Solo fly angler on the Oyster River. Don Daniels photo

Solo fly angler on the Oyster River. Don Daniels photo

Fly anglers getting out and spreading their wings on local rivers

By Don Daniels

There are people who live in Campbell River that have never held a fishing rod or have even thought of going fishing for salmon or trout.

Then there are those that live here who are purchasing kayaks, canoes and boats and are experiencing the outdoor life that exists around Campbell River and Vancouver Island to the fullest.

If you talk to 10 people and try to get a handle on how they fish, you will get 10 or more different answers.

Roy Grant said something that still registers with me. Each year you will find him rowing in the Tyee Pool; that’s the way he fishes.

Dick Walton, meanwhile, when he retired from the pub business, took to fly fishing like a duck takes to water. Graham Kelly, on the other hand, is an avid fly angler who enjoys walking the rivers catching trout – all of which he releases.

However you fish, it’s really all about the experience of enjoying the nature around us. It may be a walk through the bush or getting out in a boat and seeing whales and eagles. Those getting out in kayaks are adding fishing rods to their equipment supplies, and why not, it allows them to get to a secluded bay and get fishing. If you have no interest in fishing, take along a camera.

Fly anglers like to get out and find new areas to throw out a fly and see what they catch. I have met some locals that get out simply to perfect their casting technique and at times, will cut the hook portion off to see if a trout will accept the fly presentation.

There is a hiking group that will hike up to alpine trout that are lurking near creeks and the fly angler can have a field day on the water with no other anglers around.

The Oyster River is fishable and with the warm weather coming in July, water levels will get low. The summer is a prime time to fish and cool off in local rivers. Lots of anglers will wade out in shorts and cast out a lure, especially when the pinks arrive in the Campbell, Oyster and Quinsam rivers.

Since we are at the beginning of June, rivers will change as weather warms with levels and color impacted by the rain and the snow melt.

Local lakes are a good place to go fishing or boating. The hatch at the moment is abundant and those using chironomid or leech patterns will have a great time on the water.

Meanwhile, the Family Fishing weekend is June 18 to 21 and it allows residents of B.C. to fish without a license. No group get-togethers are planned this year but it’s a great time to fish for the fun of it. You have to stay local and whatever plans you are making, call ahead and find out rules and regulations. And, remember, camping spots will be booked up well ahead of time. The same applies to people who stay on their boats and try to dock and use the facilities.

Some campers at Kelsey Bay have not been getting out fishing because of rough water and high wind but fishing conditions will improve.