John Rua wins NU 55ers’ annual fishing derby |

John Rua wins NU 55ers’ annual fishing derby

Having no shortages of championship Nevada Union High school class of ’55 trophies, John Rua of Grass Valley won his fourth Fish Derby with just thirty minutes of fishing time left on Sunday by landing a nice 18 1/2 -inch rainbow at Davis Lake. Rua, who also won $50 in prize money, felt especially fortunate because the fish came off the hook inside the boat. Rua achieved the winning feat in 1990, 1998, and tied with Loren Pingree and Paul Yust in 2002. He used a Cripple Lure for his catch. Rua will hold the distinction of being the only Derby winner to be the Champ four times. The Derby/Social started in 1987 and this year its 22nd running.

The Bill Bruning Memorial Trophy was won for the fifth time by Loren Pingree of Brookings, Oregon and Arlen Cartwright of Oroville. The Perpetual Trophy is awarded for the team that catches the most fish in the two day tournament. Their catch totaled four.

Dave Lollich and daughter Charlene Rocha of Modesto and Turlock passed the Skunk record held by Ann Donnenwirth of Grass Valley by not catching a trout for eight straight years.

Ed Dillard, a successful Fishing Guide for Frenchman’s Lake and Lake Davis presented a fishing trip for three to the class of ’55. The Derby Coordinators have invited Lollich, Rocha and Jack Stillens to take advantage of Mr. Dillard’s generosity and expertise. (

A gift certificate to a local restaurant was the Booby Prize for catching the smallest fish. Pingree won that with a 12″ Trout.

A total of 37 turned out for the event which kicked off with a Pizza Party in Blairsden where classmates viewed photo albums of past class activities and derbies.

The annual Saturday night dinner was held at the Sierra Valley Lodge in Calpine. Derby Coordinators Arlen Cartwright and Wayne Brooks honored classmate Elaine Teghtmeyer of Nevada City with a roast. Elaine was recognized for her devotion to the class of ’55 and was presented with a number of framed photos of elementary and high school days as well as family members.

Diana (Browning) Pello of Nevada City was recognized as a first-time attendee.

An auction of items of sentimental value was conducted. A total of $755 was donated for 55er Derby/Social activities. Eleven Items were auctioned and Don Percy of Reno was the successful bidder for a human heart shaped 4.2 penny weight Placer Nugget. His donation was $360.

A 1955 Nevada Union High school annual was secured by Amos Seghezzi of Grass Valley for $200. He presented it to his class of ’55 wife, Beverly. In two other spirited bidding contests, Linda Woods of Nevada City won a beautiful round Afghan and Frank Goldsberry of Citrus Heights bagged a top of the line fish pole and reel.

The weekend concluded with an outdoor brunch and awards ceremony at the Sierra Valley RV park in Beckworth.

The much advertised re-stocking of Lake Davis was met with spotty fishing results, which could be caused by a tremendous bug hatch, a full moon and warming water temperatures. Those fish caught weighed heavy and gave good battles.

Next year’s Derby/Social for the 55ers will be held the third weekend in June.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


See more