Without looking at a calendar you can tell spring has arrived in Campbell River and there are visual signs that the fishing season is not that far away.
Campbell River is a fishing community and you can drive around the city and see boats parked in driveways along with motor homes and ATVs. But now boats are being moved to be cleaned or repaired.
Full time fishing guides who work locally are in the process of getting their equipment ready to go fishing in the months to come. Those guides who do contract work will soon be leaving for their fishing grounds and will start gearing up mid-April and guide at the lodge until mid-September.
If you take a look at any fishing lodge or charter company in Campbell River or anywhere else in B.C., one thing is for sure, they are all different. Ownership varies from a mom-and-pop operation to corporate big money ownership.
I recently spoke with Doug Rodgers who has a long history of being in the sport fishing business. Doug’s grandfather pioneered a fishing operation at Horseshoe Bay in 1912. Doug will be back in Campbell River this year and will be chartering around Campbell River, Duval Point and Port Eliza.
Owners and managers of fishing lodges have gone through changes and more changes are coming. When it comes to fishing, the big players in the early 80s were Painters Lodge, April Point and Dolphins Resort. A big change was the Internet. The door is open to the world and people are still coming to Campbell River from the U.S.A. and the oil prices being what they are, many companies have downsized or have cut out fishing and golf packages. In the glory days of 1990, Rodgers Lodge did 12,000 hours guiding. The game has changed. The boats are bigger and safer for clients and walk-in business is more promoted.
I have finished two fly tying sessions for beginners at the library in Campbell River and session three will be at the Salmon River Inn in Sayward Sunday, April 8 beginning at 1 p.m.
It’s free to attend and materials are supplied and I’m looking at booking another session in Campbell River at the end of April – dates and time to be determined.