Fly fishing rod

A host of locally discovered fly-tying materials – Campbell River Mirror

By Don Daniels

It all starts with a simple tackle box and with a fishing rod you can go fishing.

Over the years the materials gathered will increase and sometimes additional storage boxes will be added along with cupboards full of fishing odds and ends, which will then expand to storage in the garage or basement. I know a number of people who have collected fishing rods, hooks and boxes full of swivels and other fishing related supplies.

There are people who buy and sell online while others haven’t looked at boxes that have been in storage for years. Some collectors know that some ancient treasures are salable, but it takes time and experience to know what is valuable and what should be discarded or given away. And there are guys who stock enough fishing gear to outfit an army.

The late Michael Zutter was a miner in Kimberley, an avid fly-fisherman and tyer and at one time owned a fly shop, then he moved to Campbell River. Heidi Zutter decided to liquidate fly tying equipment and hit up social media. She also held a garage sale in Courtenay and tried to cut down on leftover materials in the house.

There were hundreds if not thousands of fly fishing collectibles and it would take time to sort through them. The most expensive items were set aside for a silent auction; the rest of the material was made available to the public. Those who attended received a number and could then purchase any material on display.

Members of the fly fishing community put in the time and effort to help with the sale and interest spread throughout Vancouver Island. Michael Zutter was well known for tying classic flies and collecting feathers was a passion and obsession.

We have another beginner fly tying session at the Seniors Center at the Ironwood Mall this Friday from 1-3pm. There may be an additional session in May, but it will be announced once details are set for a time and date if we go ahead.

These sessions are a great way to learn the art of fly tying for beginners and I can see the progress they have made from day one before they get out and fish the local rivers and lakes. I also get to know each person and understand why fishing is so important in their lives and since we live in the fishing area, each fisherman has a story of why they go out and go fishing. I’m working on a book giveaway and it will be free to enter at your chosen location in the coming weeks.

As of this writing the rain is falling hard and when things clear up it will be a check of the river and lake conditions around Campbell River and north to Sayward and the Salmon River. The area looks fishable but recent rain will change that.

Campbell River Fishing