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Shore fishing from Rotary Park to the Oyster River Estuary

By Don Daniels
A lone angler fishes the shore at Frank James Park. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

I first met a few avid fly anglers at the Rotary Park beach when I first came to Campbell River; I was in search of catch-and-release cutthroat trout on the fly.

You can search the rocky beach on certain tides or you can cast out certain lures or spinners to get out further.

This is the time of year that anglers will get out with stronger rods and cast to coho coming close to shore. I found that I was getting my fly out there but it was out of reach of the salmon I was targeting.

You can explore the shoreline from Rotary Park to the area around Big Rock boat launch. Recently, I spent some time at Frank James Park and the salmon were close at hand, some senior fly anglers were scattered in the area throwing out a fly and getting action at certain times of the day. One angler had his salmon in hand and was headed to the parking area and heading home.

To fish this area, you need a good pair of wading boots along with an 8 weight rod to get the fly out to the zone. Further south, you can walk out on the outgoing tide and the footing is not bad but a walking stick makes life a lot easier but a few anglers will slip and fall into the water.

A number of anglers will take out a small boat and anchor further out and fly fish or cast into the salmon that are showing on the water.

Some will take a kayak and fish the estuary at the Oyster River. Rain is needed to get the salmon moving into the spawning pools; up until Oct. 17 no rain was in sight around Campbell River and area.

Meanwhile, Tristan Robbins, Hatchery Manager in Duncan, had staff issues and the truck has been delayed in coming to Echo Lake for the fall stocking of trout. I will be out there when a confirmed date will be announced.

Further south, Langford Lake has had reports of bigger trout being caught but Langford Lake was stocked with larger-than-normal fish in the past. Long Lake in Nanaimo has good fishing this time of year.

This weekend the chum derby is on at Brown’s Bay Marina with registration on Friday and the majority of fishing on Saturday.

I will be out Sunday afternoon to catch up on the presentations at the tent area. Each year, there are prizes to be won and the staff work countless hours to put on this charity derby.

I am in the process of contacting beginners who have inquired about free fly-tying sessions coming up at the Seniors Centre and at the library here in Campbell River.

For those of you who have pre-registered you will be contacted and everyone who has shown interest will get hands-on instruction to get you started in the activity of fly tying and get out fishing local rivers and lakes.

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