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Archive for April, 2009

Should have brought the rod!

Published on Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I brought my camera down to Middle Arm to take some sunset photos after this lovely spring day. Freshet has been happening on the Fraser River for almost two weeks now. With the water as brown as coffee, it was not really worth to bring the rod down, especially a flyfishing rod.

Upon arrival, I found the water to be glass calm. I love it when it is so calm in the evening. Any surface activity would be visible, even on the other side of the channel. After taking a couple photographs, I caught a splash at the corner of my eyes. It sure looked big! Sturgeon perhaps? I walked toward the area and another fish showed itself. A sturgeon it was not, but it was either a bull trout or cutthroat trout, a rather big one too! I stood and repeatedly scanned the surface from left to right. Another fish rose, which was followed by another dozen. I’ve seen trout feeding on the surface many times, but these sightings always make the heart pumping harder. There was no point to show my excitement, because the fishing rod was at home! All I could do was to stand back, watch and enjoy the feeding frenzy.

Oh yes, those sunset photographs…

Learn to fish at urban lakes

Published on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Today I tagged along with Mike and Kelsey of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC for a Learn to Fish session at Green Timbers Lake. The Learn to Fish program was first established two years ago and is available to anyone who’s above the age of five. Beside sessions hosted at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery and Visitor Centre, ongoing sessions are scheduled at Green Timbers (Wednesday), Lafarge (Thursday) and Rice Lake (Sunday) between April and August. For more information, please visit this page.

The weather was perfect for this evening’s session. Trout were swirling and hopping on the surface. Unfortunately no fish were caught, but it was enjoyable for both parents and kids who participated.

Fishing rods and reels are provided for participants.

No shortage of bobbers.

Mike explains the proper technique for catch and release.

Kelsey demonstrates fish identification.

Mike demonstrates casting with a spinning reel.

Kelsey helps a young participant on casting.

Fishing time!

Both parents and kids actively take part in the class.

A catch and release prop.

A bobber awaits to be used.

Green Timbers Lake has plenty of open shoreline for anglers.

A couple of local residents.

Earth Day 2009: Celebrate, share or reflect?

Published on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

So every ten minutes on the radio today, somebody wouldn’t stop saying, “Happy Earth Day!”

What exactly are we celebrating? Rapid depletion of biodiversity? Accumulation of floating garbage in the ocean? Growing demand of fossil fuel? Most earth-related news these days aren’t exactly celebration-worthy.

Earth Day provides an opportunity to share our actions that help Earth and reflect our way of life that could use some adjustment to reduce impacts.

So what have you done in the last couple of years and what do you plan to do, to make this a better place?

Here are some practices that I have maintained, some were started recently while others have been happening for quite awhile now. This is not an attempt to suggest that these are what you should do, but more of an attempt to share, inspire and perhaps hear what others are doing differently to also make a positive difference.

Garbage reduction: My weekly garbage is usually one shopping bag full. Most of the waste comes from the kitchen. Papers, cans, bottles and some plastics are always recycled. I’ve put a cat beside the bag for comparison in size.

Buying products that have minimal amount of packaging also helps and the products tend to be better as they are either raw or only processed slightly. I also bring a cloth bag to shop whenever I remember. When I started using one two years ago, I always forgot about it but it becomes quite easy after doing it for so long. The same practice has been going on in other parts of the world where plastic bags cost money at the supermarket so most people just bring their own bags.

Electricity saving: Lights are always turned off whenever not being used. The cable modem, computers, microwave, VCR, DVD player, TV and any other appliances that require a remote control are unplugged before going to bed or whenever not being used. The heater is kept at 15C or lower in the winter, it’s an excellent way to kick the house guests out without saying anything.

Gasoline usage: I’ve cut my gasoline usage to about $30 or less per week. This is possible partly because I work at home, but also has a lot to do with better planning before a trip, not hopping in a car whenever I desire to and using alternatives, ie. walking and biking, to close destinations such as the post office.

When it comes to fishing, there are also little things that I prefer doing to reduce impact.

When retaining fish, I prefer to have a cooler filled with ice for my catches. Not only it keeps the fish fresh, I do not end up wasting a plastic bag. A small cooler is used for trout and kokanee while fishing on a boat, or a big cooler kept in the car during the fall salmon or winter steelhead season.

Fishing line and lead are probably the most hazardous items left behind in the water by fishermen. I try to minimize that when fishing. Used line always goes into the pocket and disposed at home.

What do you do with your empty plastic spools after you use up all the fishing line on them? To prevent having these cluttering up in the house, I prefer to take my reel into the store for spooling. Quite often I would also bring my empty plastic spools in so they can be spooled. Most stores would be happy to do it for you.

Other more obvious practices that many anglers already do include conserving your catches. While most daily quotas of species in BC are already quite generous, I tend to practice moderation when retaining fish. Keeping enough fish in the freezer that can be finished within a reasonable period is the personal rule. Having fresh fish rarely is more desirable than having old fish often.

All these actions are primarily intended for helping the environment but overtime they do benefit personally by keeping more money in the pocket. Environmentally sounding practices aren’t always costly, which has been the common belief. It in fact saves money, but just consumes more time and energy, which isn’t always so appealing to us in today’s fast paced life.

Let’s hear your ideas!

Help needed at 2009’s Fish for the Future

Published on Monday, April 20th, 2009

For a long time now I have been writing about different, unexplored fishing opportunities in the Tidal Fraser River. I get many questions in emails about them. Here is a great opportunity for those who are interested to find out more, by coming to this year’s Fish for the Future on Saturday July 11th!

Fish for the Future is an annual fishing festival in Steveston that we have started on the website since 2003. The purpose of the event is to promote sportfishing, biodiversity of the Fraser River ecosystem and conservation. The event is supported by both the BC Family Fishing Weekend and the National Fishing Week. At this event, kids have the opportunity to try out fishing with all the free fishing gear provided. When fish are caught, they are placed in an aquarium for the kids to observe and learn before they are released back into the water. Flycasting and flytying workshops are available for anyone who wishes to learn. Various stewardship groups will be onsite to let the public know what projects are currently happening to enhance urban streams and re-establish their inhabitants. DFO is also present at the event to answer questions that you may have.

Please visit the event website for more information:

You can be both a participant and a volunteer. The event is only possible with dedicated individuals who help out on the day. We need people to…

  • help kids with fishing on the floating dock.,
  • set up tents, signs, tables and chairs before the event,
  • take down after the event,
  • teach people how to tie flies,
  • organize the fishing gear for loaning,

To make things a bit more interesting, I’ve decided to be out of town until July 8th. This means I need someone to put up posters at the rec centres, Save on Foods, Safeway and other public places two weeks prior to the event.

If you are interested in voluteering, please send me an email at

Stay in bed next time

Published on Sunday, April 12th, 2009

The rain came down in buckets this morning at 7:30am but I was pretty determined to catch the morning tide after a week of brilliant fishing in the Tidal Fraser. We got out there and found the wind was just as strong as we had expected. An hour of fishing only ended with one herring that swam away freely so we packed our wet bodies up for a hot breakfast back home. Oh well, you can only catch them if you invest the time on the water right?

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