Getting through the winter

  • Jan. 31, 2018 1:30 a.m.

When heavy wet snow hits Vancouver Island, it’s “play it safe, keep the boats tied up and wait it out.”

I was talking with George Rorke and he had mentioned he would head out to Kitty Coleman if his boat was still around. Anyone who has a boat tied up will check to make sure the boat is around or check for damage and go from there.

The weather will improve and, for the most part, springs are being targeted around the Island. In the far south, undersize salmon are being caught and released. A larger fish will get to 10 pounds in water 100 to 140 feet.

Anchovies are popular for those who fish with bait. Teaser head colors are Army Truck, Bloody Nose and Purple Haze. For flashers, Red/Gold Hot Spots, Delta Guide series UV Moon Jelly, Madi and lemon lime chartreuse are popular.

Most rivers are high and dirty and for those in chase of steelies, the conditions will get better. Drift anglers are throwing out jigs with a piece of wool and over the past few years, those pink plastic worms have been working if the water conditions are favourable. On the fly, egg patterns are popular with pink and yellow the preferred color. Remember, check regulations as the rivers have different regulations but for catch and release all hooks are barbless.

The Campbell River is high with more water released from the dam and with added snow and rain, you can’t wade any sections of the river. The Salmon River is high, too, but will settle down and there is no flooding at Springer Creek right in Sayward.

A good starting point on the Oyster River is right under the bridge and you can fish the upper pools or lower run right to the estuary. A purple hair fly with a silver body was effective for catch and release cutthroat trout.

Echo, Maple and Roberts lakes have open water so, when casting from shore, try Krocodile spoons or even a Roostertail.The deepest part of Echo Lake is 47 feet and many shallow lakes will be 27 feet deep. The deepest water in Roberts Lake is 181 feet and trolling plugs is the way to go.