Part of a large crayfish from Buttle Lake. Photo by Don Daniels

Local trout waters quiet for anglers in March

By Don Daniels

Without looking at a calendar you can sense that winter is coming to an end because the Campbell River snowbirds are coming back from Mexico, their vacations over.

I can count on one hand how many nice days we have had in the past few months and the upper elevation lakes are still iced over to some degree but local lakes have trout that will feed on any given day. If you are willing to spend time on the shore and fish for trout, bait has been the top producer and a trout 14 or 15 inches is the reward for putting in time. Since most of the time I fly fish only, I am interested in what flies are catching fish.

I call it the EX factor fishing which means explore, experiment with flies and enjoy the day on the water. I think I have in my possession three small jars of Power Bait and two have not been opened. One jar was opened two years ago and I got a tip from a friend who uses a black leech fly with a piece of original scent orange egg bait – 1.1 ounce size. I call it trout nibbles and after a go on the water, I decided to fish the fly without bait.

We need warmer weather to get the trout moving about but shore fishing can hook you a fish bait fishing or on the fly.

Local lakes such as Fry, Echo and Roberts lakes contain snails, crayfish and sticklebacks and trout feed on them all. Insects include various nymphs which include midges mayflies stoneflies and caddis.High water levels will wash down worms and they get flushed out into the rivers and lakes.

My last fly tying session for beginners is booked at the Campbell River library on Sunday, March 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. then it’s time to go fishing.

Halibut fishing opened March 1 and the locals get out first because they know the area and the fishing starts with weather permitting. Discovery Passage – Area 13 – will have anglers going out on the weekend . Around Kelsey Bay the camping crowd from Comox will set up camp and go at it. You need a licence and any halibut retained has to be recorded in ink with the area noted. Possession limit is one 90 cms to 126 cms or two measuring under 90cms to 126 cms. Annual limit is six per licence.

Last year new regulations made it mandatory that all boats must have a descender unit on board and it should be used but many anglers catch a rockfish and simply throw it overboard.

The weather is slowly getting warmer and daylight hours are getting longer but in general slow to fair angling will get better and those who have put away their boat will slowly get organized for another year of fishing around Campbell River.

Hunting and Fishing