Wayne Dong hooked and released a spring caught on a fly in the Campbell River. Photo by Don Daniels

Tuned in to salmon fishing on the Campbell River

For the most part, the Campbell River offers many anglers a chance to catch and release a spring salmon and now that the pinks are in the river system so are the anglers.

At any given moment you will see the Campbell River full of anglers and, yes, they are getting fish. Many are throwing out small spinners or jigs and the single hooks are barbless.

You will also see fly fishers standing in the middle of the river and fly patterns are generally pink but lime or orange have been hooking fish when the water levels are higher after high tide and salmon are moving into the upper pools.

Recently, I had a chance to get out fishing for pinks with Ed Cargill who was looking for some pinks to put in the smoker. Ed mentioned that he was meeting Wayne Dong who was visiting here from the mainland and he was fly fishing the Campbell River for the first time. With the warm weather, Wayne had on his sneakers and waded out to the fishing zone and he caught more pinks than any other angler on the river that day and many days after. He was getting his fly to the bottom and many anglers in the area thought he was snagging the fish but he simply out fished everyone.

I fished with Wayne and Ed on Sunday and when we finally called it a day, Wayne wanted to stay for a bit longer. He was on a mission to hook into a spring and he did. His pink fly was bigger than normal and he was using an 8 weight rod. He had no problem keeping the fish in water and I got the picture. It was an instance later after the picture was taken the salmon caught the current and headed upstream to the spawning grounds.

The young man was excited and he is making plans to return and hook into another spring but he sure knew how to get the pinks.

Now is the time to get out fishing and the kids are excited to maybe catch a pink. Sandy Pool is is a spot to take the family and fish but you can expect a lot of anglers fishing from shore. Some of the pinks are starting to get a little darker but the silver fish are being caught and are headed to the smoker for many people who live here or visit.

Those fishing early morning or late evening in the Tyee Pool are getting some action. Spring salmon that hit the scale at 30 pounds or more are considered to be a Tyee. Rowen Berkey is registered with a 32.5 pound Tyee and he was rowed by Monique Weeks. John Woodward got a 36 pound Tyee and he was rowed by RD Berger. Betty Gage was rowed by Roger Gage and she has a 31 pound Tyee caught on a plug. During the season, many smaller springs are hooked but they don’t register as a Tyee.

At Kelsey Bay in Sayward, the pinks are around and already a 16, 20 and a 25 pound spring salmon have been caught off the dock. The first annual Salmon Festival is this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Straits View Café and the money raised goes to salmon enhancement on the Salmon River in conjunction with the Campbell River Salmon Foundation.

The drive to Sayward is about 45 minutes and there is construction on Highway 19 just before Roberts Lake.