Paul Hibbert Sayward with a pink salmon from the Kelsey Bay wharf. Photo by Don Daniels

This could be the best pink fishing in 11 years

By Don Daniels

All year long I drive to Sayward and this time of year I am always waiting for any signs that the pinks are in.

July 1 is always a start date to see if anyone was fishing from the wharf. No anglers but plenty of wind coming across so it’s back to Campbell River.

But give it a few days and the pink action had really got off to a good start about July 21, when reports surfaced that about 15 anglers were fishing and catching pinks. I know many of the locals and was pleasantly surprised that Dan and Linda Fear had fished and they hooked into a few nice pinks.

Now that we are into August the fishing can be fun when the bite is on, and the fishing can be better if you want to avoid the wharf and make the short walk up around the point to get into more action. The short walk is well worth it. If you want to get a view of the wharf online, you can view the webcams on Kelsey Bay wharf. Because of Covid-19, the gift shop on the wharf is closed.

From Campbell River to Sayward it’s about a 45-minute drive, turn at the junction and there is only one road in and it goes all the way to Kelsey Bay. You will need your own fishing tackle and there is room to park and observe what is happening on the water. Whales have been spotted and the cruise ships are not sailing past this year.

The Salmon River has a good cutthroat fishery and is catch and release and the river is closed for pinks. Another area for fishing for pinks is the Eve River and since travel restrictions are in place, any camping is first come first serve and, at times, can be very busy along the river bank. Fly fishers will be at the Eve this time of year and most roads in are active logging and can be in rough shape.

A number of people are moving about the area camping and fishing and you have to know what is open for the Salmon, Eve and Adam rivers. Another great river to get out and fish is the Nimpkish. Water levels will vary and this river will have some good fishing for coho in weeks to come.

In the Campbell River, you can see a line of anglers throwing out pink flies or pink lures and the pinks offer any person a fun way to catch a salmon around four pounds on spinning or fly gear. The fly fishing-only pools have been steady and more pinks are coming in each day. The fish will darken up as we get later in the month and most pinks will take a lure if you can stay at the bottom and find the zone.

There is always a debate whether fly fishing gets more fish than those using spin gear. They both work but those who like to get out for pinks know the gear that works for them. I have seen a few anglers snagging a fish but all pinks have to be fished and hooked through the mouth and not snagged at the tail or body.

The rules are pretty much well explained and there is no room for any other interpretations if a conservation officer or RCMP member checks your catch.

Chinook salmon fishing in Discovery Passage, area 13, has been very good and those getting out are getting their quota, having fun and enjoying the experience of salmon fishing around Campbell River. Chinooks are deep and getting past the pinks on top and coho in the middle is a challenge we all can overcome all summer long.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Vancouver Island NDP MP responds to Liberal’s throne speech

’Feds say nice things but when it comes to taking action it’s a different story’ says North Island- Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read