Trout fishing is ideal for social distancing on local lakes

By Don Daniels

It has never been a problem to head out fly fishing alone, or with a buddy to cover a piece of river in search of trout or salmon, and it can be a fun outing to fish along with someone who wants to get out and wet some fly patterns.

Some of the local lakes have fished well in the spring and have tapered off during the hot weather but that will change as we head into September when the fishing will continue.

This year has been interesting, to say the least, with limited travel and social distancing at play. On weekends you see anglers in boats, canoes, kayaks and belly boats and pontoon boats. For one thing, it gets you offshore and you can fish and really never see anyone else close to you. When you get back to shore a few locals say “Hi!” and everyone gets along and shares a quick story then goes home.

I had met a few guys that were talking about bucket mouth fishing with the trout at one of the lakes on Salt Spring Island where the fishing was very good. The term bucket mouth had me wondering and they told me it’s when bass stayed away from trout in the lake. Spider Lake south has both species of fish in the lake. But never mind the bass, I’ll stick to catching trout around Campbell River on the fly.

About three years ago, I fished Fry Lake with a few buds and I got word that the bite was on. So, I headed out with Dick Walton to check things out. The road was like a washboard but we got there. The heat drove the fish down but a day of fishing is just fine during any weather. The campgrounds were full and we were just wetting some flies for a few hours.

Dick set out to the tree stump area and I stayed close to shore to fish off the dock, or should I say, the plywood that was nailed to some logs – a makeshift dock to cast out fly. I will return to Fry Lake later in the fall and pick out a dark gloomy day to fish the lane between the stumps.

There are a number of lakes in that area that should be good fishing later in the month. Just last week the geese were on the move and the wind, when it dies down, will cause some calm water and you can see small trout rising to the hatch in shallow water.

There is a number of people who are leaving monofilament fishing line around the shoreline and garbage is being left. Used fishing line should be taken home. The bush is also littered with toilet paper. Take out what you bring in. Another thing that is happening, people are building fire pits on parking areas in some day-use parking sites. Park, fish, clean up and keep the area clean for the next person!

During the COVID-19 times, if you are planning a fishing trip, remember things aren’t what they were in previous years. Plan ahead and call the lodge where you are going, to find out the new rules put in place. Fishing guides will fish with a few people but some people are asking about groups of eight people to a boat. Group fishing is not on the books around Campbell River.

The Brown’s Bay Chum Derby is cancelled for this year because of COVID-19 but you can check online for a fundraiser that will benefit Greenways Land Trust salmon enhancement around Campbell River.