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#221 AllseeingEye

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 07:54 PM

^ Right. Now the work begins.

You are obviously planning a salt water experience. Bare boat charters used to be available at Pedder Bay Marina but a quick peek at their website shows that almost all of their services are suspended due to Covid.

In addition to that I am not sure if Island Outfitters is open again after the fire.

This might be an awkward time to get started in fishing.

Having said that I can’t think of a better way to connect with your adult son than spending time with him on the water. Don’t give up on your vision davidN ...we will get you started.

 

 

They are not Sparky; they've been slow in providing updates on the main website and Facebook but at this time they remain shuttered. As far as I understand they are or were still sorting through insurance concerns when covid hit so who knows how long they will be out of commission. Their charter business out of Victoria and Renfew was running post the fire but beyond March I'm not sure of its status either. Their FB updates have been infrequent since the start of the pandemic.

 

DavidN sounds like you are set on fishing the salt chuck exclusively, is that correct? And not freshwater rivers or lakes?

 

Sparky is correct that given the state of the world this is not an optimal time to dive into the sport. Our group did venture out once earlier in April "somewhere near the Carmanah" but that is freshwater/fly/drift fishing exclusively and the nearest people to us were 20 kilometers away. Your time now might be best served reading up on and studying as much as you can about whichever (salt or freshwater) style of fishing you wish to pursue. Fortunately VI offers an abundance of all types of fishing and there are no shortages of online resources to get you started. 

 

One resource you should get to know like the back of your hand are the DFO BC Sport Fishing guide and regulations which can literally change week to week depending on which fishery we're talking about and in which fishing region and the time of year. Here is some light bedtime reading for you - this should be your bible for getting into the sport. DFO are the traffic cops of sport fishing so your first priority before anything else is to familiarize yourself with the rules and regs of fishing in BC.

 

The DFO site also provides handy links to various fishing ecosystems around the province, information on the various fish species and fishing reports galore from all regions in the province. Vancouver Island BTW is Region 1 - the only region that matters :)

 

https://www.pac.dfo-.../index-eng.html


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#222 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 09:17 AM

Indeed not an optimal time at all to get into recreational/sport or commercial fishing, especially the commercial side where your livelihood depends on fishing - and also this story comes as no surprise given the pandemic, as well as the fact many fish species are under pressure from shifts in global climate (warming oceans) and ecosystem degradation from logging and other human activities detrimental to fish survival:

 

https://www.timescol...hing-1.24132650


Edited by AllseeingEye, 11 May 2020 - 09:17 AM.


#223 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 06:23 AM

The invasive European green crab is proliferating at an alarming rate on the west and southern coasts of Vancouver Island, devouring smaller Dungeness crab and bivalves as well as the eelgrass that is critical to young salmon.

 

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified hotspots around Sooke and Barkley Sound, but environmental groups and First Nations say the green crab’s infestation extends to Haida Gwaii and likely most parts of the B.C. coast.

 

 

 

https://www.timescol...ters-1.24172796



#224 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:10 PM

Green sturgeon have made a rare appearance in the San Juan River near Port Renfrew.

 

The large prehistoric fish were filmed swimming in the river estuary last week, probably feeding, says Ron Laidman, a volunteer warden with the ecological reserve and operator of the Remote Renfrew Riverside Retreat.

 

https://www.timescol...iver-1.24190930


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 23 August 2020 - 05:10 PM.

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#225 AllseeingEye

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 05:22 PM

Salmon are in in great numbers in certain island rivers right now for those interested; we had a fantastic trip to the Conuma and Leiner Rivers two weeks ago - four of us in the group and we had to swat the Chinook away with a stick. I bagged three 20+ pounders on flies in less than two hours. One of our group hit six fish, all in the 20-25 pound range, by noon.

 

"Buddy" from another group standing perhaps 30 meters down river from me dragged a 45+ pound slabbie to shore. Took two of us to lift and pose it for a quick pic before releasing it. Coho are also now in great abundance in the Nitnaht, San Juan and Nanaimo rivers.

 

Gotta be diligent about checking DFO regs though as they change daily in some cases. We were set on pulling the trigger on a 3-day trek to the Lillooet River north east of Pemberton during the Thanksgiving week but DFO slammed the door on that option today, so we're now looking at the Nitnaht. Get out there and enjoy where and when you can.....

 

Edit: I hasten to add especially on the north end of the island and particularly in the Gold River - Tahsis area bears are EVERYWHERE. Make sure you have your bear spray and your spidey senses on full gain. One large male surprised me by showing up out of the brush less than 25 meters from where I was standing in the river. Thankfully I was not playing a fish at the time and moreover he was a real round fat f*****, and merely out for a stroll. Any fish scent though would've changed the circumstances quickly. Fortunately he sniffed looked at me for about ten seconds and ambled off in the other direction. That night a cougar strolled leisurely through our campground so if you get out there have fun, but be ****alert****.


Edited by AllseeingEye, 21 September 2020 - 05:46 PM.

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#226 Mike K.

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:38 PM

Nice!

When you fish the Nitinaht be on the lookout for bears. The scenario you’ve described on the Gold is quite common in that area. I was there a week ago and despite the thick smoke at the time it was relatively busy with guys hoping to score a good catch.

We also had a really weird experience with a light at night. But that’s for another day.

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#227 AllseeingEye

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:50 PM

Yeah have fished the Nitnaht many times so we know the score there - its a nice ecosystem, and easily accessible river, and has the advantage of more people (mostly from the local FN) in the immediate area, as opposed to the Conuma which is relatively remote by comparison.

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#228 AllseeingEye

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 09:41 AM

"What do you mean you have never caught a steelhead?" my friend Dave shouted at me.

"No" I replied, "Where do you fish for those?"

That started our journey to Spence's Bridge on the Thompson River. Every fall there is/was a pilgrimage by diehard fishermen to stalk the overgrown sea run trout and lure them onto the shore. (pun intended)

attachicon.gif Spences Bridge.jpg

I started our quest with a trip to Woolco to acquire a bag full of "Coho 54" spoons which apparently was the lure of choice. What did I know....I was a steelhead virgin. Apparently the lure was cast from the shore into the swiftly moving current and retrieved with a smooth or somewhat jerky motion depending on who you listened to.

The grimy little roadside no-tell motel was crammed with like minded sportsmen drinking warm "Luckys" in the evenings swapping fishing stories, scratching their manhood and tying gear that they would ultimately loose the following day.

The Coho 54 spoon would then be cast upon the water at daybreak. We stood just within earshot of each other along the river's edge casting these little bits of metal out into oblivion. If the spoon became lodged between the boulders upon retrieval then the procedure was to make an about face....tuck your rod under your arm...then walk steadfastly away from the river. One of two things would then take place. The spoon would release it's grip on the rocks...or there would be a sudden ease of pressure on the line and one would need to fish another spoon out of the Woolco bag and launch another attack on the yet unseen "steelie". (again pun intended with the word fish)

After two days of throwing a bagful of metal into the river without so much as a nibble or a strike or even a rumour of someone even seeing a steelhead....I gave up. Fishermen could often be overheard whispering the odd sportsmanlike phrase such as "I've had enough of this $hit". (or words to that effect) That was it. I was done. I headed back to the parking lot.

There was a nice first nations chap there that hung around the parking lot that would accept the odd donation to keep an eye on the fishermen's trucks and gear. He had probably been doing that since he was a boy.

"Giving up?" he said to me with a smile.

"There is no fish in that river". I shot back.

"There is in that little stream behind that hill" he said. "I catch Rainbows in there all the time. I use a worm".

What the hell, I thought...it will be a couple of hours before Dave is ready to leave so I trekked up over the hill only to find a delightful little meadow with a small stream running through it. The sun was in exactly the right position to warm my face and there was a gentle slopping bank to sit and rest. I dug a worm out of the ground with my knife, threaded it onto a hook and sloppily cast it into a spot just above a little 5 or 6 inch drop in the stream were it fed into a large pool.

When the worm went over the little ledge it started to spiral downwards deep into the pool. I remember it pulling on the line so I let it take as much as it wanted. Down it went in a somewhat circular motion. Down..down...this pool was deeper than one might imagine.

BAM!! Fish on. Holy crap. Fighting like a Tuna. It all happened so fast. My heart was racing as I slipped on the bank landing on my ass with the rod in the air...slowly nursing my catch onto the side of the bank. I didn't have a net.

And there it was. The largest and most beautiful rainbow trout I have ever seen. The colours of those rainbow scales glistening in the sun. My heart was still a flutter.

Upon close examination I discovered something that I will only see once in my life. There was an old small rusty hook lodged in his ass. There was a short leader still connected to the hook. The leader still had the loop on the end that one would fasten to a swivel or a "willow leaf".

To this day I am still wondering how it got there. Did he pass this hook through his digestive system? How else could it have gotten there? I don't know but I think this hook and leader assembly had a lot to do with his lifestyle. I don't think this guy did a lot of cross country swimming. If that loop on the end of the leader was to get caught up on a twig or something there would have been a painful reminder connected directly to his ass.... so as to keep him from going very far or for that matter very fast.

He must have lived at the bottom of that pool waiting for food to come to him instead of searching for it.

I stuffed this beauty into the Woolco bag and didn't say a word to anyone.

Later that night when the boys were sucking on their Luckys and complaining about the lack of steelhead in the Thompson.....I slowly went over to the fridge and pulled out this bad boy once in a lifetime trophy....proudly displayed it to them..... and then suggested to them all that they needed to sharpen their fishing skills a little.

Priceless.

 

As you discovered and know by now the Thompson River steel-head run is all but gone, sadly. However on our last trip to the Gold River - Tahsis area a month ago we found a new steelie hangout quite by accident; PM me if you want location details as we found a whole run of those beauties in a remote part of a certain river while fly fishing and catching a treasure trove of river run Chinook :)


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#229 AllseeingEye

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 08:33 PM

Coho season opens up for real this weekend in Campbell River; we'll be waist-deep right at the confluence of the Campbell & Quinsam Rivers this weekend @ 6am sharp each day. Anyone else heading up? They haven't been updated since Sept 30 but here is a link to the Region 1 Vancouver Island Freshwater Openings, Closings and Limits:

 

https://www.pac.dfo-...egion1-eng.html

 

And a link to the Holy Bible itself, aka the BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations:

 

https://www2.gov.bc....ng_synopsis.pdf

 

Be aware if you are headed up towards the Campbell River area for any reason, we had to work hard to find accommodations; aside from it being Thanksgiving Covid has caused of a few of the usually very reliable "fishermen"s motels" to Close indefinitely. For awhile it looked like we might have to break out the camping gear again, not an inviting prospect on a rainy weekend for a bunch of grumpy 55+ somethings, but we snagged a deal at the Ramada at the last minute.


Edited by AllseeingEye, 05 October 2020 - 08:41 PM.


#230 Mike K.

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 05:55 AM

Good for you. That part of the island, in fact everything from Parksville north can be a difficult stretch for accommodation in the fall. Once I had to find a spot well north of Campbell River as there was nothing, zilch, from Parksville onwards. And it was November!!
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#231 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:31 AM

Well there is some great winter freshwater fishing on the island so that partially would explain lack of rooms - the island in normal times draws anglers from everywhere including Europe, the US and even Asia, but definitely there are fewer options; I think we stayed in the only motel in Sayward last year, albeit it was a great facility and location, there were none (that I saw) in Gold River, and one very run down option in Tahsis etc. The further you go the likelier it is IMO that you're camping or hauling up the RV.........


Edited by AllseeingEye, 06 October 2020 - 09:31 AM.

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#232 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 01:19 PM

So.....my Campbell River fishing report. In a nutshell the Best. River. Fishing. Day. Ever. Even more spectacular than the Conuma River in September where we bagged Chinook seemingly at will.

 

I only landed two out of five Chinook on Friday but my God these mature slabs are strong and are in a different weight class altogether than the Conuma River.

 

Both of these big boys pulled me off my feet eventually and into the river and the second, which was close to 50 pounds, pulled me and one of my buddies who was trying to help, into the drink. Handed my rod to him as I was going into the water then he did likewise to his brother when he came in for a plunge too. These big Chinook are powerful. The other one was 35-40 pounds (picture below), and I also went ass over teakettle into the river hauling him to the river bank. Got dunked a total of four times the first day but these fabulous fish were totally worth the early baths. All of course were catch and release.

 

How strong are they? The last picture tells the story - that is what one of the ones I didn't land did to my gear: took the lure, roared over 200 yards downstream tearing *all* of the remaining line off the drum of my reel before it snapped, and did it with one massive pull in about 3 seconds. Never seen that before. Needless to say I swapped it out for a bigger reel on Saturday.

 

The system right now is chock full of big Chinook headed for the spawning grounds, with a lot of Coho at the mouth and near the confluence of the Campbell and Quinsam Rivers. Tons of fun.....

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Edited by AllseeingEye, 11 October 2020 - 01:24 PM.

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#233 Mike K.

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 01:41 PM

Right on, ASE!


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#234 Sparky

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 01:43 PM

^^ Great fishing story. Christ I felt like I fell in the water with you.

Boy passing your rod to a mate while you are on your way to Davey Jones’ locker.,..priceless as well as classic.

Thank you for that.
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#235 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 02:13 PM

/\.....Right? Seemed the logical thing to do at the time, all the while trying to hold the tip up until he could grab it; I was flat on my back in the river LMAO when I saw him trip, partially over me, and tumble in himself while handing off the rod in turn to his brother. Now *that's* team-work. Imagine a quarterback flipping a shuffle pass ahead to the running back who then lobs one to a receiver, as he's stumbling over the quarterback's foot, and you pretty much have the picture....



#236 AllseeingEye

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 08:46 PM

Hit up the new Island Outfitter's location yesterday; while I and a lot of other people are thrilled they are open again I was a little disappointed in the actual space itself. I thought - or assumed is probably more accurate - that it would be significantly larger than the old one, which is not the case. Larger, yes. Significantly so, no. I did like the fact they have separated out the fly fishing gear from the salt water and spin casting niches. Good move IMO.

 

Also I presume as a consequence of covid its clear their supply chain has been impacted to a certain degree; items I would expect a high profile and very proficient retailer like IO to have in stock were, to my surprise, unavailable or in short supply, very short in the case of some mainstream items such as waders, certain rods and spinning lures.

 

That said it was great to see some old familiar faces, their attention to customer service and their knowledge of fishing/fishing gear/fishing conditions on the island is naturally top notch. And although I tried to dissuade her (admittedly not too strenuously :)), I was secretly very happy that Mrs Claus dropped $450 on some new waders as an early Christmas gift so it was definitely a worthwhile visit......


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#237 Victoria Watcher

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Posted Yesterday, 12:46 PM

who among us had ever heard the term "lobster pound" before this past week?

 

not i.



#238 AllseeingEye

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Posted Yesterday, 07:22 PM

I have and have actually been to the one in Pugwash with my uncles, but then I also have lots of extended family in Nova Scotia so no surprise. Fresh lobster is par for the course during any extended visit or stay in NS. To your point though I'm pretty sure the term would be unknown in places like Blue River BC, Canmore AB or Foam Lake SK..... :)



#239 Victoria Watcher

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Posted Today, 02:36 AM

why is fresh lobster so important?

 

for example why don't we have live salmon swimming around while i'm still having my appetizer?



#240 lanforod

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Posted Today, 07:30 AM

why is fresh lobster so important?

 

for example why don't we have live salmon swimming around while i'm still having my appetizer?

 

Shellfish have a bacteria that shows up soon after they die, Vibrio; that is quite bad for humans. Fresh tastes better, but the main reason is your health. Keeping the lobsters alive (and generally boiling them alive), prevents that bacteria from growing.


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