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Add a snow shovel and skates to your fishing equipment in January

By Don Daniels
Shae Roth with a 15 pound winter spring. Dave Fife photo

By Don Daniels

It was just before Christmas that road conditions were excellent driving from Campbell River to Sayward on Highway 19, would it last and it did not?

Off roads, such as Rock Bay Main, were snow covered and road conditions there got worse all the way into Jan. 8. Even getting around the city streets has been a challenge; never mind thinking about getting out fishing locally.

Those who have a boat at the marina have been checking for snow and ice and getting things cleared. A few have gone out fishing and have got good results with catch reports coming in at 15 pounds for a winter spring.

With the storms, the water is full of debris, that at times cannot be seen and can result in damage. The main challenge at the moment is getting to and from any public boat launch. Last week, the Red Rock launch was basically empty and there was no sign of boats out in the fishing zone in the first week of January.

There is a handful of local anglers who love to fish in January; they have a heated boat, will fish for a few hours and come back with a salmon. Rain has been in the forecast and hopefully the snow has ended.

Snow has blanketed local lakes and Echo Lake had people ice fishing and skating just last week but when the rain comes along, the ice thickness will get thinner, and slush will form but the shallow areas of water will remain frozen. The area around the old train trestle pilings will be frozen over. This area has been good for fly anglers fishing late evening in the spring and summer months.

The best month for fishing Echo Lake is April and the trout that were stocked in November will be on the search for food and a good fly or baited hook will be a good meal for a cruising rainbow trout. Along with your tackle box and skates, it’s a good idea to take along a snow shovel in case you get stuck.

Because of the continuing COVID situation, I had to make some changes for the fly-tying sessions for beginners at the library slated for the last Sunday in January, February and March. Sessions are canceled until further notice and those who have registered will be contacted and planning for future dates is on hold. For the small group that have been with me in November and December at the Seniors Centre, the next session is Friday, Jan. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Steelhead anglers can be interesting to talk to, most will say nothing and divulge no information, while others will get on a river and throw out a fly or barbless hook in hopes of hooking a steelie.

Fish numbers are low and fishing as per regulations is the order of the day. There are some that simply gamble and will go out and use illegal equipment. At any river, and any given time, conservation officers will check you out and fines are handed out.

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