The month of October is quite interesting when it comes to fishing around Campbell River.
To begin with, we are still living in the COVID-19 times and social distancing and limited travel is affecting how we enjoy fishing especially around Campbell River.
We can still go salmon fishing in small groups for salmon and chase some coho, chums and bottom fish. Chums are starting to show up at Browns Bay and coho are around making their way to local rivers.
Last week I had a chance to get on a boat and go fishing with Ed Cargill from Campbell River. The weather was ideal, no smoke and clear visibility and the wind was nonexistent. We had decided to go jigging for the fun of it and see what action could be had on spinning rods, and yes, the downriggers were left at home. It has been a few years since I had jigged here in Campbell River and getting out on a nice day was a bonus.
Ed had launched at Big Rock and our destination would be Francisco Point off Quadra Island to fish in about 30 to 80 feet of water for bottom fish using light spinning gear and the Point Wilson Dart lure with a single barbless hook would be used. The sandy bottom can be visible at these depths and the kelp beds were not to seen. There was an abundance of action and anything hooked was released. We had fished in the area and while at times things got quiet, a number of sea lions were around and a few whales could be heard in the distance.
Late afternoon we changed locations and headed to the lighthouse to fish 60 feet of water. I hooked into a good-sized ling and released it. Coho were spotted fining on the top but maybe using a castable lure would catch a hatchery coho. It was a great afternoon of enjoying the nature in the area and the weather was ideal and, hopefully, it stays with us even when daylight hours are getting shorter by the day.
Coho and chum salmon will be around and when you get reports that catches have been good around Browns Bay you will see a number of boats fishing the area. Around Campbell River coho have been spotted along the shoreline and the anglers who wade out will spend countless hours casting a fly in hopes of hooking a hatchery salmon.
A number of fly patterns are working but I think if you get in front of the salmon they will hit almost any pattern, but it is fun to cast out a fly or lure and see what happens.
Each year a number of European anglers come to Campbell River and fish local rivers for coho, that will not happen this year because of restricted travel during the COVID pandemic.
I was thrilled to hear from some of my students who have enjoyed the fly tying for beginners classes in the past and their flies have vastly improved and they are now starting to get other family members active in this fun hobby and go fishing. I will have some ideas for the upcoming fly tying season and pass on the information in weeks to come.
The weather is ideal to get out fishing the rivers and lakes and we all know the door can shut quickly. Hunting season has started and the mushroom pickers will be out, you will see more off-road traffic in the area.