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Take the intimidation factor out of fly fishing

By Don Daniels
Streamer fly patterns work for salmon and trout. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

For those of us who moved to British Columbia from other areas of Canada, fly fishing was available to be discovered.

For the folks who wanted to learn fly fishing as a new sport, the only information we had was a magazine like BC Outdoors or outdoor writers describing trout or salmon fishing from major cities from around the province.

There was a time that fly anglers came to B.C. from Scotland, Ireland and the rest of the UK to explore fishing B.C. rivers with their high-end, expensive fly fishing gear. One reason that they came over is that we have access to the rivers and we have fish to catch.

A number of anglers start out using spinning gear and then the interest in fly fishing comes along and you have to make some adjustments to go fishing. To begin with, you need a rod and reel and all the goodies that go with it: waders, maybe a small boat and a number of fly patterns. You have to select fly equipment according to the types of fishing you will be doing. Heavier rods, nine feet in length and a weight of 6 to 9, for rivers and lakes a four-weight rod and for creeks a three-weight. A number of anglers have inherited a rod from family members or friends and it may feel like a hockey stick, with little or no action, but you can fish with it, then decide to change as you gain experience.

Those who enjoy catch-and-release fly fishing simply go out and enjoy the surroundings and at times will never keep a fish. but people could catch species like pike, perch and pickerel in the Prairies and primarily trout and salmon here in British Columbia. There is a select group of fly fishers who travel to exotic places in the world and chase trout or salmon and they never keep a fish.

Yes, travel can be expensive and exploring fishing areas of the world is a passion for many. I am happy to fish around Campbell River and the Island 12 months of the year. In the world of fly fishing, my motto is try it before you buy it! It’s like buying skis or other recreational sporting equipment; you may try it a few times and decide it’s not for you. It ends up in the garage, never to be used again.

Around Campbell River we have a number of rivers that are fishable year round and the lakes support good trout fishing. Echo Lake fall trout stocking is delayed but the truck is on its way.

I have a number of people who have inquired about fly tying for beginners and I will have dates confirmed for the upcoming months and get everyone looked after. The sessions will be for the people who want to learn basic tying skills and then advance and tie up patterns to get out fishing around Campbell River.

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