British Columbia Fishing Blog

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Archive for August, 2008

Coming up in September 2008

Published on Thursday, August 21st, 2008

August has been a busy month on the rivers as we took advantage of the splendid summer weather that British Columbians have been enjoying. Now it is time to get back on the editing desk with six hours of raw video footages to work with. Here are some behind-the-scene shots, which give the readers some ideas what to expect in September on Fishing with Rod. Many thanks to Carlo Ng who captured these moments.

Shane Ito with a golden-coloured westslope cutthroat trout.

Swimming away in front of the camera.

Shane coaches as I work with the fly intensely.


Taking a run.

Almost ready.

Shoreline approach.


Morning storm, slippery rocks, hungry fish

Published on Friday, August 8th, 2008

Our third and last day started at 4:00am once again. As soon as we left camp in the dark, we saw lightning bolts striking repeatedly in the direction where we were heading. Knowing how fast interior storms can arrive and leave, we continued and were quite confident that it would not disrupt the fishing plan. We arrived at our spot, only to find the small lightning storm directly above where we wanted to fish. Thankfully the wind blew it away in no time and we were on our way down to the rocks.

The rain made the trek a bit more interesting. It became quite dangerous to climb down what was already a pretty challenging landscape. The rocks were greasy. One wrong step may end the trip early.

The bite was on immediately once again. Within a few casts I was able to connect with several jack chinook salmon as well as a couple of sneaky rainbow trout. One noticeable difference on the bites between these jack salmon and trout is that the jacks seem to take the bait very lightly while trout commit with no hesitation. At times, the float would dip down slowly, which almost seemed like a underwater current or snag, but was in fact a fish. Most of the time I simply lifted the rod up and found a fish at the end of my line. These fish put up an excellent fight on our coho salmon gear. I used a Stryker baitcasting rod that is rated for 8 to 12lb, while Mark used a Sage 2106 coupled with an Islander Steelheader centerpin reel. The only problem that may need to be checked regularly is the cuts on the leader made by their sharp teeth.

Freshly caught jack chinook salmon

By 7:30am, I had caught and cleaned my limit of four fish. Chris arrived as I carried them back to the car so they could stay fresh in the cooler. Once everything was organized, the video camera was pulled out again while I waited the other two to catch their fish. Somehow they decided to play long-lined catch and release again. It was pretty exciting to watch but the audience was getting tired after watching it for an hour. Eventually both were able to land some fish and we were ready to head back to the coast.

Along the way, we stopped by to watch a native fisherman dipnetting for sockeye salmon. His companions informed us that he had caught one so far. He held the net motionlessly in the deep slot where salmon would travel through, which seems like a method that requires even more persistence and patience than angling with a rod and reel.

Tens of thousands of pacific salmon will be making their way through here in the next several weeks

The highway meanders with the Thompson River, making it a very scenic drive on a sunny day

This year’s venture to the Thompson River brought some new exciting findings. Thanks to Chris, we are able to enjoy eating some very fine quality red chinook salmon. Although the number of trout we encountered was no where near previous years’, it was made up by the quality of the dry fly takes in the evenings. It can be an intimidating river, which brings frustration at times, but success will come eventually with some persistence.

Summer salmon, unexpected visitors, evening success

Published on Thursday, August 7th, 2008

The first night sleep was short and rough. It wasn’t because Chris was listening to his radio at midnight. It wasn’t because of the trains that were roaming by a couple of hundred feet away from us. It wasn’t the mosquitoes. It was just too hot and the wind wasn’t able to cool things down.

At 4:00am, I heard cans rattling. I thought that perhaps they were raccoons having a good time, but it was Chris getting his truck ready. He came over and pointed the flash light at my face. “Hey! Ready to go fishing?” Mark and I quickly got ready and we were on our way to find some jack chinook salmon at 4:30am.

The method used is no different to how salmon are being fished on the coastal rivers. The bait of choice procured red roe, drifted under larger float in the 25g range because of the turbulent river current. Jack chinook salmon are males that return to the river a year earlier than others from the same brood year, therefore their size is obviously much smaller. All fish that anglers wish to take have to be under 50cm, so a measuring tape is needed if you wish to keep some fish. With a daily quota of four fish, it can make an outing quite rewarding.

Armed with my video camera, I began filming as Chris and Mark made their first casts. Mark was into the first fish on his second drift. The silver body splashed briefly under the dim light and the leader broke off. Mark thought it was a big adult chinook salmon, but I said he needs to tie up  better leaders because that fish did not look big at all. While Mark was getting ready on the side, Chris also found a fish on his second cast and a fresh silver jack was on the beach in no time.

Once Mark was back into the game, he immediately hooked up and brought in some fish. Seeing that the bite was on, I finally put down the camera to wet a line too. I managed to connect with two, before the bites died down slightly when the sun emerged. We ended the productive morning at 10:00am so we and our catches wouldn’t get too hot.

We then took refuge from the heat by spending a few hours in the coffee house nearby. By 1:00pm, Mark and I were getting itchy feet again. Mark wanted to land a bow since all of his fish had freed themselves. I was determined to catch one in front of the campground after not being able to find a good tug on the nymph from the day before. After flogging the water for a couple of hours, the result once again did not reflect the effort. Defeated, we made our way back to camp. I then realized that I had lost my landing net! A walk back along the same path did not recover it. The disappointment was quickly forgotten when a herd of bighorn sheep visited our camp just before dinner.

Freshly picked apricot for dessert

Another group of flyfishers, making their way to the big T

Indicators of a healthy stream

Seeing that we had some intense surface action from the evening before, we ventured back to the same spot at 6:30pm. As expected, the risers were having a feeding frenzy again. Mark connected with one in no time but it somehow fell off the hook once again. His frustration was further built by hooking the trees on his back casts several times. In the meantime, I missed a light take, but another one soon followed. This bow was not going to get away easily because of its greed.

By dusk, I managed to tempt a few big risers and brought two to shore. Perhaps the timing of the hookset needs to be improved, since the only fish being brought in were the ones that had swallowed the big dry fly.

Mark’s curse was finally lifted when this beauty surrendered itself just before dark. What might be even more accomplishing is the fact that he landed a northern pikeminnow on the dry fly a few casts later.

The catch numbers maybe low, but the experience was very rewarding, which will be put to good use when we fish in the same situation again.


Big river in the heat

Published on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

The August heat usually means it is time to move the office to the Thompson River valley. After the long weekend crowd had dispersed, Mark and I decided to pay those aggressive rainbow trout a visit. Stubborn trout and slippery boulders can make these excursions very frustrating at times, but past trips have always brought unexpected excitement and new findings that keep drawing us back.

We arrived in Spences Bridge on August 6th and were greeted by Roy and Sarah at Acacia Grove RV Park and Cabins. Acacia Grove makes camping luxurious. Our campsite is just a short walk from the river. The park also has showering facility, which makes sleeping much easier at the end of a long hot fishing day.

Silver twins, ready for action

Casting and hoping for a tug under the bright sun

The first afternoon scouting under the scorching sun was not rewarding as expected. A few tugs were felt, but they were from tinies that did not know any better. The only wiggly object that was unfortunately brought back with the stonefly nymph was this juvenile salmon.

After dinner, it was time for some serious business. The evening hours usually bring out the biggest trout that are seeking for a surface feed. Upon our arrival at a new spot, I sent out a golden stonefly nymph to see if I could be tugged. Meanwhile, Mark immediately generated some splashes further downstream but none stayed on his hook. After three or four connections, I decided to find out what the secret was. It turned out that he had been teasing them with a dry fly. I chose to walk downstream from both of them where I spotted some rises. A few drifts later, a tiny bob beneath the surface buried the fly. My dry fly experience is minimal, so even though I was staring at it intently, it took two more seconds to register that some fish had gotten it in its mouth. I set the hook, which was actually unnecessary because the trout was already swimming away with it. It took a few robust runs like what most rainbow trout from Interior BC would do before surrendering itself in the shallows. The scar at the edge of its jaw indicates that this fish was already caught before, a pretty typical sign in a fishery where catch and release is primarily practiced.

Ready to be released

Rising moon at dusk and a quiet river make a peaceful setting


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