Thursday, June 20, 2024

Alta Anglers recognized for 65th year of growing family gatherings


PATEROS—The Alta Lake Anglers, a family tradition that began more than six decades ago this month, will return to the shores of its namesake for its 65th gathering on April 27, and this time, they have a city declaration to prove it. 

At the regular monthly meeting of the Pateros city council April 15, Mayor Kelly Hook read a proclamation declaring Saturday, April 27, Alta Anglers Appreciation Day.

WHEREAS, two fathers and four sons from the Anderson and Dahl families from Kirkland, Washington, first traveled to Pateros in April 1959 to camp and fish at Alta Lake State Park for opening day of trout fishing season; and

WHEREAS, those original six fishermen s enjoyed the recreational opportunities provided by Alta Lake, Pateros, and the Okanogan that they continued to return in subsequent years. They also invited relatives, school friends, and co-workers to join them for opening day at Alta Lake, who in turn invited their own family and friends to join in the annual gathering; and

WHEREAS, the publisher of the Snohomish (Washington) Tribune determined the ever-increasing group needed an identity, and in 1960’s named them “the Alta Anglers”; and

WHEREAS, the Alta Anglers have returned to Alta Lake in late April for over six decades, with the exception of the 2020 Covid closure year; and

WHEREAS, the Alta Anglers have grown from the original six Kirklanders to over 500 members present and past from dozens of families throughout the U.S. and abroad, with the fourth generation now in attendance; and

WHEREAS, the Alta Anglers have been dedicated advocates of and ambassadors for 

Alta Lake and Pateros for 65 years; and

WHEREAS, the City of Pateros recognizes the economic impact from the Alta Anglers returning each year to camp at our campgrounds, fish and golf at Alta Lake, shop in our stores, stay in our hotels, and eat at our restaurants – with benefits to not just Pateros but also to businesses in Brewster, Chelan, Wenatchee, and Winthrop; and

WHEREAS, the Alta Anglers have showed their affinity to Pateros and its surroundings by helping raise funds to support recovery efforts after the Carlton Complex Fire in 2015, as well as contributed to efforts to preserve the Whistlin’ Pine Ranch; and

WHEREAS, the Alta Anglers are now returning for their 65th consecutive year to celebrate families, friends, and fun at Alta Lake

Now, therefore, I declare Saturday, April 27, 2024, to be Alta Anglers Appreciation Day.

Kelly Hook, Mayor, City of Pateros

The Quad City Herald wrote about the 60th Alta Anglers gathering (Issue 17, April 24, 2018), describing the original 1959 outing by Rod Anderson and his three sons, Chris, 10, Tom, eight, and Steve, six, and friend, Dick Dahl with son, Rich, also eight. Today Tom Anderson and Rich Dahl are the remaining survivors of the original six.

The Anglers’ 2015 visit to Alta was just months after the 2014 Carlton Complex wildfire, which consumed homes, the golf resort, and facilities, including picnic tables.

Some welcome news for this year’s group is that Whistlin’ Pine is back up and operating with its campground, cabins, RV sites, trail rides, and more, thanks to Tara Gokey, daughter of the late owner, Brian Varrelman.

What Alta Lake ranger Sharon Soelter said five years ago still applies: “Such loyal and long-term traditions tend to blossom in state parks.”

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or


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