will start in the morning. For the event, the State of Washington stocks Lake Wilderness with tagged fish for fishermen 12 and over (tickets: $5.00). There is a sectioned-off area for little ones on the dock—and even workers assigned to help the little ones catch a biggie out of the stocked fish pen (tickets: $2.00). There is breakfast served for $3.00.

The event ends at noon on Saturday. There are a ton of prizes, including a cash prize. We also donate a fly rod every year. This year, Hayden, my dad, and I will be presenting the fly rod award at noon, so come by and see us if you’re there! There are so many awards and prizes it seems everyone goes home with something. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, I can’t recommend this event highly enough. It is sure to become a family tradition for you, too. Maple Valley is 40 minutes from downtown Seattle and 25 from Bellevue. Come check it out; your kids will be forever grateful.

  1. We went to the fishing derby for the first time this year. We had a great time and love that our city puts on such a unique event. Glad to see that you all support your community and family events. We look forward to next year (hopefully with more sunshine!)

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