TYEE TALES – Roanne Dunbar


The Bell

It was the beginning of the 10th Anniversary of the Ladies Invitational Tournament – August 26, 1996.

It was dark and quiet with an air of excitement surrounding an unusual group of women as they headed down the docks at April Point Lodge and into the boats to venture across Discovery Passage. This was a very special day and celebration.

We were excited, full of anticipation and anxious to get our rods in the waters of the Tyee Pool and begin our celebration of 10 years of friendship and fishing together. Humming a melody of one of the songs we had made up to amuse ourselves during the “weed” tides, we were off, guides and gals together, in pursuit of the elusive Tyee!

We anchored our boats by the Argonaut Wharf and maneuvered, carefully, ourselves into the rowboats. A hush fell as everyone picked up their rods, said a prayer to the Tyee God and the rhythm of rowing began.

Dawn broke on what turned into a magnificent day and we rowed to and fro until the water “quit” and we all headed for The Tyee Club, a warm fire, breakfast and a coveted cup of coffee.

This was a very special day for the “Ladies”. We were going to present the Tyee Club with a gift from “ The Ladies” of a beautiful antique bronze ships bell that had been found for us by Carl, Gay Meitzen’s husband. The Tyee Club Board and the news media were going to join us around the campfire for breakfast and for the presentation of the bell that was planned for about 9am. The excitement mounted for all of us but particularly for Gay and me.

Gay was to present the history of the bell and I was to give the Dedication of the Bell (I was the only one who had not missed a Tournament during the 10 year period and our guide, Joe was the only guide who had not missed a Tournament so this was quite an honour).

Gay and I were partners for this tournament, and like me, she was a bridesmaid. We both had caught fish in the pool – 29 ¾ etc. but had not been able to register one. Joe Watson, was our guide (lucky us!) and had decreed that he was going to row us both into the Club this year! What a team we were.