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Watch birds in the water to spot active insects, frogs and fish

By Don Daniels
Jan and Ashley at the Mars Wildlife Rescue Visitors Centre ready to set hook at wetlands for frogs. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

There are a number of lakes in the Campbell River area that have birds like eagles or herons – watch them to give you an idea of trout surfacing in shallow water and then fish that area.

As the weather warms, the feed will start to show themselves which includes sticklebacks, sculpins, frogs and various insect hatches that fish and birds will eat. The yellow flowering lily pads are full of black bugs and yes, they fall in the water and are gobbled up by trout. If you have a belly boat, stay in the area and throw out a dry fly on a floating line.

One area of note is the trestle area at Echo Lake. Try the late evening hours for some fun fishing.

Freshwater sculpins are abundant at McCreight Lake, so get out the deer hair patterns and chase some large trout. There are a number of lakes in Strathcona Park that have fresh water entering the lake, you can wade into the fishable water and navigate around the hundreds of frogs that are there.

Ed Cargill from Campbell River had asked me about a local beach that I had never been to before, so we made a road trip to Mars Wildlife Visitor Centre then walked to the rocky beach. The visitor centre is on the land where the old drive-in was located back in the day. There is plenty of wetlands on the property.

We had a tour and saw the live cam of birds in rehab that included eagles and ravens. Inside, I noticed a few aquariums full of water that contained insects and frogs that are fed to the birds in rehab. Jan Smith was showing me the frog tank and I mentioned that a few people catch frogs and she got Ashley to show me how they were caught in their outside pond. The sophisticated method of fishing for frogs is getting a long stick, get some line and tie on a fly and the frogs get hooked. This method of fishing makes sense! Frogs eat insects and fly patterns represent food. I donated a few fly patterns and will tie up a bunch and deliver to Mars.

If you are not tying flys, you can buy them online or visit your local tackle shop and decide what you are fishing for, pink is in for the moment as pink salmon fishing is down the line here in Campbell River. Patterns you might try are Adams, Royal Coachman, March, Hares Ear, Caddis and Copper John. Always carry a black ant fly along with a size 14 Stimulator.

Groups of anglers have already fished for chinook salmon here on the inside and even though its non-retention, the fish are there.

Rick Raps called me and I was unable to get out with him early in the morning, a future plan is in the works in September.

Lings are out there and some large ones have been caught locally.