The Vancouver Island fly fishing calendar is one of the few things that remain constant. Year after year, regulations vary, runs shift, waters change, and the exact date fishing gets underway may differ, however the seasons remain the same. There are few places in Canada where you can fly fish the shorelines, beaches, rivers and lakes year-round and we are fortunate enough to live in one of them.
Being able to match your presentation to the conditions or find a new way to offer your fly to finicky fish can be the difference between landing the fish of a thousand casts or going home skunked. The importance of presentation is that the more accurately you are able you are to place your fly where a fish is holding, the closer you can get to reaching the strike zone. More important to catching fish than the perfect cast is how your fly performs in the water and there are at least 5 techniques every Island Angler should have in their arsenal.
Fall on Vancouver Island is a welcome reprieve from the extremes of summer – streambeds refill, fish return and wildfires are extinguished. Many fly anglers overlook autumn lake fishing in favour of the more high profile salmon fisheries, however the last hatches of fall are among one of the most rewarding times to be on the lake.
Historically, the sea run cutthroat trout fishery on Vancouver Island has been one shrouded in secrecy, however, with the right timing comes the opportunity for the fly angler to tangle with this scrappy sea trout nearly year-round. Almost every stream and many beaches on our coastline are home to these fish.
As outdoor recreation explodes in popularity, the more accessible the area, the greater the fishing pressure and it can be a challenge to break free of the crowds. Only a fellow angler would understand why anyone would trek miles into the backcountry, fording creeks, clambering over obstacles and navigating slippery logs just to cast a fly to wild trout in an untouched wilderness sanctuary.
Traditionally called “kebari tsuri”, meaning “hair hook fishing”, tenkara fishing originated in the Japanese mountain streams for Yamame trout, Iwana char and Amago. The beaches, streams and small lakes on Vancouver Island make this the perfect place to try this angling technique for trout, char and even bass. The long, telescoping rods of modern … Continue reading Tenkara Rods – Fly Fishing Japanese Style, Island Angler, June 2018, Page 7
As seasons shift and a new fishing year begins, thoughts move to warmer weather, longer days, spring hatches and adventures to come. Vancouver Island has a number of rivers and lakes which are designated as fly only fisheries by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Where not outwardly regulated, there are many … Continue reading Spring Trout On Fly Fishing Only Waters, Island Angler, Spring 2018, page 7
A Vancouver Island advantage is that it is one of the few places in Canada that the winter chill does not freeze all the lakes, and thus fly fishing is possible year-round. Typically, the best time for lake fishing is spring and fall, however with the right understanding, a year-round fishery exists. Casting winter lakes … Continue reading Winter time fly fishing for trout, Island Angler, Winter 2017-18, page 3
As I stand knee deep in first river I ever fished for Pacific salmon, my autumn column on fly fishing rivers for salmon begins to come together. That day almost 10 years ago, I float fished, not fly fished, however it was not long before both methods became synonymous with fall fishing and our fishing gear began outweighing our camping gear.
Last year, one of my fishing goals was to learn how to beach fly fish for pink salmon. The advice was always pretty standard - pink for pinks, the deeper you wade the harder to cast, don't push the fish away... I spent the better part of 5 weeks last year in pursuit of pink … Continue reading Beach Fly Fishing For Pink Salmon, Island Angler August 2017, page 6