Fly fishing rod

Fishing fly patterns catch fish and people

In the grand scheme of fishing in western Canada, fly fishing has always been a BC affair due to the many lakes and rivers that abound on the mainland and here on Vancouver Island.

Salmon and trout can be caught on the fly all over the province, and people from Alberta or Saskatchewan head to British Columbia with a fly rod in hand. In August, I met some Quebecers who arrived on the Island to fly fish on the Campbell River and try their hand at a fishing charter on Discovery Passage for half or full day. Local tackle stores carry a full selection of fly patterns that will work this time of year for pinks, coho, and chinook, as well as patterns that work in local lakes for trout. Before COVID, I had one of the fly tying companies that operate in Vancouver speak to the library and they introduced the group to the tube flies that have become very popular over the past five years. Anglers buy them and they are available at our local tackle stores here on the island.

If you want to fly fish here on the island, you have a few options to choose from when you want a fly pattern: you make it yourself, you buy it from tackle shops, or you find a model and you buy it online. There are a number of fly fishing groups that meet regularly and they tie flies and trade them with other people to go fishing.

During winter fly-tying sessions for beginners, participants leave with patterns they have developed. A number of beginners who have been in the classroom over the years are very confident in the patterns they tie and catch fish.

Campbell River fitters have been around for years and they are artists at what they do. Fly models are framed and displayed in local stores for sale to the public.

A number of families here on the island have fly boxes that were made by a parent or grandparent and they have them framed as keepsakes. The artwork can be displayed on walls and serves as a reminder that fishing has been in the family for years. The Campbell River Museum has a number of photos depicting the history of fishing on the Campbell River.

For salmon anglers, you might want to head to Port Alberni for the Salmon Derby September 3-5 with a chance to win cash and prizes.

Later in the month, the Haig-Brown Festival is here in Campbell River on Sunday, September 25 from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Haig-Brown house.

There will be fishing demonstrations with music and a food venue. This is the perfect time to talk fishing, try your hand at fly casting and talk fishing with the locals.

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Campbell River Fishing