Fly Tyers for High Flyers. Don Daniels photo

Fly Tyers for High Flyers. Don Daniels photo

Ducks Unlimited Canada Fly Tying Challenge is underway

By Don Daniels

Whether you are a beginner fly tyer or a master at creating fly patterns that catch trout and salmon here on Vancouver Island you[‘ll be interested to know Ducks Unlimited Canada has launched Fly Tyers for Highflyers for the second year and some changes have been made.

The fly tying competition opened on Jan. 31 and deadline to enter is March 31. This is prime time to get behind the vise and make some fly patterns using feathers from waterfowl that Canadian hunters have collected or you can buy feathers at your local tackle shop. There are a number of prizes to be won including in a couple of new categories this year. Added this year are a youth and international category.

Fishing rods and water bottles will be awarded to the winners and the grand prize will be announced on May 6. Categories are tyers choice, along with a waterfowl themed category that includes dabbler, diver, goose and gander. For a list of categories and guidelines go to Ducks Unlimited website, Fly Tyers for Highflyers. Entry cost is $10 for each person who enters and $5 for youth 12 and under.

Right across the Island there are a number of fly-tying clubs that cater to all ages of tyers who create some interesting fly creations and they can fish local rivers, lakes and the ocean. Tony Pinder from Campbell River won the competition last year and the local high school has a number of young tyers that continue to enjoy this year-round hobby and explore various fishing opportunities around Campbell River.

My next session for fly tying for beginners will be held Friday, Feb. 18, at the Seniors Centre from 1 to 3 p.m. I have a small dedicated group this year; I am sure they will enter this competition for a chance to win prizes, have fun and support Ducks Unlimited Canada with the work they do locally and across Canada.

Around Campbell River and across the Island, there is no shortage of wetlands that give us outdoor activities that include fishing, hiking, bird watching, camping and boating. I have a number of waterfowl feathers I will package up and donate to anyone who needs feathers who may want to enter the fly tying competition.

If you need any information you can email me at dddon27@yahoo.com or text 250-895-1691 or email Lacey Shroeder, Ducks Unlimited Canada, l_schroeder@ducks.ca

Next week I will look into beach fishing for cutthroat trout and if the weather improves, the fishing activity will start to pick up locally. The local salmon fishing for springs has been good with improved catch reports coming each week.

Rivers in the area will change with clarity and water levels. If you are tired of winter and the snow we had, it will improve and getting organized for the fishing season has started.

For the newcomers to Campbell River: Have fun, be safe and experience what we have here at our doorstep.