WINTER 2017 FISHING REPORT

After an Indian Summer that lasted right to the end of October the weather has broken and winter is upon us. The height of the fishing season is now largely over. After a difficult summer with very little water, the fishing got better with the rainfall of late fall. In fact as I write this in early November most rivers are falling in height and are very fishable. Good sport was enjoyed on most of the local rivers with bright Chinook, Coho and Chum being caught on both fly and gear. Earlier the Pinks eventually arrived off the beaches of Mid-Island in early August, but not in great numbers. Coho salmon off the beaches were elusive and whether you caught fish was based around being in the right place at the right time or just being plain lucky! The fishermen using gear could often get to the fish that the fly guys couldn’t reach.

In freshwater the Steelheaders will be chasing this fantastic fish in a core of Vancouver Island rivers, the most famous of which will be the Stamp & Cowichan. Fly fishermen will get some fish, using large marabou patterns and woolly buggers in a variety of bright colours. Large rubber legged nymphs also work well close to the bottom. However, the majority will be caught on gear using Jensen eggs, corkies, spin & glows, or pink worms under dink floats with pencil lead.

A recent trip chasing steelhead on a west coast river resulted in my pal and I covering several kilometers of river in search of this iconic species and for once I was rewarded with a beautiful wild fish of about 8lbs taken on the fly.

Some hardy types will be out on the salt chuck after feeder chinook on the finer days of winter. These are young fish typically two or three years old. In general they are more active feeders than summer fish. As a result you can fish faster and cover more water.

As I write this there are still huge late runs of Chum and Coho Salmon and in many East Coast rivers and several anglers had good sport on the fly on the little Qualicum river and on fly and gear in the Englishman river.

Trout fishing can be good between now and the depths of winter. Fishing with egg patterns often finds the bigger fish that have followed the spawning Salmon into local rivers.

At this time of year thoughts turn to the festive season ahead and perhaps what to get the fisherman or lady fisher in your life! We can help with a variety of appropriate equipment that will please and GIFT VOUCHERS if you don’t know what to give.

For anyone aspiring to get into fly fishing we run regular LEARN TO FLY FISH COURSES & have some great ECHO BASE FLY FISHING KITS which are great value and come, unusually, with a lifetime warranty on the rod.  Priced at from $229.99 for rod/reel/line/backing & leader. Check out our website for more information.

In the New Year we are holding our ANNUAL JANUARY SALE with a huge range of deals across the store.

Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you catch more fish.

Tight Lines!

Keith Hyett