Local fishing guru, Larry Stefanyk, loves everything about the sport; casting, reeling, and – magazines and books.
As publisher of four fishing books, and one magazine, as well as another one in the works, Stefanyk said he doesn’t end up with too much time left for the actual art of fishing.
“I talk about fishing more than I fish,” he said with a chuckle.
Stefanyk started his career selling advertising at a fishing magazine in Parksville about 20 years ago.
But about 12 years ago he decided to move to Campbell River and start his own magazine, called Island Fisherman Magazine, which he offers for free to the public.
Also, he recently put out a guide for trout fishing, called Ultimate Trout Fishing in the Pacific Northwest, which is his fourth book on fishing over the years.
The new book offers important advice for beginners, like how to obtain a licence, which rods are best for children, and which lures are best for which fish.
The guide also offers more in depth advice for seasoned pros to up their game, as well as interesting tidbits, such as flipping a bait worm container upside down, so when flipped up and opened, the worms are at the top.
The book contains factoids about trout as well, such as all brook trout stocked in B.C. are now female triploids to prevent them from inter-breeding with native species.
No, Stefanyk did not go to ‘fishing school’ to learn so much about the sport.
Rather, he said he’s just picked it up along the way by going to fishing lodges and hanging out with the experts over the years.
“I’m a great believer in sharing,” said Stefanyk, of his need to get the facts about fishing out to the public. “I wanted to put it in people’s hands.”
His newest project is another free magazine, which will be released next March. Although he is not sure of the title yet, a possibility is Lakes of Vancouver Island.
Stefanyk is spending a “tremendous” amount of time researching the lakes of Vancouver Island. The magazine will list information about each lake, including directions, elevation, depth, camping facilities, and what kinds of fish are in the lake, stocked and native.
Although Stefanyk said some die-hard fishermen may be upset that he is telling the general public about where the best fishing holes are, it’s something he’s compelled to do.
“There’s a real need for what I’m going to produce because you can’t find the information easily,” explained Stefanyk. “I’m going to spill the beans.”