Looking back at my fishing calendar, all the way back to 2013, I have realized that time does fly by in a hurry and how we do things changes at a rapid rate.
A big part of my fishing activity during the summer is to get out and experience fly fishing around Campbell River and Vancouver Island. You get to meet other anglers who share stories about the area they are fishing. At times you get a chance to learn what fly patterns are working and you often give away flies to an angler who has not tried a specific pattern and hope they have better luck. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a number of people have taken up buying a canoe or kayak and going fishing.
Fly fishing has seen a renewed interest around the Island but I think it takes a back seat to saltwater fishing in the grand scheme of things. People who hike are starting to get a fly rod and fish local lakes they explore. Local tackle shops have fly patterns to sell to customers and there are those who get into fly-tying for the sheer enjoyment of sitting down behind a vise and creating a fly that will catch trout or salmon.
I started the fly-tying for beginners sessions in Campbell River eight years ago and I get the students of all ages started in learning the techniques needed to build a fishable fly and go fish it. In the past, the sessions were educational and a bit of a social event as people come and talk fishing in and around Campbell River. Because of COVID, it has been almost two years that sessions have been closed to the public. But I have two more Friday sessions coming up at the Seniors Centre.
Dec. 3 is now full and those who signed up have been contacted. I have three Sunday sessions booked at the Campbell River library, the last Sunday of January, February and March from 1 to 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to small groups but the venue is ideal to get a new hobby of fly-tying underway.
A number of ladies are taking up fly-tying and newcomers to Campbell River understand the fishing area and simply want to get out and go fishing. To my surprise and delight, the students who come to learn fly-tying come from a varied background of fishing. Some experienced salmon fishing guides are getting fly-tying kits and are eager to learn. They know the fishing area and at times will fish areas and keep the information to themselves.
When you sit down with students, the stories come along and the experience adds to my learning experience and having fun, behind the vise at the free fly-tying sessions in months to come.