Spring fishing enthusiasts have a few options

George Rorke with a halibut from Sayward. Don Daniels Photo

George Rorke with a halibut from Sayward. Don Daniels Photo

By Don Daniels

On any given day in April, if you drive around Campbell River, you will notice a number of boats have not moved off the driveway.

I had a chance to get out and about and there is plenty of room at the local marinas in Campbell River, Salmon Point and Pacific Playgrounds. When it comes to travel, we are still in a stay-local protocol and if you haven’t made any plans to get out and about, you are advised to call ahead and know what you are able to do or not do.

On the last day of March, I received a call from an experienced angler in Campbell River and he had mentioned they were going out to jig a few Deadly Dick lures and spend a few hours out in Discovery Passage. A big deterrent to getting out so far this month has been bad weather and the wind will keep a number of boats at bay. Another deterrent to getting out this month has been the announcement of non-retention chinook salmon.

You can harvest crab and prawns but know the regulations and what areas are closed.

A number of anglers will go and target halibut and heading north to Sayward has been an option if you are not knowing the spots around Campbell River. A number of boats have been trailered to the Port Hardy area and those heading north will know the tides and where to fish for halibut.

There are anglers that will venture north to Bute Inlet and they are after catch-and-release trout on the fly. Lodge operators will have few customers and social distancing is controlled to current conditions pertaining to the pandemic. Local rivers are open for catch-and-release trout fishing at the Quinsam, Oyster and Campbell rivers. All hooks must be barbless and patterns to fish this time of year are egg and fry. A 4 to 6 weight rod is ideal but going heavier is not a problem.

The Salmon River is fishable and those drifting the river know the twists and turns and they can get to a pretty nice pool. This time last year a nice steelhead was caught at one of the highway-accessible pools.

Give it a few more weeks and Roberts Lake should be a spot to cast out a fly or lure. You can easily get a small boat or canoe and fish the north end of the lake. A few days last week the sun was out and the lake was glass and since there is no hatch going on, trout were not rising.

The south end of Roberts Lake has a recreation area and after you park it’s a short walk in. When the creek is running you can put on your waders and look for a spot and fish away.

If you are unable to tie your own flies, the local tackle shops have everything in stock including the red and pink egg patterns and silver-bodied fry patterns in a red or blue wing. If you get to Fry Lake and can get to the area where the roughly-made dock is located, launch a small boat in there and get along the shoreline but my best area is fishing the tree stumps area.

Whichever way you fish, stay local, mask up and maintain social distancing.

Campbell Riverfishing