Open water at Echo lake makes for safe fishing from the dock. Photo by Don Daniels

Open water at Echo lake makes for safe fishing from the dock. Photo by Don Daniels

Best fishing opportunities during the holidays

By Don Daniels

Weather is a big factor during the months of December, January and February and at times you simply cannot get out fishing.

Last week I talked with local angler Graham Kelly about trout fishing in Strathcona Park and he simply looked at me and wished me good luck getting there. Any trout fishing will be put off until spring. Strathcona Park is in full winter mode and all lakes will have no access because of the snow accumulations.

During the Christmas holidays, families will get together and will want to get out and spend some time testing out new tackle. Discovery Pier in Campbell River is open to fishing year round but keep in mind the concession and washrooms are closed for the season. You need your own net and fishing rod but locals can fish for various bottom fish. You will need a saltwater fishing license and know what you can keep. Even if you decide to get out on the pier, dress warm as the wind comes across at a fair clip and you will have to dress accordingly.

Echo lake was stocked in November and the new arrivals of trout have settled in and fishing at the day use area with worms or bait is recommended during the winter. The road can get snowed in and, at times, is in rough shape. The lake can have ice on top at the shallow areas and walking on it is not recommended.

The lake is full of sticklebacks but during the cold weather months, since there is no bug hatch, the trout are bottom feeders and they feed on snails and various aquatic bugs.

Before the snow arrived, Roberts lake was like a glass table with no wind and really no sign of anglers out on the water. A sign is posted at the restaurant “Closed for the Season.” There are a number of lakes in the area but the logging roads will be snowed in or rough.

The Campbell, Oyster and Quinsam rivers are fishable for catch and release trout and there is plenty of room out on the water to cast some streamer fly patterns and the odd steelhead is around.

Area 13 Discovery Passage is full of winter springs but most anglers will not go out during the cold weather months but nothing wrong with a 12 or 14-pound spring salmon. The last day for fishing halibut is Dec. 31.

It’s only a few days before Christmas and I hope Santa is good to you this year and his favorite salmon is the co ho ho.