Family fishing fun for the holidays

A variety of flies plugs and spoons that make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

For many Island anglers, the gear has been put away for the winter but weather plays a big part of getting out for a quick spin and get back in with a winter spring.

Last week, the salmon reports from the Victoria area were slow fishing with undersize springs a-plenty in water anywhere from 100 to 150 feet. I know a family from Victoria is here in Campbell River for the Christmas holidays and will be doing a day trip with a local fishing guide.

Already a number of fish are coming in ranging from 20 to 23 pounds and those willing to get out a few hours will be rewarded. The locals who fish here in Discovery Passage Area 13 know how to fish the right tides with the right bait and limit out. Water taxi drivers have been out and about and, yes, debris is out there. On the sunny, clear days the glare off the water can be a challenge even wearing sunglasses.

With limited daylight hours, it’s still possible to get out and set a prawn trap or crab pot and return few hours later to see what has been caught. The winter springs are out there but it’s a matter of getting the boat in the water, head to the fishing zone and put in a few hours of holiday time fishing with family and friends.

The rivers locally are fishable and those getting out will fish a few hours in search of a steelie or catch-and-release cutties. Small spinners can be thrown out in the river pools along with silver bodied flies and orange or red egg patterns.

The lakes can be fished from shore using power bait or worms. As of last Wednesday, the snow has stayed away and getting to a local lake really is no problem as long as you have proper winter tires and know where the fish are biting.

The Salmon River is high but drifting is the way most anglers fish it and they can cover a lot of water. The steelies will be around and more anglers will head that way during the holidays. I keep hearing that some people want a white Christmas but I’m fine with the milder, wet weather.

For gift giving and stocking stuffers that will please any angler, there is an assortment of plugs and spoons that are made here on the Island and the product is good compared to items made in foreign countries. Stay away from gimmick items, they end up being stored away at the bottom of the tackle box and never used. Local tackle shop staff know the product and they sell hundreds of popular lures and plugs each year.

Next week I will have a report of some changes to products for the fly fisher. Each year manufacturers make changes and next year will be no exception. When it comes to making a change from spin casting to fly casting, the streamer fly patterns are working as the fly is an attractor or imitates a bait fish. I tied up a number of streamers for Rick Adams and he reported good success catching bass in Ontario.

I plan to demonstrate the tying of a basic streamer fly at the first session of beginners fly tying at the Campbell River Sunday, Jan. 26 starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 3 p.m.This session is free to attend and if you have any interest in getting started plan to attend watch, learn and have some fun.

What is Santa’s favorite salmon? Answer is co ho ho.

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