Cold weather angler Brian Gage with a winter spring. Rick Raps photo

Cold weather angler Brian Gage with a winter spring. Rick Raps photo

Locals get out in December for a Christmas salmon

By Don Daniels

We have been hit this month with bad weather that includes rain, snow and hail.

A few hardy local anglers will dress up with warm winter jackets and get out salmon fishing around the Lighthouse. There will be an abundance of undersized fish but those who stick with it will get their limit and head back to the dock. Full day charters are in the past but the guys and gals who keep their boat at the marina will still get out with weather permitting.

Few years back, my last date on the boat was Dec. 12, the snowflakes were coming down and we had left at 10 a.m. and we were back at noon with fish. I know a few guys will be out before Christmas. White springs are around along with the red springs and size range will be between 12 and 14 pounds. A big bonus during the cold weather is having a heated cabin on the boat.

On local lakes, the fishing activity has come to a grinding halt because of all the snow we received so far and those guys who were hunting deer in upper elevations reported lots of snow accumulation. On my weekly visit to Sayward, the drive has been OK, after the snow plow makes the rounds, but around Roberts Lake it can get slippery with lots of black ice on the highway surface.

Rivers, such as the Salmon River and Campbell River, are fishable for catch-and-release trout this time of year along with the Oyster and Quinsam. When I first arrived in Campbell River, a number of ardent steelheaders would arrive and fish Gold River in the snow but recently things have changed and the steelhead numbers are low.

Fly-tying for beginners has started at the Seniors Centre here in Campbell River and while the first session was held on Dec. 16, the next to dates are Jan. 6 and Feb. 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. This is free to attend for beginners, materials and instruction is provided. If you have a fly kit bring it along. My dates at the library are set for Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 26 and April 30 and hours are 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Here in the Fishing Corner for December, January and February, an added feature will be included for people who have recently moved here. A number of questions pertaining to fishing will be answered to get people out and about fishing locally for salmon and trout, a number of go-to places will be mentioned along with tackle recommendations for both fly and spinning fishing.

It’s nice to see the price of gas coming down from what we had during the summer months. If you are planning fishing later this summer, it’s best to call ahead to where you are going so you don’t get disappointed. Various operators will take a few months off in winter and will start getting things lined up for a return to fishing in April and May.

Happy Holidays! Stay safe and warm during the festive season.

Campbell Riverfishing

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