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Author Topic: Island fishing trip  (Read 1459 times)

Ry the fly guy

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Island fishing trip
« on: July 04, 2019, 10:34:24 PM »

Hey everyone, looking to plan my summer vacation, and I am wondering when and where to fish rivers on Vancouver Island in the summer, I don't care what species, I just want a good chance at catching fish, as I will be bringing friends with short-attention spans with me. I'm open to any system on the Island, I have an ok 4x4 2003 Nissan Pathfinder on 31's so I can access some remote-ish locations, however I can't get to the crazy technical spots. I'm not trying to ask anyone for their secret spot but any info on times and locations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

-Ry
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Every Day

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 11:05:58 PM »

The island is dismal this year, to put it frankly. Don't forget the entire south island river closure July 15.

I was out there last week for 3 days. Bounced around all over doing water temps and spot checks for steelhead, and searching out new access points.

One incredibly worrying place was the Gordon; one of the last remaining strong holds for summer steelhead on the island. The recorded water temperature for Wednesday, June 26, was a staggering 23.7C in the lower end - 16C in the headwaters. Unfortunately the fish are all stuck in the cesspools down low, unlikely to be able to move up until fall rains.

Another well known one, that unfortunately isn't part of the July 15th closure - The Nahmint - was already at 18C, and had a severe lack of fish for this far in the season. 3 of 4 holding pools I spot checked that always have schools were completely void, only one had a measly 15 fish.

In short, my little scouting mission made things certain - the fish are in real trouble this year. The conditions are dreadful, and are unlikely to improve, and the runs are the lowest I've seen in my 8 years of exploring remote places.

My advice is that you'd be better off going elsewhere, or beach fishing pinks. If you're dead set on the island, focus on north island glacial melt systems, and far west coast glacial melt systems. Anything around alberni/west will be a write off for any ethical angler - make that any system that doesn't drain from a large, high elevation mountain range.
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Ry the fly guy

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 06:29:01 PM »

Thanks for the great write up everyday. That is really sad news, Iím not trying to hurt any fish, would Campbell River be an ethical choice? And if not any names of some north island river that might be worth while? I really donít have a ton of time to scout rivers, and I will have friends with short attention spans with me, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Iím open to anywhere on the island.
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Dogbreath

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 09:19:03 PM »

1-forget fishing rivers altogether

2-concentrate on ECVI beaches and rivermouths especially at low tide
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Every Day

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 10:40:46 PM »

Thanks for the great write up everyday. That is really sad news, Iím not trying to hurt any fish, would Campbell River be an ethical choice? And if not any names of some north island river that might be worth while? I really donít have a ton of time to scout rivers, and I will have friends with short attention spans with me, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Iím open to anywhere on the island.

Campbell river might be an ok one for water temps, but I have literally no experience fishing it - it's too busy for me. I always stick to small remote ones. I'd personally prefer to keep most of the steelhead flows off the internet, especially considering the peril most seem to be in. With that said, summer steelhead rivers probably aren't all too good for new/impatient anglers anyway.

The eve estuary is a really good one for pinks, and the odd early coho. It also has a strong run of sea run dollies, and a good population of resident rainbows in the lower end. It *should* stay under 16C until somewhere around mid August, being that it drains out of high elevation mountains.

The elk river just outside campbell river could be a good option too, temps wise anyway. I understand that most people target the rainbows spawning in there in May and June, and I'm not sure whether or not they stay in there (maybe someone else can chime in?).  It should maintain decent temps as well.

The mouth of the cluxewe can be an absolute blast too near the August long weekend. If the run is good you can get the pinks to smash dry flies!

Cheers,
Dan
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Ry the fly guy

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 12:14:48 AM »

1-forget fishing rivers altogether

2-concentrate on ECVI beaches and rivermouths especially at low tide

Thanks Dogbreath. I am looking for rivers that the temperature won't be an issue (if any), and when you say ECVI do you have a general location in mind? I only get a couple weekends a year to fish and I would love all the help I can get

Campbell river might be an ok one for water temps, but I have literally no experience fishing it - it's too busy for me. I always stick to small remote ones. I'd personally prefer to keep most of the steelhead flows off the internet, especially considering the peril most seem to be in. With that said, summer steelhead rivers probably aren't all too good for new/impatient anglers anyway.

The eve estuary is a really good one for pinks, and the odd early coho. It also has a strong run of sea run dollies, and a good population of resident rainbows in the lower end. It *should* stay under 16C until somewhere around mid August, being that it drains out of high elevation mountains.

The elk river just outside campbell river could be a good option too, temps wise anyway. I understand that most people target the rainbows spawning in there in May and June, and I'm not sure whether or not they stay in there (maybe someone else can chime in?).  It should maintain decent temps as well.

The mouth of the cluxewe can be an absolute blast too near the August long weekend. If the run is good you can get the pinks to smash dry flies!

Cheers,
Dan

Thanks again Dan! I totally understand wanting to keep smaller flows off the web, thanks for names you did give me it really helps my decision making. Pinks on the dry sound incredible, and the eve sounds super interesting as well!
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RalphH

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 09:21:39 AM »

it will be an off year for most Van Isle Pink salmon runs.
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RalphH

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 09:19:52 AM »

Announcement out today that drought conditions for the Lower Island have been downgraded from level 4 (extreme) to level 1 (normal) based on rainfall levels in the last week.
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SPEYMAN

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 09:25:13 PM »

Dept. of Fisheries does not know what the returns will be. Where do you get your knowledge from.I live in Campbell River,and even in low return years there is still opportunities to catch fish. Why all the doom and gloom?
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Every Day

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Re: Island fishing trip
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 10:23:27 PM »

Yep. The rain most definitely saved a number of rivers (for now). Some of the rivers we went to/checked the last couple days are still running hot/18C+ (even though they came up), so make sure to bring your thermometer if you want to try your luck.
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