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Discovery Pier has a fishing culture unique in so many ways

By Don Daniels
Dennean Gould with a Chinook caught on the Pier. Photo contributed

By Don Daniels

I must admit over the years I have lived in Campbell River, Discovery Pier has always been on the radar to cast out a lure and fish for salmon at this time of year.

The weather is hot in July and August but is really quite pleasant on the water. At times weather will change and then rain and wind can change anyone’s plans to get the rod out and fish.

There are some people that make it a point to get out on the Pier during the winter months just to spend time fishing in this place we call Campbell River. In past years, a number of senior anglers came from Vancouver and spent countless hours fishing and their names were quite prominent on the old fishing scoreboard that was hung beside the concession area. Non fishers would come and look at the leader board and see what was being caught and who the angler was.

Discovery Pier was a social gathering and many had their own coffee cup hanging up and ready to enjoy an early morning coffee break while fishing. I always enjoyed talking with Ben Luck on the Pier and he had many fishing stories from bygone years. People came from all over the world to watch the local anglers try their hand at getting a pink or coho salmon but the main target was the Chinook, many were hooked in the month of August.

Recently, I chose the Pier as a site for a fly-tying workshop for beginners and the backdrop was Discovery Passage and you had a first hand look at boats going out to fishing grounds. A number of people came by to ask questions about fly-tying and a number of younger anglers hooked in a pink salmon and lost it to a seal and came over to tie up some fly patterns and talk fishing.

A number of ladies attended and they sat down for a good portion of the afternoon and everyone went home with a few flies along with materials they can use to continue at home.

The resident seal lurks beneath the Pier and often will grab a fish that is being played then head to the rocks to put it on display then gulp it down. In order to fish, you need a license along with a fishing rod, lures are sold at the concession. Rod rentals are a thing of the past but local tackle shops are within walking distance and you can gear up and try your luck.

I had a chance to meet some people who wanted to go trout fishing close by so I recommended Beavertail and Echo lakes but the fact of the matter is, people from all over the Island are coming here to experience the fishing we have in out rivers and lakes but the prime territory is still Discovery Passage.

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