FISHING CORNER: Campbell River bike trails can lead to fishing tales

By Don Daniels

There are a number of people that ride the bike trails around Campbell River.

For years I have seen the trails and the number of people using them is increasing now that the warm biking weather is here. For the most part, I drive into an area and when the fishing destination has been determined, I can park off the road and walk in.

I have no intent of buying a bike but I get a chance to talk to those who have biked around the area for years and I am curious how far a lake or pond is before walking in. A few months ago, a buddy of mine had mentioned to me that he bought a few fly rods and decided to go fishing at the end of a bike ride as he knew a lake was there. I saw him a few weeks later and I asked how the fishing was and he said not very good and smiled. He giggled and had mentioned that he bought a few fly rods and attached them to his bike horizontally and as he made his way along the trail and was heading into an area that was covered in overgrown leaves and brush.

He paid no attention and really didn’t think much of looking at his rods. But when he did, he saw they were broken into about four pieces so his fishing trip had ended in no results. I think it’s called live and learn. You can buy a fly rod that breaks down in 4 or 5 pieces and you can pack it in your packsack and go fishing.

Wayne Scott showed me a picture of a nice trout he had caught and he mentioned he bikes up General Hill and has a few destinations in mind to fish. The road to Brewster Lake is dusty and rough but if you take it easy, you can bike to the lake but the road is busy with campers heading to the same area. I mentioned to Wayne that if he wanted to go fishing I would drive us to the fishing spot. He has been in Campbell River for years and knows the trails inside out. We had spent a few hours and since I fly fish, I wanted to see the trout surfacing. With the first cast out using a Panther Martin lure, he was into his first trout and he had many hits afterwards using the same lure.

I made the drive days later and parked in the same area and walked in to see the lake from the other side. You can fish from shore and when the water depth drops off after 15 feet, you can throw out lures and see what happens. Usually, you will get hits right from the start then it tapers off . When the bite is off, you move location. I left a few flies in the trees because the wind was coming right at me and getting line out was a challenge. I am looking at getting a small lightweight trout rod. Using 6 pound line will get small lures out and let it sink and retrieve. I know guys who use 15 pound test line on small rods but getting the lure out is difficult.

Deep water lakes are fishing well at the moment and those at Roberts Lake were getting fish using Cowichan Spoons on the north side by the islands and on the south end of the lake in deep water along the drop off. I am getting reports that a trout close to 22 inches was caught but the name of the lake was not mentioned.