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
With ample snowpack this year, there is a growing optimism that through the summer, the rivers will stay true and the lakes full, rather than the dry creek beds synonymous with the droughts of recent years. Although this past winter has been colder and snowier than us Islanders are accustomed to, the spring freshwater fly … Continue reading Spring Time Fly Fishing Options, Island Angler Spring 2017, page 7
Unlike the rest of Canada, for Vancouver Island fly anglers, spring does not mean the start to fishing season after the winter freeze; rather it is a continuation of the fishing calendar and the highly anticipated start of trout season. For myself, spring is the time when steelheading has come to an end and it … Continue reading Springtime Fly Fishing Opportunities, Island Angler Spring 2016, page 7