Clinton Nelson with a keeper trout caught end of April. Picture supplied

Maintaining social distancing for fishing activity until further notice

FISHING CORNER

By Don Daniels

Whether your outdoor recreation is fishing for salmon or trout, hiking, boating or wildlife watching, we are all in the same boat.

COVID-19 is with us and we must continue to keep our distance from other people. This year I held fly-tying sessions for beginners at the Campbell River and Sayward libraries and the last session in Campbell River had to be canceled. Doing free public sessions gives me a chance to use up my stash of feathers and fur along with other materials.

Usually, at the end of March, I pack away my flytying gear and go fishing. Because of people staying at home, I made a decision to keep the tying gear out and continue to tie up flies because I enjoy it and I have extra time on my hands. George Herter wrote a number of books on flytying and tackle making between 1941 and 1966. The entomology section got my attention; now I’m hooked on bugs and it’s back to the vise.

I am hoping that the students who came out to learn flytying will continue to develop their patterns and get out fishing.

The only change I made this year was to get my fishing license online because the local tackle shops were closed. Fishing is now an essential service and the tackle shops are open to the public and yes, everyone keeps their distance and they go about their business.

With the weather getting warmer, more people are getting out to walk the trails for a few hours, getting exercise or go fishing to some of the local rivers. A popular area is the Oyster River Nature Park. Rules include no camping or fires and dogs must be on leash. All users must pack out anything that is taken in and that includes empty pop and beer cans.

Since the Oyster River is catch-and-release for trout, the area below the bridge is a gathering spot for anglers and non-fishers. The old pub parking lot is blocked off and there is no access for people to get to the river, no-trespassing signs are posted. There is limited parking adjacent to the blocked-off area, but you can get to the river from the road and use the path to get to the river. A COVID-19 notice is posted and people are advised to stay six feet away from other park users. Years ago, we used to fly fish the Oyster and head over to the Fisherman’s Pub afterwards but those days are gone

Local trout lakes are picking up for trout action. It was mid-April that water temperature was at four degrees and now it’s at 14. Local anglers are getting out and using worms fished from shore. Water is clear.

Nymph pattern flies, such as a pheasant tail, seem to be working best. But wait a few weeks, the ants will be here and the trout will gobble up the tasty bugs, then the bite will stop.

Chironomids can be fished from a float tube or canoe in water between eight and 15 feet deep. Alberta anglers who now live here are using the chironomid pattern and they mention that back in the Alberta lakes it’s tough to get the fly through the algae in the hot summer months. This pattern looks like a black-bodied hook with a ribbing and a larger head and is twitched off the bottom.

You can fish any lake or river during this virus pandemic, but stay six feet from your buddy and avoid any gatherings outside of family members. The RCMP can enforce social distancing on boats and other areas where the public can gather.

I always welcome reader feedback in the form of a picture or comment and the main thing is to keep it a safe fishing environment for everyone. I can be reached by email dddon27@yahoo.com or text 250-895-1691.

fishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jacob Koomen takes his bike out for a spin near his home in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell Riverite to cycle length of Island to raise funds for cancer research

Long distance rides are no big deal for 73-year-old cyclist

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Busy day for Campbell River fire crews

Three incidents in rapid succession keep crews on their toes

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read