Those of us who started fishing in the prairie provinces for pike, perch and walleye used a spinning rod and reel and threw out lures with treble hooks.
In Saskatchewan, we had a lake about a one-hour drive away and usually it rained but that didn’t matter; it was fishing time. Since there was no local trout lakes, fly fishing was unheard of but magazines were on the newsstands and fly fishing in British Columbia was well documented by the various outdoor writers. You had to buy fly gear through a catalog then venture out to a lake to see if, and when a fish would bite.
In Alberta, there was a better assortment of areas to fish with a fly rod. Getting a fly rod was a challenge. Somebody had given me a fly rod and it felt more like a hockey stick with a line attached but it was fly fishing. I later surrendered it to a friend and bought a better rod.
Fly fishing for pike or perch was rarely done by the locals but since I tied up a number of streamer patterns for pike, it was time to start fishing. But what pattern? If you could troll a lure, why not imitate the red and white spoon and see what happens.
Now it was time to try for perch with a feathered fly and experiment. Early in the morning you could see the black water and it moved away. Hundreds of perch were in the shallows so throw out the anchor and get out the fly rod.
The Professor fly with a yellow body caught fish all morning. It outfished the other guys who were using worms in the same location. Another lake was nearby and it had trout and perch so it was time to wade out between the islands and look around for any visual signs of rising trout. There was a constant rise of trout but what were they going for?
This was mosquito country, so why not give it a try? The larva mosquito fly was a killer and the size 14 fly fished on a short leader on a floating line gave me fun all afternoon.
Here on the Campbell River I met a few guys from Vancouver. They were fishing for pinks and they wanted to fish a local lake with a canoe. I made the suggestion of using a green or black leech fly or even a black bugger. We met up later in the week and they had limited out on trout at Echo. Even today on lakes and streams the fly rod is used 100 per cent of all my fishing activity. The fun of it is light tackle and experimenting with various patterns.
My next fly tying sessions are Feb. 18 and March 18, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Seniors Centre for those who have attended the past few months.