Explore fishing opportunities around Campbell River for the budget minded

Bill Longtin displays a Buck Tail Fly. Don Daniels photo

Bill Longtin displays a Buck Tail Fly. Don Daniels photo

For those of us that live in Campbell River we are blessed to have an abundance of fishing options close at hand which may include fishing for salmon in Discovery Passage or fishing the local rivers for catch-and-release trout or salmon.

There are a number of trout lakes within an hour’s drive in any direction from Campbell River that offer good fishing at a reasonable cost. We are now in the beginning of March and with some colder weather still with us, people are slowly making plans to get out fishing in the weeks to come. It is safe to say with the price of gasoline being what it is and with the price of fishing gear being a little more expensive, some changes will have to be made. I get to meet a number of new people who have moved to Campbell River and they want to know about fishing locally and where to go and what can they catch.

If you are looking to get out salmon fishing with a charter this year, you have to check ahead as guides get booked first come first serve on prime dates in summer. A number of people from out of town seek a deal when choosing a day trip with a guide, remember they pay for insurance and gas and the prices remain consistent for a full or half day of fishing. Many guide services have repeat customers each year and any newcomers are advised to call ahead and ask about rates for the day, what the non retention dates are and how many people are in your group so they can plan on getting an extra boat to accommodate you.

Discovery Pier is a place where you can fish all months of the year. Washrooms and concessions are not open and fishing nets are not out yet but will be available at a later date. You will need a salt water license and check regulations for what you can keep. Spin casters go after perch and kelp greenling and later in the summer the run of pink, chinook, and coho salmon attract a number of anglers that catch salmon if they put in the time.

This year I will try putting out a Buck tail fly and let it sit in the current in hopes of getting a salmon. The current is strong and it seems the water flow is like a river.

There is lots of room on the pier this time of year to get out to spend a few hours and enjoy the nature around and lots of whales can be seen on any given day.

Echo Lake is open and so far reports coming back have been slow with the trout being sluggish at the moment. The weather will warm up hopefully soon and shore anglers use worms or artificial bait. Leech pattern flies are worth a try in water about 20 feet deep.

Fly-tying dates for beginners at the library are March 26 and April 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. and that will wrap up the season.

Some summer dates on Discovery Pier will be announced soon.

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