The list of lakes within an hour’s drive from Campbell River numbers more than 100 but the problem is, limited access to the lake or the road is rough. Don Daniels photo

Many swamp areas overlooked for trout fishing

For the most part, you can go trout fishing 12 months a year anywhere on the Island.

The weather warms up in April and May and the trout get active looking for feed and they search the water for shade and places to hide.

Warmer weather is here and the month of June will see more recreational activity on lakes as people get out fishing swimming and boating. There are small bodies of water around that are fishable and weed growth and submerged tree stumps will discourage swimmers and boaters from visiting these areas because there is no access to the water.

The list of lakes within an hour’s drive from Campbell River numbers more than 100 but the problem is, limited access to the lake or the road is rough. On a recent outing, I was on the way to Echo Lake and I noticed a young girl fishing from the bank of a swampy area of water and I thought to myself “there wouldn’t be any fish in there.”

I later met up with a few ladies who have been fishing around Campbell River for years and they mentioned a few fishing spots that are overlooked by the general public where they caught nice trout.

I have never seen any fishing action on a small lake I’ll name later. The small trout were surfacing and I looked to see how I can get my inflatable boat in. It took me a while but I found a spot. The first thing was getting around the sticks, twigs and tree trunks submerged in the water and try to find the open water and get fishing.

This particular lake is long and narrow and I knew getting to the far end would be a challenge. I call this body of water Swamp Lake and I would fish it the same way I fish the other lakes around Campbell River. For a small, swampy body of water, I use a 3 weight fly rod and my choice of fly patterns will consist of stoneflies, elk hair caddis but the real winner was a pheasant tail nymph. Small swampy lakes are difficult to fish with lures. Fly fishing is the only way you can fish.

We are in for three more months of warm temperatures and the larger body of lakes will be good fishing as the trout find deeper water and stay there. Locally, Buttle Lake has trout close to two pounds and large trout have been caught in the Upper Campbell. Some lunkers are available in Comox Lake but further south, trout in Langford Lake are getting close to six pounds caught on Sprately and muddler fly patterns. In any water conditions, using power bait has been working when the bite is on. Spinners are used in deeper water lakes.

A number of boats around Campbell River haven’t moved out of the yard but those fishing Quatsino Sound have had success using white hootchies and those catching Chinooks are reporting smaller fish. Since it is catch and release for Chinooks in our area, some locals will wait to fish after July 15.

The wind seems to hang around Kelsey Bay in Sayward and there were days anglers trying to get out fishing had to wait it out and stay in their campers.