In 2005, derby clerk Angela Corcoran, came up with the idea of doing a fishing event for women. Corcoran and the Valdez Fish Derby Committee invited Fish Alaska Magazine's publisher Melissa Norris to be keynote speaker and were pleasantly surprised when 372 women showed up for the registration event at Prospector Outfitters sporting goods. The opening event quickly outgrew the original venue and filled the Valdez Civic Center ballrooms to capacity with 707 registrants in 2010.
In 2009, the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station weighed in more than 1,000 silvers on the Women's Silver Derby day. The event has turned into much more than a day of fishing with an opening ceremony featuring music, Fish Olympic Games, Door Prizes, A Bachelor Filet-A-Fish Auction to benefit cancer survivors and the infamous Fox River Sock Toss. Lots of local businesses and big name sponsors like: The North Face; Carhartt; Dansko; Merrell; XtraTuffs; Camelbak; Columbia; SmartWool; Haiku; Chuckar Cherries; Grundens; Ugg; Muck Boots; Helly Hansen; Native Eyewear; Smith Sunglasses; Shakespeare; Adventure Medical Kits; Blue Fox; Gamakatsu; Woolrich; SuperFeet; Therma-Rest; Timberland; Life Is Good; Pendleton and Teva provide prizes for the event.