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A good substitute

Published on Monday, May 5th, 2008

This past weekend we spent two nights at Lakeside Gardens Resort, fishing St Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island. St Mary’s Lake is mostly known for its smallmouth bass fishing and we typically visit it in June or July. This year we decided to pay it an earlier visit, hoping to see some topwater bass action. Unfortunately the season is delayed, but we were treated with a good substitute. Both cutthroat and rainbow trout were pretty eager to chew on our fly and bait. Just take a look at this video on the floating dock shot for 35 minutes straight.

Because Lakeside Gardens Resort is an advertiser on Fishing with Rod, when you book your stay, mention “Fishing with Rod” to receive 10% off. The resort offers campsites, small lakeside cabanas for 2 people as well as larger cottages for 4 to 6 people.

Good fishing at Lower Mainland lakes

Published on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

While we painfully wait for ice-off at the Interior Lakes, Lower Mainland anglers should take advantage of Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery‘s ongoing stocking program. Hatchery staffs have been stocking up to 20 different lakes in the Lower Mainland since early April, so they are populated with hungry rainbow trout that are waiting to be caught!

While urban lakes such as Rice, Lafarge, Green Timbers, Mill, Sasamat, Deer and Buntzen offer fantastic, easy fishing opportunities for entry-level anglers, they can sometimes get a bit crowded. If you are seeking for solitude in a more natural setting, then a slightly longer drive from Vancouver would take you to a few of these lakes.

In Squamish, Brohm, Browning, Alice, Edith, Fawn and Stump Lakes are both stocked by the hatchery and inhabited by native populations of cutthroat trout. While a floating device works better on some of these lakes, shore fishing is readily available. Yesterday we visited two of these lakes and had a very enjoyable outing. Not only did we ended up with a tan, we also connected with dozens of rainbow and cutthroat trout.

Today’s setup is simple and effective on stocked rainbow trout in lakes. Ultralight spinning rods rated 2 to 4lb test were used, coupled the smallest spinning reels that I can find. The main line is 4lb test, which is tied to a 1/8oz spoon that I have made up. The nickel spoon is either green, blue or orange striped. The spoon is casted from shore, allowed to sink and flutter for a few seconds before retrieved slowly. The fluttering, flashing, vibration make it irresistable for any trout that are nearby.

In May, we will be launching a Region Two fishing location guide, which includes a dozen of these lakes where you can visit. Please stay tuned!

“Fishing in the City” launched at Rice Lake

Published on Saturday, April 12th, 2008

“Fishing in the City” program was launched today by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC at Rice Lake (see press release). 40 girl guides and scouts joined Natalie and Mike for a Learn to Fish session, followed by the release of 350 rainbow trout and a brief fishing session.

Please click here to watch the 8 minute long video of today’s launch!

Here are some photographs.

Fishing rods rigged and ready to go

Fishing in the City, ready to be launched

Learn to Fish instructors Mike Gass and Natalie West explains fish ID techniques to curious onlookers

FFSBC hatchery truck, filled with rainbow trout that are ready to be released

Learn to Fish props for proper catch and release instruction

Newly released Learn to Fish guide book

GVRD’S new floating dock at Rice Lake

Casting instruction prior to the fishing session

From left: Brian Chan and Stacy Webb of FFSBC, and Ralph Sultan, M.L.A. (West Vancouver-Capilano)

Releasing rainbow trout

Time to fish at last!

The First Lake Trip of The Year

Published on Friday, April 11th, 2008

A very warm evening welcome to members and subscribers to The Journal on Fishing with Rod, your top fishing web page in the North West for fishing information, tips, tall tales, environmental issues, videos and much more.

I got a call from Yu last week inviting me to join him and The Master for a lake fishing trip today. I met Yu at badminton last year and found out he was a very keen angler, Yu had been out with Nick for a few Fraser River trips the last couple of years, no wonder he is keen then.

Yu has just opened a Mr. Mikes Steakhouse here in Chilliwack so now he has limited time to get out so he along with me was anxious to get into some fish. I had spent all day out on the river one day this week with Rodney without a bite and then to make matter worse Steve told me at the FVSS meeting last night he had got 3 steelhead to the beach after work, in the same spot Rodney and I had fished the day before. Huh Roll Eyes The Master said I would get lots of bites today, well I know he would anyway.

The game plan this morning was to meet for breakfast at Bridal Falls Restaurant at 8:30 and then we would decide the lake we would be going to.

I was just on my way in the Leaf Mobile, heading to the meeting place and the cell phone rings it Yu. “where are you guys”?. I tell him it is just 8 o’clock and we agreed we would meet at 8:30, “I thought it was to be 8 he says”, I told you he was eager. Grin Grin,

Anyway we have an enjoyable breakfast with lots of fish talk of course and we are on our way to the lake, shortly after 9. The Master tells us we are heading to – Weaver Lake (I know you the readers are anxious to know where we were going to be fishing  Grin Grin) on the North side of the Fraser.

In no time Agassiz is left behind us, then over the Harrison River we motor, past the Sandpiper Golf course on Morris Valley Road with golfers on the links already, they are crazier than anglers. Then we are passing over the Chehalis River Bridge, with the river being very low by the way. That will change shortly as the snow melt will begin in a few days.

Our next mile post marker is the Weaver Creek Hatchery, just before the turnoff for the road that leads us to Weaver Lake. I think of the sockeye alveins that are now stirring in the Weaver Creek hatchery channels that were alive with their parents just a few months ago. It is always a nice place to visit to see this spectacular in the late Fall. Thousand of tourists, by the bus load take in this salmon spawning ritual each year.A 10 minute drive off Morris Valley Road sees us arrive at this pretty lake, sitting below still snow capped mountains that are mirrored today on it flat calm waters. Its a local Fraser Valley gem to those that like to fish it. The only thing that spoils the scenery is the usual garbage scattered around, disappointing to see this all the time. I can never get over it. You would think that these vistors to the great outdoors would be people that enjoy being in the wilderness setting so to speak, how can they be so careless. The garbage bins have not been emptied for a while either and some are over flowing. I clean up a bit while the boys launch the boat and I retrieve about $7 worth of bottles and tins. Grin Grin I see numerous tins on the lake bottom too. Cry Embarrassed Angry Shocked

We quickly load the boat up with the gear and Nick puts on the electric kicker and we are on our way to the “hot spot” on the lake which The Master tells us was where they filmed a fishing show this week for the Chilliwack Shaw TV station. He is confident the fishing will be as good as it was that day. They will not be big fish Nick says “the biggest we have taken in past years are 16 inches long but most today will be in the 9 to 12 inch range”. “Years ago, 30 years ago there was some 6 pounders but they are gone now”, he added. I ask him if the lake is stocked and he says the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks about 6,000 each year into Weaver. They are Blackwater stock I believe he said, as well as some triploid fish. Also there is natural reproduction as well. If interested one can go to the Go Fish web site for lots of information about all the FFSBC programs. You can find it on their website.

We reach the chosen spot and I lower the anchor into about 15 feet on water. I see fish dimpling the water all around us as we rig up, it looks promising. We will be using single eggs today, fishing on the bottom.

I decide to do some filming first. Yu is the first to get his line into the water and he has the first fish on, about 2 seconds after his line reaches bottom. Its not a big fish but is fiesty for its size, close to 10 inches. Yu returns it to the lake.

Nick says the best method is to throw your line out, let it settle to the bottom then reel it in a few feet, every few seconds.

We have hit the bite as the boys are into fish after fish, I get some good footage but I finally I can not take it any more as they have brought around 12 to the boat. I finally bait up and it takes me a bit but finally I am into the fish too.

We are keeping the odd bigger one, for a fish dinner but most are released. The fishing dies off a bit so we just kick back and enjoy watching the swallows, the first I have seen this year. Is Spring finally here? The swallows are skimming across the surface looking for the odd chironomid that are hatching, the same ones the fish are feeding on, maybe we should have brought our fly rods. I know some of you are thinking that. Grin

What a beautiful setting we are in, not one other boat is on the lake that I believe is around 200 acres in size. We see an osprey, a few ducks paddling along the shoreline, and a lone eagle. As well throughout the day we hear a ruffed grouse drumming out its mating call, on his favorire fallen log, deep in the forest. From above the lake we hear another grouse, this time a blue who is hooting for a mate too, yes Spring is here.

The only foreign sound we hear is the odd jet passing high above, out of sight, above the clouds.

As I said the bite has died off a bit so we move to another spot and we find more of these fun little game fish that at times can be hard to hook, but thats the great part of fishing. We have landed close to 50 of these rainbows when we decide to call it a day, like I said not big but a good warm up for the lake fishing days ahead. We will then be packing our fly rods and the fish will be a lot bigger than today. But remember what The Master says “a fish is a fish” and just getting out with good friends, seeing the best scenery in the world and hooking the odd fish is what makes fishing one of the best pastimes in the world.

Give Weaver Lake a try one day, the fish are there, The Master guarantees it.

Let’s get dirty on Saturday!

Published on Thursday, April 3rd, 2008


The 21st Chilliwack River Cleanup will be happening on this Saturday, April 5th! What started out as a very localized effort by a small group of individuals in 2002 has grown to a rather large and successful program six years later.

The cleanups, which are hosted three times per year, are now attended by over 200 enthusiastic volunteers who are determined to keep our watershed clean. These volunteers come from all backgrounds, including anglers, hikers, kayakers, and local residents. Scouts, girl guides and school groups also have a big presence at these cleanups.

These cleanups are especially beneficial to anglers for several reasons. They obviously keep the Chilliwack River cleaner, making it a more enjoyable environment for fishing. Reduction of garbage problems also ensure that public access to the river is not restricted, something that British Columbian anglers tend to take for granted. It is crucial that anglers do our part, by taking more garbage out more than what we bring in. By demonstrating that we can be stewards of our rivers rather than just consumers, you and I can make sure our enjoyable fishing days on the Chilliwack River will not be lost.

If you are interested in coming to this Saturday’s cleanup, please dress wisely as some rain is expected. Waders are not necessary since all cleanups are done on dry banks but a pair of boots would come in handy. Garbage bags, plastic gloves are provided, but you may want to bring a pair of working/gardening gloves as well. There will be donuts, hot coffee and cold juice for all volunteers, courtesy of Tim Hortons.

Registration is at 8:30am – 9:30am at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve. During this time, directors will assign you into groups that will focus on a particular section of the river. The cleanup will wrap up by noon.

The river condition is perfect for this event as it is currently at its lowest. This allows volunteers to access more dry banks than usual to make sure they are litter-free. In a few weeks from now, freshet will begin so it is crucial that we remove all garbage otherwise they will be washed away into the ocean during that time. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod either, because the winter steelhead season is not over yet!

For more information, please go to this page. For more information on the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Coalition, please visit their website.

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