Charter boats on the move from Sayward to Telegraph Cove. Don Daniels photo

Charter boats on the move from Sayward to Telegraph Cove. Don Daniels photo

Planning now for fishing Campbell River and north in the coming months

By Don Daniels

We are getting ready for the months ahead to plan a local fishing outing which might include salt and freshwater angling for salmon in Area 13, Discovery Passage, and for trout in local lakes and rivers.

We have already seen warm temperatures and getting outdoors will make life a little more comfortable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions are still in place and masking up in public is a common practice. Tourist travel to Campbell River is nonexistent and tourist traffic around the Island will be minimal. The best rule of thumb is if you have booked a charter to go fishing, you know the operator will advise you about rules and regulations pertaining to what you have booked. It avoids any discussion about “I didn’t know that” and” there is no refund request,” etc.

There are a number of fishable rivers close to Campbell River and with the salmon runs later in the summer, you can check out the trout fishing on the fly which is all catch-and-release. Spinning gear using small spinners and lures is also productive; all hooks must be barbless.

The Salmon River has good water clarity and steady water in some pools. On the Campbell River, the upper pools are well marked for fly fishing only and water flow will be high. Wading across the top end is not recommended.

A nice river to try your hand at fly fishing is the Oyster River. There are parking areas close to the bridge and if you walk up past the bridge. follow the signs and enjoy a few hours exploring the river and throwing out a few flies. All fishing is catch-and-release and often a number of people will cool off in the river during the warm weather months and many a time a float tube will go past you when you’re fishing in the pools.

Lake fishing will begin to improve as the local lakes’ spring stocking of trout is completed and size range is 209 to 259 grams. Larger lakes will see fishing action increase as more people are buying kayaks, canoes and boats and are starting to enjoy a day on the water during the warm weather days.

If you have a boat, you can troll a Cowichan Spoon or a Gibbs Wedding Band. Fishing from shore, worms, Gulp Eggs and Powerbait should be used where bait is legal. On the fly, choose woolly buggers, leeches and chironomids. If you go to any lake to fish or just relax, a big problem already is garbage being left and there is simply no need to leave pop and beer cans or plastic bags and food boxes in the bush.

I get a chance to scout out lakes and rivers where social distancing is not a problem and paddling around a lake is a great way to avoid crowds, catch some trout and have fun during the months ahead dealing with COVID-19.

Campbell Riverfishing