Chinook salmon smolts released into a net pen and soon their migration will begin.

Smolts growing in pens at Campbell River wharves will be released soon

  • Apr. 26, 2018 2:30 p.m.

By Don Daniels

For the past number of years local fishing guide Harry MacDonald has kept me posted that the little salmon are here and will soon be released.

Rick Hackinen, along with some of the Campbell River and District members of the Fish Guiding Association, worked through the wind and rain to assist the Quinsam Hatchery staff in delivering Chinook salmon smolts into a grow-out pen at Discovery Harbour Marina. The Tyee Club tends another pen at Fishermans Wharf and another pen is at Hidden Harbour.

The smolts will be released soon and they will begin their migration north. The contract professional fishing guides, who have wintered in Campbell River, have gone up north to start things going before the staff and guests arrive. Meanwhile, the guides who work in lodges close to Campbell River usually start in June. In some fishing areas outside our local area 13, some lodge owners, guides and recreational anglers have some concerns. Regulations can change at a moment’s notice but it will be a wait and see as the new salmon fishing season gets underway in the weeks ahead.

In the month of April, it has been a challenge to get out fishing but a few days of nice weather saw some getting out to the Hump and Shelter Point and some have had good success setting out crab traps and enjoying a few hours on the water. I get a chance to drive to Sayward twice a week and the Salmon River is high and coloured and definitely the top end has changed and new pools will start to develop over time. The Salmon River has always been a great river to fish with spinning gear or on the fly. Further north, the Nimpkish can be a river that you can spend some time at and enjoy. It caters to the those after steelies or catch-and-release trout. Both rivers have big trout and the action can certainly tire you out.

I have one more fly-tying session this Sunday at the Library in Campbell River starting at 1 p.m. and its free and open to the public. I will have some fly giveaways and Bill McDonald was kind enough to donate some vise stands and I will draw the names of the winners before we finish at 3 p.m.

Last time we got together a gentleman brought a box of flys but he said they didn’t catch any fish and he needed some help. By looking at the patterns, he had I knew where he bought them and I explained that he had bright coloured patterns and that they were made outside Canada.

I carry many fly patterns with me and you get to know what works when. The fun for me is trial and error. I experiment with patterns that maybe can catch me a fish. Here are some patterns that you should think about using and by no means is this a complete list: Clouser Minnow, Woolly Bugger, Elk Hair Caddis, Adams Royal Coachman Gnat, Muddler Minnow Gold, Ribbed Hares, Ear Nymph, Copper John, Prince Nymph and Black Ant. I didn’t mention Egg Fly but I really think it’s not a fly.