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Campbell River and surrounding destinations are gearing up for fishing

By Don Daniels
A nice salmon to take home from the west coast. Gibran White photo

By Don Daniels

There seems to be a feeling that the fishing season in the months ahead will be back to what we know as normal before COVID but there will be some changes.

Tourists will be coming back to fish locally or take in the wilderness trips that the ecotour companies are offering. With gas prices being what they are, you can expect price increases across the board. Some of the fishing lodge owners may have sold their business but will stay on for another year to complete the sale and move on, retire or simply go fishing for the fun of it.

On the fishing end of things, those coming to Campbell River know about the species of fish they are after, which can include chinook, coho, or tuna on the west coast. In Campbell River, the hotels are gearing up with hiring staff which includes chefs, housekeepers and dock staff where applicable.

On the west coast, Zeballos was first recognized as a gold community in the 1930s, then logging, fishing and wilderness activities made this a destination to explore in the months ahead. You can fly-in or drive-in and you won’t be disappointed with the fishing. It’s been very good and from July to September the lodges are full of anglers who love to fish and can explore the area for wilderness activities. Professional fishing guide Gibran White is a wealth of information and he simply gets the job done.

Many repeat customers keep coming back to Zeballos and they go home with their limit of salmon or halibut. Various fishing packages are available with connecting flights from Vancouver and Campbell River.

Last week I had a chance to meet some local anglers who were on the Quinsam River and did very well on the fly for non-retention trout. The sun was out and at least five anglers were scattered along the river fishing the pools and having luck. Spin casters are using spoons, jigs and spinners and those on the fly are using fry patterns.

Local lakes will start to fish well but it’s a bit early to try stocked lakes using buzzers or chironomids; try Fry lake this month and get into the stumpy areas.

I have one more session for fly-tying for beginners at the Seniors Centre at Ironwood Mall on Friday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. This session is full but I’m looking at one more date with location and time to be determined along with a book giveaway.