Local fish cleaning station ready for winter springs. Photo by Don Daniels

Local fish cleaning station ready for winter springs. Photo by Don Daniels

Fall and winter fishing will depend on weather conditions

By Don Daniels

Living in Campbell River, we have a long fishing season, but it tapers off in October and the months coming up will be hit and miss although there are still opportunities to get out and go fishing for salmon or trout.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with a few fishing guides who work at various lodges and they are out hunting at the moment, around the province of British Columbia and especially up north; then they will venture into Alberta for deer and birds.

I checked my fishing calendar and recalled catching salmon in mid-December when the snow was falling and the fish were biting. That was my first shot at winter salmon fishing and I expect to give it another go thisDecember.

One of the experienced fishing guides, Gibran White, informed me that the west coast resort he is based out of is closed but day trips are available from Victoria and Campbell River. Accommodations are available and you can bring your own boat to try your hand at winter salmon fishing on the west coast.

On my weekly trip to Sayward there was little action on the Campbell River and the Salmon River was high but fishable. Coho is open on the Quinsam until Dec. 31 and the fish are dark. On spinning gear, spinners in gold or blue have been working and fly anglers will have a chance to throw out green or blue streamers with no barb and single hooks. Signs are posted with the rules and regulations posted.

The Vancouver Island Fish Hatchery has completed the stocking of lakes in early October with catchable-size fish, 255 gr. to 260 gr. Local lakes had been delayed but the truck will make its way here to Courtenay and Campbell River lakes which get stocked twice a year. You can pick a good weather day and try your hand at shore fishing using various colors of PowerBait and, on the fly, black patterns in size 12 to 14 hook are working.

If you can find the deep water and get to the bottom with a leech or wooly bugger, hooking a carry-over fish is possible. Weather permitting, Beavertail Lake is a good lake to fish this time of year. Upper elevation lakes are still accessible but that will change as weather gets colder and snow arrives in the area.

It’s been close to two years since the fly tying for beginners was held in Campbell River and plans are being made to continue the sessions but with some changes because of the COVID pandemic. In the past, sessions had 20 people attending but I will keep it to small groups this year.

I have dates scheduled for the Seniors Center card room in the Ironwood mall. I have a list of names and will contact those people in advance and inform them of times and dates of each session. Sessions are free and for information you can email me dddon27@yahoo.com or text 250-895-1691. Winter Sunday dates are yet to be determined.

Campbell Riverfishing