A good day of fly fishing for Debbie Smith. Photo by Don Daniels

Expect Campbell River-area lakes to be busy during Mother’s Day

It will be safe to say that this weekend will see many people camping, fishing, boating and just getting out to their favorite lake to enjoy the day or the weekend.

The warmer weather has kick-started the fishing action and yes its Mother’s Day on Sunday. Depending on who operates the campgrounds, some may be be closed and at out-of-the-way camping areas, the roads can be rough. Between Campbell River and Gold River, the first day-use area to note is Echo Lake and I expect the lake to see more fishing pressure than normal because families will be out spending the day at the lake.

The gate is closed at Miller Creek but people park in the small pull off area and walk in. There is a day use area at the campground but I’m not sure if the camping area is open for the season.

Strathcona Dam is a popular area to camp and go fishing but it can be crowded. Buttle Lake is not that far away and the area has people camping and fishing. It’s a great place to check out if you are new to the area and want to get fishing.

Trout fishing has been good for those who have been get out last week because of the warmer weather and the caddis hatch has begun. Within the week, the ants will be out and the trout will gorge themselves for a few days then the bite will be off.

Early morning fishing has been good and on the fly. When the trout are on the surface, the pheasant tail nymph in a size 6 to 8 has been working. A Tom Thumb deer hair fly has also been effective fishing in 20 feet of water.

I had tied up a few squirmy wormy fly patterns on a size 8 hook over the winter and I was itching to give it a go. I call it experimental fishing because it crosses over fly fishing and bait fishing. The action of the soft rubber material may be the secret to seeing if it works – it does. When I fly fish I use a sinking line to get deep and see what happens. The material comes in a pink or worm color so I stay with the worm color.

I am seeing more people getting offshore and using float tubes, pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks. Float tubes were popular in the mid-90s and I have one but haven’t used it in years. I want to stay out of the water so an inflatable boat that is stable is my preference and I can fold it up and pack it away. I see a number of people trying to fish out of a kayak but the lack of space can be a challenge.

When it comes to lake fishing there are a number of stumpy areas that are hard to get to by a regular boat but getting there with an inflatable is a good way to fish these structures. You can use a lure like a Rooster Tail and cast in the zone. Fry Lake has an area where it’s full of stumps and, at times, offers the angler good fishing. Trollers will stay off the stumps and fish the deeper water.

There are a number of people who really haven’t been out fishing for Chinook salmon since the retention is zero but some are getting out prawning or crabbing.

At Kelsey Bay in Sayward, the wind has kept anglers off the water but when the weather clears and wind dies down they are getting out for halibut. A descending device has to be on board if you are going after bottom fish.