Having spent Spring and early Summer chasing trout in several Vancouver Island rivers my thoughts, and many others, now turn toward the arrival of millions of Pink Salmon which normally show up on the north east coast of the island mid – month. These fish will gradually make their way south and gather of the beaches close to the mouth of the river of their birth. These fish offer fantastic sport for the fly fisherman and for those who like to use gear, as well as the opportunity to take some fish to eat.
Ideally your fly rod should be a 6 or 7 wt with an appropriate quality reel loaded with a floating or clear sink tip line. There has been a large increase in the number of anglers using Switch Rods (short double handed handers) off the beach although there is no more challenging environment if your casting technique is not up to scratch ! There have been huge developments in fly line design over the past few years and there are now types such as the Airflo 40+ and Rio Outbound which make casting 60 feet as easy as possible. Call into the store if you need help or advice with this.
One thing I see all the time on the beach is the tendency for anglers to wade too far out too quickly, pushing fish that, very often, will be very close, away into deeper water. Understand also that, for the fly fisherman, the deeper you wade the more difficult it becomes to cast ! Effectively you are shortening the distance between the water and the rod tip !
Pink Salmon like pink flies and they normally work extremely well. However don’t be afraid to use other colors such as green, blue and purple when the fish won’t bite on the patterns that are normally successful.
For the gear angler pink buzz bombs and zingers are consistent fish takers. Another very successful method is to cast a Water Float with a fly suspended below and retrieved slowly as you would if you were fly fishing !
Call or phone if you need any help with fishing for Pink Salmon locally.
Lake fishing has been generally good locally with Spider, Horne and Cameron producing fish to a variety of methods. If you fly fish lakes both a sinking line and a floater should be part of your equipment. The sinker will get you down to where the fish are lying and for trolling is mandatory. The floating line for when the fish are on the top taking bugs either on or just under the surface film.
In the salt chuck sport has been generally patchy through April and May but should improve as the summer progresses. Jigging with Mac Deeps or L’ll Nibs in shallow water has proved effective very recently with a local expert taking 10 Springs to 15lb in one session. The rule of thumb is find the bait and you will find the fish !
Have a great Summer.
Whether you fish fly, gear or saltwater we have all the right tackle and advice to help.