High elevation lakes west of Campbell River see little fishing pressure. Photo by Don Daniels

October is a great time to keep fishing locally

By Don Daniels

October is one of my favorite months to fish the higher elevation lakes before the heavy rains come or even the snow.

Sam Palmer who knows the area that I was interested in fishing mentioned “let’s do a road trip.”

I wanted to look at a few lakes west of Campbell River and the area close to Buttle Lake. There was little or no traffic on the rough, bumpy, gravel road. We had driven to the top and the lake was not visible so we turned back and took another road which took us to the lake we were looking at.

Another obstacle you come across is locked gates, so a short walk would be in order for the afternoon. This would be a scouting mission so I decided to leave my fishing gear in the truck and just go look.

This particular lake had very little shoreline access but the small opening through the trees was enough to get a canoe or belly boat in and go fishing. That afternoon, a few of the neighbors were wheeling around the lake in their ATVs and we talked fishing with them. They had mentioned that the lake freezes over in winter and they ice fish it.

Then it was time to get on the highway and check out Buttle Lake. The wind seems to funnel through the area where the boat launch is located so a short walk on the shoreline would be in order before heading home.

Buttle Lake has some big crayfish and big trout go after crayfish.

The rain lets up, so I go on the hunt for trout – both stocked rainbows and cutties. Will the fly pattern I learned about that originates from Ireland and Scotland and is used on the lochs there work here? It sure does. I tie a fly called the Bibio and it’s usually tied on a hook sized 10 to 14. Simple to tie, the black feather is anchored, first, at the hook and the body is fur dubbing black, red and black. The feather is palmered to the front. This bushy fly is effective when trout are surfacing. This fly works in Ireland and, apparently, it works here in Campbell River.

The chums are coming. Browns Bay Chum Fishing Derby is Oct. 25 to 27. This is a well-attended fishing event and along with bragging rights, there is entertainment and lots of fish stories.

The event ends on the Sunday afternoon at the tent and barbecue area. It supports Greenways Land Trusts salmon enhancement projects around Campbell River.

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