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Wind and rain will keep most anglers idle for the moment

By Don Daniels
Hatchery coho caught on a North Island River. Vickie Atherton photo

By Don Daniels

As we head into the last weekend of November, the fishing activity has slowed down but there are a few anglers that get out and enjoy a few hours of fishing.

Weather conditions have been poor with the rain and heavy wind but anytime you can get out now is a bonus. Temperatures during daylight have hung around 9 degrees with heavy rain and wind, but you can wait and fish around the weather conditions.

My hunter buds are hunting for deer around the alpine areas and there is snow at 3,000 feet. I recently met a few hunters that were checking out roads just north of Sayward. They made their way to one of the lakes in the area and they asked me about fishing in the area. You can fish any lake but creeks are closed to anglers. Grab a copy of the freshwater fishing regulations or go online and see what is open for anglers.

Many larger lakes have a creek running into it or many lakes are joined together by water which can be a good fishing zone. If you can get a boat on the lake you can use Gang Trolls, Wedding Bands and Cowichan Spoons. The ever popular Ford Fender can be used in deeper water. Now is the time to start fishing larger lakes like Comox, Buttle and Wolf Lake. When you see trout on the surface, the fly rod can be used using floating line and attach a silver Tomic plug and start fishing.

Salmon fishing is slow in most areas but those venturing out are getting undersize winter springs but adjusting your tackle and fishing deep can get you a keeper. Anchovies and herring are the baits being used. Spoons that are working are Coyote, Coho Killer and Skinny G. Those who fish with hootchies are using the Tiger Prawn and Army Truck or Lady Gaga.

I recently met with Brian Cousins and invited him to join us at the free beginners’ fly tying sessions on Dec. 3 and Jan. 21 at the Campbell River Seniors Centre at Ironwood Mall from 1 to 3 p.m. Because of COVID, the first sessions will be limited to small groups of 4-6 tyers. A sign-up sheet is located at the entrance and I will contact each person and assign a date to join us. I will be back in the new year at the library activity room and Sunday sessions will be limited to 12 people, beginning the last Sunday of the month in January and February from 1 to 3 p.m.

River levels are changing and at times are nonfishable but it can change within days if good weather arrives. There are some coho around and the Streamer fly patterns are used for the rivers. In winter months, river fishing can be active for trout between Port Hardy and Campbell River. Egg fly patterns are used along with single hook spinners. One of the traditional fly patterns that is effective is the Mickey Finn. Always check for regulations between heading out.

Remember, river fishing for trout is catch and release and all hooks are barbless on the fly or if you are using a spinner.

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