Back in the day, the tall wood carving of a fisherman holding a salmon caught my attention and it was time to go inside and take a look.
The lobby at the Campbell River Lodge is a collection of pictures of movie stars, politicians and, in general, people holding big fish and then going back home and spreading the word and coming back to fish again the next year. The lodge had a pub and restaurant, the atmosphere was fun, and the rooms were clean and comfortable.
The lodge had outdoor seating and the most important part of its location was that the Campbell River is situated just a short walk from the property and the fishermen came from all over the world to go salmon fishing.
Today, the carving of the fisherman with his salmon is gone and the hotel has gone through some changes with new owners and the pub and restaurant is closed. The name has changed to Campbell River Lodge Riverside and I had a chance to revisit last week.
Kevin Giroday from Vancouver called me and he was in the process of moving a boat from Quadra Island to Vancouver and he said he was booked in for the night. The weather was ideal to sit outside and look over at the Campbell River and observe the Chinook salmon rolling in the pool and the number of anglers with rods in hand that were going fishing and hooking and releasing spawning salmon.
A couple from Olds, Alberta, had been close by and they mentioned they come to Campbell River each year and will make their way to Gold River. A few guys from Victoria made their way to the river to spend the afternoon casting out flies. A group of construction workers from Chile had shown me the fly patterns they were using, and they had success with pinks, trout and Chinook. All fish were released. The fish scale is still there and public access to the river is through the property but you have to be registered in order to get through to the Campbell River.
The fishing season around Campbell River is far from over but in some cases has slowed down. Salmon fishing locally has been good but some of the local guides are venturing further out to get some bigger fish.
The Tyee season was good this year and more fish were caught this year than the previous year. The Tyee club season is over and more than 30 salmon hit the scale this year and registered as a Tyee. Bruce Preston got the first Tyee on Aug. 6 and the rower was Rick Joubert.
If you have a rod and reel, try the Discovery Pier. A number of local anglers put in the time and a big Chinook was recently hooked but not landed.
Local rivers are loaded with pinks and the male fish are getting the huge hump and are getting darker but for the smoker they are just fine.