A 13-inch trout from Echo Lake. Photo by Don Daniels

Great fishing in May – don’t miss the bite!

By Don Daniels

Here we are mid-month; the weather has turned to sunshine and temperatures have increased to favorable fishing weather.

Whether you are fishing or boating people must still obey the social distancing guidelines and maintain the six-foot distance rule. I am seeing more solo anglers fishing the local lakes and they are a one-person show most of the time. Other times it’s a husband and wife out fishing for the day.

One of the local anglers had mentioned he was out fishing for the first time this year. He said they get a group of guys and go golfing and sometimes someone would say it’s too cold or hot and cancel out, so the group has to adjust their plans for the day. If you fish alone you can come and go when you want and solo fishing is a way of getting out for a few hours and return home with a trout, or even your limit.

Most of the time I get out by myself or with a buddy but during this virus pandemic I go wet some flies and stay away from people. I decided to scout out a few lakes in the area on the Mother’s Day weekend.

I wheeled around and checked out a day-use area, not that far from Echo Lake, and when I got there, it was a full house.

I headed north and since I haven’t been to Morton Lake in a few years I hit the highway then saw the sign and the gate was closed. Roberts Lake would be next as there are no gates and the road is close to the boat launch area.

Cabins are occupied by singles or small families and the side road had a few cars and trucks parked along the side and the lake was busy.

Why not make the afternoon a road trip and check out Strathcona Park? The drive was a little longer than I expected because of road construction in the area. The gates were up at Buttle Lake, so it’s back on the highway. Echo Lake was a short drive away and the day-use area was at full capacity so I pulled into an area, waited it out and then unloaded my gear, pumped up the boat and went fishing.

Local lakes have been stocked with trout and the last load of catchable-sized trout was delivered on Wednesday, May 13. The warm weather has helped the bugs to hatch and the trout have been feeding on ants, snails and crayfish.

When I catch a trout I examine the stomach contents. Someone had found a piece of charred wood inside a trout; I guess the black piece of wood looked like a water beetle and was eaten.

Some recently caught trout are 13 inches long and a few reach 18 inches and they put up scrap. Worms can be fished from shore or trolled and good reports of trout action have been coming in. In keeping with the six-foot rule, some people are double parking in a confined area.

The eagles are in the area and at times they can swoop down and grab a hooked trout while it’s on top of the water, enjoying the lakes we have in the area.

If you fish alone or with a member of the family, give other anglers six-feet of distance, be courteous and have fun.

It will be only a matter of time before trails open up and camping areas will be open and everyone will be out enjoying the great outdoors.

In area 13, Discovery Passage, the Chinook salmon is non-retention until mid-July and with the warm weather will encourage people to get their boats out.

Meanwhile, the prawning has been very good for those setting traps.

If you are inclined to fish area 13 at Kelsey Bay, high tide is three hours before and low tide is three hours after Campbell River. With the Covid-19 virus we are still in a holding pattern, so let’s wait it out and hope for things to change here in the near future.


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