Jesse Patterson caught this beauty for his first ever salmon while fishing in Campbell River. Photo by Don Daniels

August is the month to catch a big salmon

Since mid-April, salmon anglers had to make some adjustments to the salmon fishing experience in Campbell River.

It started with catch-and-release for springs, then a size restriction but now it’s a chance to hook into a large spring salmon in the high twenties weight size or fish for a Tyee – a salmon over 30 pounds. This also was the first year that the Lighthouse fishing area has been open to salmon fishing.

Local fishing guide Ron Fife had a charter in late July and I had a chance to join in on a half-day fishing.

Ron took out a party of three. He set up his riggers and before he had finished the set, a double head was on and from start to finish there was fishing action. His fishing party had limited out in the morning and I had a chance to fish. My salmon came in at 79 cms and it was a keeper – barely. Prior to that week, Ron had caught a Tyee salmon and he released it.

I noticed a couple of things on the trip and the first observation was the way a fishing guide deals with each person.

Members of the fishing party were beginners and have never caught a salmon. Ron was fishing close to the bottom and the first order of business was learning how to get the rod out of the holder, pick up the slack and wind in fast then the play is on. Ron was fishing in the middle of the rip and when a fish is caught, you get the extra fight from the fish being in rougher water. Campbell River is still the fishing destination to come to.

Rick Rapp is fishing on the west coast and reports salmon are on the inside at Camel Rock and area. The heavy recent rain has moved the fish in and average size is 20 pounds. Coho average seven pounds. Boat congestion is not bad and the fish and anglers are spread out.

On my first fishing trip to Campbell River, Rick was my fishing guide and a few years back took out my relatives fishing who came to Campbell River from Manitoba.

My first fishing contact when I was working in Calgary was Blair Mclean who was working at a fishing show.

Blair lives in Campbell River and has been busy moving his boat to Port Alice and runs a sea otter watching business.

The salmon fishing has been outstanding in Port Alice and the road is paved in and there is camping spots available with a marina.

I am in the process of taking time and getting out to Port Alice to fish the area and give a full report in the Fishing Corner.

Last Sunday, 16 Tyee boats were in the pool and a 27.5 pound spring was caught, but no one has hit the scale yet with a Tyee salmon.

The best viewing time to watch the rowers and anglers in the pool is from late afternoon to early evening. The clubhouse is open to the public and information on joining the club is available.

Please note that motors are not allowed in the pool until Sept. 15. Signs are posted in the area but each year boats will go through the pool.

Plans are in the works for a new clubhouse being built for 2024.

I met Troy Winslow at the clubhouse about eight years ago and he lent me his fishing rod and I’m hoping to meet with Troy later this month.

If you enjoy old fashioned fishing with a single rod and plug or spoon and like to enjoy a few hours of fishing, Tyee Pool is the place to be.

In Area 13 (Discovery Passage), you can keep springs over 80cms.Meanwhile, the coho are here and the pinks have arrived.

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