The snow came to all regions of Vancouver Island, slowing the normal winter fishery down to a standstill.
A few will venture out checking out ice depths at local accessible lakes around Campbell River, all the way to Nanaimo and further south. People were skating on Spider and Maple Lake, as well Echo but snow accumulations made getting to the ice a challenge. In most lakes, during cold weather, the shallow water around the shore will ice over but the problem in deep water is the underground springs that make the ice unsafe to walk on.
A number of people have hit the beaches in Mexico and according to supplied fishing reports, the fishing has been good. For those of us who have stayed on the Island, we have been shoveling snow, then getting to the garage or basement, clean out the tackle box or go online learning new information about what will happen later in the year regards to fishing opportunities locally. The 2021 fishing licenses are good until the end of March then it’s time to renew for the remainder of the year. Various fishing lodges will make some changes to how they operate with staffing, any changes to regulations and COVID.
I have noticed that there is an increased interest in people wanting to get started in fly-tying for both salmon and trout. There are clubs in Campbell River and Parksville. Some people will try it out then decide it’s not for them. More ladies and children are getting into fly-tying and it’s a great way for parents to take part in the tying activity and get out fishing. To get started, you need a vise, a few tools along with an array of tying materials to build fly patterns in various sizes.
A real money saver is to know people who deer hunt, getting hair is not a problem. Various game birds, such as ducks, grouse or geese can give you feathers in various colors to build an endless supply of fly pattern.
During the holidays I met with a friend of mine who recently moved to Qualicum Beach. He mentioned he has a peacock and he was telling me the property has 16 birds and the neighbors feed the birds. He said he has peacock feathers and wanted to know if I would take them, Yeah! Peacock herl is used in dry, wet and streamer fly patterns and the most popular pattern that is well known is the Royal Coachman. There are a number of hobby farms in the area that raise ducks and chickens and they often give feathers away to flytyers who they know.
Next date for flytying for beginners will be at the Seniors Centre in Ironwood Mall from 1 to 3 p.m. My small group of students who have signed up and attended the previous sessions are booked in for Friday, Jan. 21. Confirmed dates for the library will be announced next week for three sessions coming up the last Sunday in January, February and March. Some changes may have to be made.