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The pink salmon have arrived in local rivers

By Don Daniels
A gathering of anglers at Sandy Pool going for the pinks. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

When the pinks show up in local rivers, the anglers show up in numbers and at times watching can sure be interesting.

The trickle of pinks started coming in at the beginning of the month and the rivers where spawning occurs will be the Campbell, Oyster and Quinsam. We had a bit of rain last week and more is definitely needed to increase water levels.

The pink salmon run will continue well into September and the spawning salmon will darken and the life cycle is over. On the Campbell River, the fly fishers will fish the upper sections in the fly-only zone while the Sandy Pool will have spin casters out in full force. Lower sections will have fewer anglers than the other areas, giving you more room.

Last Sunday it was interesting to watch anglers get in the water and cast out floats and catch a few pinks. The pinks are in but expect better fishing in weeks to come. If you are using flies, pink and blue are the go-to colors and on the lure, jigs with pink or red wool is the way to go. With the current running in the Campbell River, bottom bouncing is getting your hook down and while fly casters are throwing out flies, you have to get to the bottom in hopes of tempting the pink salmon to accept your offering.

The local tackle shops are busy with people gearing up and getting out on the rivers locally for a day of fun fishing for this little salmon. Within weeks, as the pinks darken, the other salmon will come in that include chinook and coho. Every river has regulations and anglers should know what they are, all regulations are posted online and trout are to be released.

A number of local anglers are using jigs to salmon fish in Area 13 Discovery Passage and George Rorke had good catches using the Butterfly jig sold locally. They are pricey but effective.

The people who consistently fish Discovery Pier have had good luck and already a 30.5 pound Tyee has been caught off the pier. Good catches of chinook have been reported locally, along with clipped coho and pinks. Guides who are fishing have been getting fish in the boat and better fishing is ahead as chinooks make their way to the rivers to spawn. Local boat launches are busy and at times tempers can flare but having some consideration for people with boats getting in and out will go a long way to keep the public moving and fishing.

The hot weather has slowed trout fishing locally and when the sun is out, stay in the deep water or shade areas of a lake and try your luck. Minnows or worms are the go-to way to fish off shore and leech patterns can be fished in most lakes around Campbell River.

Some people have mentioned to me they will take part in fly tying sessions with dates to be announced. New people are moving in to Campbell River and Sayward and they are experiencing the fun sport of recreational fishing.