A selection of ever-popular hoochies used by salmon anglers in Campbell River. Don Daniels photo

Browns Bay Chum Derby on this weekend; Will the chums be there?

By Don Daniels

If you are planning a fishing weekend you want good weather and good fishing.

Last weekend, and even on Monday, the wind was blowing the rain sideways. But then the wind died down and the sun came out on Tuesday. I am hearing the weather should be fine for the chum derby at Browns Bay this weekend.

From start to finish those who have registered for this fun-filled event will dress for the weather and they will fish for chum salmon in hopes of getting the big one, winning a cash prize and coming away with bragging rights. Last year, the catch reports were disappointing and I can only hope the chum returns are better this weekend.

This weekend there is a space between the commercial fishery and the sport anglers when the Browns Bay area will be the busiest area of Discovery Passage. Boat traffic will be heavy all weekend as fishermen come and go from the derby. The derby is a three-day event and those who have registered will be there Friday night. The bulk of the fishing will be Saturday until Sunday afternoon when the prizes will be awarded in a ceremony at the tent after the catch results are in.

This is the salmon fishing fun event of the year and the 18th annual derby is well attended with people coming from the mainland and other areas of Vancouver Island. Area 13 Discovery Passage at the moment has chinook coho and chum salmon but this derby is chum only. I will be at Browns Bay Sunday afternoon and will have a full report next Friday.

For many, the fishing season has ended and the hunting season has begun and some have headed south to spend the winter fishing in Mexico. We know the rain can come and go and the upper elevation logging roads are getting slushy and the snow is not that far away. River levels are high with the recent rain and most are very fishable for Chinook, coho and chums.

For the spin casters, the Gibbs 50 65 and 80 lures have been working and fly casters are using bigger flies in various patterns with green and blue being the favorite color. I am seeing a few fly casters out on the Campbell River and getting out on a nice day and finding an easy pool might be the key to hooking into a salmon this time of year.

I am gathering fly-tying materials and will be using them for demonstration purposes at the Campbell River library Sunday, Jan. 26 for the first session beginning at 1 p.m. and finishing at 3 p.m. If you have any interest in learning the basic techniques of fly tying come and join us for this free informative session at the library. You will learn how to tie streamers and wet flies and take them home.

It is free fun and everyone learns at their own pace and the goal is make a fly and get out fishing in Campbell River.

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