A feeding frenzy but no takers

Published on March 29th, 2009 by Rodney

A pair of hunters sitting on the pylons, which are ideal habitat for fish in the Fraser River.

With only a couple of days left in March, one has to start wondering if winter is actually going to leave this year. The daytime temperature remains below seasonal average and the sun just doesn’t peek out consistently enough to keep the fishing bug hopping.

Even though spring is making a late start, fish seem to be carrying out their cycle of life on schedule. I noticed signs of salmon fry in the Tidal Fraser River last weekend. Schools could be seen travelling in the shallow water, avoiding potential predation by trout and char. They were safe, as I did not spot any surface thrashing that I’d normally see when feeding takes place.

Bald eagles flying high, possibly enjoying this rare sunny day.

After a short dim sum session this afternoon, I decided to take advantage of this gorgeous weather by heading back to see if any trout or char were feeding on fry. As soon as I stepped onto the dyke, I could see large splashes by the rocks. The sightings surprised me, even though they were somewhat expected. Fry were hopping out of the water frantically, almost landing on rocks at times. Can you really blame them? Big bag wolves were after them.

I quickly made my way down to the water with the fly rod. Surface feeding can make any fisherman panick and end up with tangles and a fishless day. I stripped plenty of line out, aimed toward the rises and shot out the fry pattern. I kept the retrieve fast, since these the feeding was taking place on the surface. First cast, second cast, third… but today’s adventure did not end so productively like many other past trips. The feeding soon stopped as we approached dusk. Perhaps the low lighting and poor water clarity had an effect on their hunt?

Will they be there tomorrow when I return? The unknowns, which always keep predator chasing so appealing in the Tidal Fraser River.

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