Welcome to Flyfishing Vancouver Island BC | Single Spey Flyfishing Adventures | www.BCFlyGuide.com

Thanks for viewing my first blog. For more info about my guide service view www.bcflyguide.com or if you have questions about flyfishing Vancouver Island in general please feel free to ask. This site's all about Flyfishing Vancouver Island with some great pictures from guided & personal fishing trips, new flies I'm tying, whats new & all that other good stuff related to casting a fly on island waters! Flyfishing, guiding and my passion for this sport is always growing. I hope this blog will assist those of you in keeping up on what I'm up to here, and why I think Vancouver Island BC is so under rated for it's Flyfishing opportunities. Thanks for visiting and come again, regards.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Spey Fly


Merry Christmas to all & a Happy New Year! Not the greatest Spey Fly I've ever tied but I thought it was a good fit for today:) If one can't get out on the water they may as well tie a fly for the season... I'll call it Kens Christmas Spey! Here's the recipe;
Body - Green & red Floss
Rib - gold flat tinsel, & oval silver
Hackle - Red Shlappen
Collar - Heron
Wing - White quill, preferably Swan
Thread - Red:)
This may be my last post for 2009 unless of course I make it out to the river! It would be great to show you this fly in a steelheads mouth, I may give it a try later this week... Hope to see you all in 2010, wow that number doesn't seem right, wasn't it just the year 2000.... Have a great holiday season, best fishes!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Steelhead Vancouver Island / historic addition

 It's always nice to reflect on those beautie's of recent past fishing days... This was one of the first Winter Steelhead I caught after returning to Vancouver Island 3 seasons ago. It was on a nearby River in February and it was the classic situation. The cast prior to hooking up I had a good tug & I thought I'm sure I got a good pull there? Casting another Single Spey back into position for another swing proved this beauty Steely,  You know, tailing this fish for a pic wasn't so easy, I had it in shallow water resting up against my legs & searching for my camera I managed to get an angle and shoot a few photos (which I'm glad now that I worked hard to get).
Guiding on the Skeena & Nass watersheds for the previous 7yrs made me realize one thing that I somehow had forgotten. There's no fish like a fresh Winter Steelhead on Vancouver Island. They may not size up to a Skeena fish all the time but catching these fish close to the ocean in pristine clear water is something all-together different. Don't get me wrong, I love all the Steelhead fisheries I've fished in BC and they all shine in different ways but I've caught many a 18 - 20lb Steelhead on Skeena waters that were slightly sluggish in comparison to these awesome chromers that don't give you the time of day to think when hooked up!
There have been good reports so far for the rivers in our area for winter fishing. When I've been able to make it out they've treated me well too. I hope the season will progress with strong runs of these much overlooked fish. Many anglers I know on the Island have given up on Steelhead fishing for one reason or  another and it's too little interest that may be the demize of our greatest sports fish of the westcoast one day. I hope this picture may encourage some of you to get out there and hopefully you'll be reminded of why this sport had you completely out of your mind once upon a time; then I won't feel so lonely out there hooking them all to myself:) We still have great Steelhead fishing and the greater the interest in angling for these fish, the more people may stand up and take action to keep protecting these great fisheries for generations to come! Wishin you all great fishin! Happy Holidays:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Steelhead Tube Fly for Vancouver Island (extra large)


Patterns like this one have become fairly popular in the Northwest amongst Steelhead Flyfishers, especially those fishing with 2 handed rods. This is my own pattern (The Space Invader) which resembles the Intruder stinger style flies that originated in Oregon. I designed this one on a tube simply because I think tubes are better to use than shanks with attached stinger hooks. This pattern has similar goals as the stimulator doe's as well but with some different materials. To keep the flies bulky presentation when wet swimming against the current I use Polar Bear Dubbing under Shlappen Hackles, then add the peacock herl & flash above. A slender body of floss or yarn works great for the body and then repeat the first process near the head of the fly. Add eyes of preference last and there you have it! It's a great pattern, somewhat involved but they do get the steelheads attention. With all my tube flies I like to use Gamagatsu or Owner Hooks Octopus style #4 - 2/0.  I sell these Space Invader Tube Flies in various colors to suit the water ones fishing including Pink, purples, black & blue, Black & chartruese etc. A killer fly & very fun to fish!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vancouver Island Winter Steelhead Fishing Update Dec 7 / 09


There are Some fresh winter steelhead in our rivers on North Vancouver Island. Yesterday was my first day to get out for Steelhead in weeks due to a renovation on our property which has prioritized my time... Along the way, we've had an enormous amount of water leaving our rivers in flood stage for 3+ weeks. The river I fished yesterday came down 3 meters in 7 days, three vertical meters of water on this watershed is a massive amount of water and to flow consistently at that height for 3 weeks is hard to comprehend! The positive thought is minimal fishing pressure over the last month with fresh fish anxious to push up the river with the flows dropping. Well for 4 days now we've had the opposite of precipitation, very cold weather down to -8 and blue skies.. So yesterday being not the greatest of conditions didn't stop me from heading out for the day. When my friend & I got to the river we were wondering why we were there? There was no sun exposure, still -8 degrees & bleeping cold feeling:) We put our waders on to gear up for a pool and by the time I had my waders on my hands were freezing! I said, lets go find some sun in the upper river so we jumped in the jeep and moved on. At this point I think we were both thinking this day may be a right-off! Well we sucked it up and headed to one of the upper pools. As I worked the shoreline my boots froze to every rock I stood on needless to say my line & guides were also icing up badly! I reflected on the many days I have done this in the past & questioned why! Am I getting too old for walking down icy river banks risking my life for a fish? One thing I always stand by is don't be too quick to judge the situation and give things a chance,  I'm glad I did. Temps slowly warmed up although it didn't make it above -3; I guess one gets aclimated after loosing the feeling in their finger tips:) Did I mention that the river was in beautiful shape, that probably was the one thing that like usual keeps a fisherman focused on why they are WORKING for fish. We fished a couple of pools and I managed to hook a fish while picking up my line to cast but soon lost it after a few head shakes. We moved on and went for a quick bite and then headed down to the lower river to try a run. This entailed crossing a tailout to access this beautiful run from the other side. As we made our way across & up there was a small slot on the far side which I thought I would cast into with a slight chance of  hooking up a fish.  I told my buddy to head to the pool and have the first run through so he proceeded on. I made a few casts into the slot and managed to snag up a rock so I waded closer to the run to get my fly out. I made a couple more casts and there it was! This fish was your perfect 12lb chrome & white Hen Steelhead leaping out of the water more than 7 times! Nothing the rest of the day felt cold! We didn't encounter any more fish but fished some awesome water with our Spey Rods. I never did get a photo of the fish as my friend was too far upstream to come down & grab the picture. You have all seen Steelhead pictures and if you look at the one headlining this blog, it looked much the same just a lighter green back and slightly more slender. As an alternative to the fish pic I have posted the fly I used; I can't say enough about bunny leaches / worms, they are the simplist flies to tie and certainly one of the most productive steelhead flies on the planet! with all the right combinations of colors / weight for your steelhead fishing situation, these flies are all you need. I will be selling these flies and many other Steelhead / Salmon tube flies through this Blog ASAP. If anyones interested in tube flies please contact me;  flyguide@telus.net  for more info. Steelhead are upon us, time to go fishing:)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monster Cutthroat / Kens Weekend Fishing Trip



This Cutthroat barely fit in my net after finding it on a
 mainland lake near Vancouver Island. I fished all by myself on this lake on Saturday afternoon searching  for it's renown monster Cutthroat. It was a long day in the rain with no sign of action anywhere on the lake but I figured if I keep covering water I should encounter something that will eat my stickle-back immitation. The take was gentle and frankly I wasn't sure what I had hooked although it was pretty heavy feeling. As I starting reeling it in the head shakes got bigger and stronger. When I first saw this fish I was stunned as I have never encountered a cutthroat like this before. The fish started to wake up after trying to get it close to the boat; it put my 5wt 8.5 ft rod to the test:) Eventually I got the fish back close to the boat but it circled it 2 times working hard to get into the anchor rope, luckily I managed to keep it off and soon after put it in the net! A great result after a long day with no sign of fish at all! This fish has been eating well and clearly this lake has all the food a cutthroat needs. I'm guessing there are few trout like this one on any of the Islands lakes but we do have some of the greatest river fishing on the coast which is why the Island is a choice place for me!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fishing Vancouver Islands Oyter River November 22 / 09

Sunday I had a few hours and the Oyster river was at the perfect hight to fish so I hiked up to the Hatchery and fished my way back to the car. I took my boat & my dog and we hit the trail. Well the trail was good for a while but was washed out a bit for a good long way. This made it tough for me to drag my boat through but a half hour of wheeling up & then I was good to float back down to the Glenmore Pool. Well no question the river made a few changes but overall they may have been positive ones. The big question when we have a rain like the last 2 weeks is how the Spawning beds & salmon eggs faired. With all the great returns of salmon to our rivers on the island this fall we can only hope that the spawning beds didn't get flushed too bad. Back to the fishing, I fished 4 pools hard with no success! I encoutered an old Chum but didn't see any Cutthroat which was my goal. I also consider that maybe I will encounter one of those Summer Steelhead that I occasionally hear about in the Oyster. For years now I have heard of the odd Summer Steelhead rumer including swimmers who say they've seen them in the lower reaches near the estuary. The true Steelhead run I know of  in the Oyster River, Vancouver Island is the winter fishery ! It would be great to have a good run of  these awesome Winter Steelhead, the river is a nice size, just large enough to float with endless runs & pools to fish. I have some great memories of this sleeper river that once was! I will never overlook this great river as occasionally it provides great fishing! We'll be heading north on Vancouver Island tomorrow, hope to find a chromer:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vancouver Island River Fishing Conditions

Well I don't have much to say about the fishing this week, it's been a washout for the most part on our watersheds, they're really shedding! Many anglers I know get discouraged when this happens & many of them feel it's altogether no good for our fisheries. Some of the pools they've come accustomed to may not be the same after a huge run off. In the last 3 days I've watched allot of wood come floating past the house here which has floated mostly out of the Quinsam River. The Quinsam is a river that used to have some great holding water to fish below the Hatchery but over the years it's diminished to barely a reflection of what it once was. On some of the rivers I've guided along the coast over the years I've seen washouts improve & reclaim some good water that once was so as discouraging as times are when rivers a too high to fish there is at times light at the end of the tunnel for improved fishing opportunities. I can think of many places where I float rivers that have log jams that may be gone now making it a more user friendly environment. New Pools that were ok before may be just right to hold that Steelhead just in the right fly water too! At the end of all this nature has it's ways for sure & not all is lost when changes are made. For those river fisherman that can read water well it opens up new water to explore on a beat of river that they may have fished their whole lives. One things for sure, the river has been deeply cleansed & now there's new fish in the watershed to hunt, & maybe the little quinsam river will have some new pools to fish with some fresh Winter Steelhead:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vancouver Island Steelhead Flies of the Month


Just to touch on the Pattern last posted on this Blog, Many of the flies I use are tied with Arctic Fox & Temple Dog wings as the fly I posted was. Combined with the tried & true color combinations I've used for years & a little flash of some sort to accent the fly is hard to beat! I've got a variation of tubes in this box including Eumer cone tubes (excellent weighted tubes balanced to swim your fly just where it needs to be and also some tungsten cones on colored tubing & liners for fitting the cones. Jungle cock is not needed just always seems to add a bit of class to the fly but not certain it helps catch fish! Also some of these flies have some Polar bear underwings which is great for adding some color & keeping the wing off the tube. A simple goal is to build the wing starting with stiffer fibers(furs) if using different materials for the wing... Temple Dog being the most supple of the bunch of furs from my experience. I will add that no matter where your fly tying ends up with steelhead patterns for getting action out of your fly, nothing compares to marabou for action and they are user friendly patterns to cast. Marabou just doesn't retain any water so picking these flies up out of the water makes them awesome but simply put it's not durable & doe's get damged easily so fur is now my preference. Good fur color also doesn't bleach out as quick as marabou does. Anyhow I really think that these hair wing patterns are as good as they get for big flies in big water:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vancouver Island Steelhead Picture / Friends Addition..


Some Friends were on a Steelhead trip to one of our early winter Steelhead fisheries on Vancouver Island. With high water it made the fishing a bit of a challenge the first day but the next day was the perfect conditions, a dropping river with some new fish to target. Nice to see some early Winter Steelhead, hope there's lots to come for when I make it out! Swinging a large fly in big water is always something I enjoy with a 2 handed rod in winter months, I'll soon be there I hope:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Flyfishing Vancouver Island's Fly of the Month | Single Spey Flyfishing Adventures

On a recent Summer Steelhead trip I guided, we had encountered a summer run in a prime tail out to swing a fly to. I had my guest situated upstream about 50 ft or so casting down to the fish swinging everything over the fish tempting a hook-up! This fish was in the perfect water to skate a waking fly over so that's how we started with no success. It was a bit of a bummer as on that particular day it was one of my best clients goal with what we thought might be the perfect conditions. I then switched flies over for him to some small reliable wet flies that still didn't do the trick! My guest had many flies swinging right on that fishes nose with no success. It's a wonder the fish didn't bolt off but obviously these patterns did not intrude on his space enough to be bothered... After basically thinking this was a done deal we went to the extreme for this little river that usually has best success with small patterns like steelhead bees & bead head nymphs. This is it I said to my guest, lets go for it!! We're going to the extreme just to see what happens, it will either take off or eat it! The first cast came short just to be safe with the second cast in far range of the steelheads sight. I'm Standing up on the bank just downstream from this fish watching it's reactions to this when of it went. When that fly got within 4 -5ft of the fish it came swimming upstream to it & jumped it! He's got it I called to my sport & he was hooked up! It was a bit of a surprise to me but great to see this situation play out. It's an example that you never know no matter how many days you spend on the water. About the fly; I found these cone heads at a shop but wasn't too thrilled with the drilled out spots for the stick on eyes. What I did like about them was the idea that they would fit on my large tubing without a liner tube. The other benefit about the cone is being a fairly large diameter it keeps the flies presentation broad when swimming in the water . I have to say I will be using these cones more for large winter levels as the big chromers are heading our way:)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friends Fishing / Guiding Pictures

This is a great pic of a dark buck Coho, what an awesome looking fish! It was caught on the west coast of Vancouver Island while targeting fresh Chum Salmon. A friend of mine guided this fellow who looks to be happy with this truly awesome specimen. Hope it successfully spawns & makes many more great Coho for future fishing adventures:) Our rivers are now flowing large & it won't be long before the winter Steelhead arrive in a few of our rivers. hope to encounter one of them soon. Thanks to Steve for sending me this photo! If you have any good Island flyfishing pictures you'd like to share let me know & I'll post them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sea Run Cutthroat

Soon the Sea-run Cutthroat trout river fishing will be more consistent as they migrate up our rivers to spawn over the winter months. This usually starts by following the spawning salmon up the river in the fall to feed on salmon eggs. Angling for them in summer months is inconsistent at the best of times because they are where the food is most abundant. This means sometimes being far from they're native rivers estuary feeding along the ocean beaches. Although we have on occasion some good hatches in our rivers, it's just not enough to keep these nice trout residing in our fresh waters regularly. There are a few exceptions to this rule, usually when a river is fed by a large lake that's well fertilized supporting a trouts diet. But most of our island waters are short, high gradient rivers flowing crystal clear with little to no bug life at the best of times. When the fry migrate out in spring months the cutthroat take full advantage and are a blast to fish for! Skating Muddler minnows on the surface brings great action in fast water. These Golden fish are beauties, click on the pic to see the details on this fish, I have it on my desk top right now as it is a high quality picture, hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guiding Update Oct 25 / 09

We all like what I call Chromers! You know those fresh fish that have just arrived from the Ocean, are full of life & fight, simply put at their best!! Often when I'm guiding & fishing our waters this time of year I'm not quite sure what species of fish we're going to encounter; often the question comes up from other anglers who you cross paths with "what are you fishing for", & my answer is, "anything chrome" ! In the picture is a great sport of mine from last week that is somewhat new to angling Salmon with the fly. His friend & I were below playing a Chum Salmon & he thought he'd make his way downstream to take a picture of his buddy when he hooked up this great silver Coho. He was fishing a floating line, long leader with a slip stream, one of my bait flies that I have posted on this blog for you to view if interested, it's one of the first posts I have on here. Once again this fly is simple but extremely effective in clear waters for migratory fish! Another great fishing experience for me & my clients:)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dog On The Blog

We've been fishing a lot this past week and have experienced some interesting fishing along the way searching out fish on the North Island. We've been to 6 different rivers targeting 5 different species of fish. The Chum (Dog Salmon) are arriving in the rivers now & by the sounds of the numbers of Chum in the ocean, we're to expect many more in the rivers soon... This year it's safe to say that all our Salmon have returned in great numbers on the Island. Out of all these species of fish there are no fish that seem to pull more relentlessly than these big Chum! Our water levels are now flowing more consistently & with this we can fish larger flies swinging them with 2 handed rods... Even with the 15ft 11wt rod we used to land this fish in heavy water in the upper Campbell, there was no shortage of fight from this Jurasic looking Beast! We lost 2 others and hooked some Coho too in the upper islands. Soon it will be Winter Steelhead time & for myself there's no better fishing time of year:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guide Update Oct 20 / 09


We had a nice day fishing small stream Summer Steelhead yesterday! The river was up but dropping fast as our island rivers usually do. My guest hooked & landed 2 Steelhead which we sighted in the pools before hooking them. It's incredible to watch these fish move for the fly! We fishing over one fish with many flies with no interest and then fished a very large pink tube fly which took one cast to hook up... I watched as this fish swam upstream 4 ft to take the fly aggressively! Small but mighty are these wild summer fish, they often leap out of the water and when you think you've tired them out they go crazy again taking runs & jumps. Fishing these fish in a pristine environment tops off a day west coast steelheading:) Today I guided a couple of newcomers to the sport. We floated the Campbell & hooked Some fresh Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon & some nice sea-run cutthroat, another great day on the water!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coho update Oct 17th / 09

Silver Season! It's been a great Coho season for numbers this year... The size of the fish have been above average too! Catching these fish on the fly at times on the island can be challenging but the rewards are great. These acrobatic fish like the fly swimming so often when we're done our swing and we're at the dangle we strip our flies in hoping for the grab. This fish was caught by one of my sports on the upper Campbell river after many fish denied our flies; with persistence you'll usually dig up a fresher fish that will give all it's got to chew up your tube fly! Another good day on the river and the challenge always makes it more rewarding. Thanks for sending this great photo Rodney!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guiding Update Oct 6th / 09

We floated the Campbell River yesterday in search of Steelhead & Coho (silvers). At the top where we put in we hooked many Sea-Run Cutthroat on Dry flies which has been a great way to start our floats. Using a large dry fly like a Humpy works great! We also skated some Muddlers with success until we moved on for larger fish! As we floated down stream we saw many fresh Coho in the river. We fished hard for these fish which aren't huge on the bite... For the amount of fish we covered, our success wouldn't be considered great. We did land one nice fish 16lbs which was in good shape, somewhat new to the river. On the Campbell River I think there are more fished fowl hooked than caught respectably! There are too many fly anglers fishing inappropriately with way too heavy sink tips sweeping flies & lines through the pool rather than swinging flies with a proper hang down of the fly. This results in allot of action for anglers, with the mojority of the fish being fowl hooked everywhere but in the mouth! I shouldn't disclude the amount of flies & lines snagged in the river too which keeps them busy as a result! I retrieved a full fly line while my client was fishing yesterday as an example. None the less, the Campbell is a beautiful river, large flowing for the island allowing anglers to swing flies in crystal clear water on a short river that hosts allot of fish! Many of our rivers are just too low to fish in dry months like we've had this season but the rains are coming:) So far this season there seems to be great numbers of all species of pacific salmon. Still haven't received any great summer steelhead fishing related to the inroduced Tsitika Summer Steelhead, I guess 2010 will be the year! We did however see a pair of Sockeye spawning near the pump house pool, are they lost Fraser river fish? I also spotted one on the Salmon river a few weeks ago! Makes a guy wonder!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saltwater Fly-Fishing / Beach fishing for Coho!


In the last few days I've been trying out my new boat on the beaches in our area. Yesterday I witnessed 2 pods of Killer Whales swim by while I was rowing around looking for Salmon... Although the picture of the Orca isn't the greatest, you could imagine what it feels like to be in a little boat while these monsters are near by! I watched as these whales came completely out of the water at times in amazement, can't see that on the river! The beach is always a challenge to get guests to try out. Salmon fishing & still water is hard to comprehend for those from other places I feel as most have never had the opportunity like we do here in our waters. It's one fishery that once you experience it you're usually hooked! Today I fished with a friend who invited me to Nile Creek near Qualicam Beach on Vancouver Island. We both hooked a few Coho while Stripping in Bait patterns, it was a beauty day with a few nice fish in between. The ticket was to place your fly on or around the jumping / finning fish & start stripping your fly fast! I managed to land one of the fish I hooked, shook the other off and missed a few more on the Grab... It's a very exciting way to fish, casting at wild feeding salmon up to 20 lbs. When I was rowing back to the car I heard my friend hook up on a great fish, In the distance I could see this fish leaping while my friend was howling with excitment, wish I could have got the pic of it leaping out of the air which I attemped with the previous fish:) This fishery is just starting to get good this season in the Campbell river area, looking forward to more of it this next month...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fly of the Week


Hey Folks, here's a pattern which I designed many years ago that has been one of my favorites for small stream Steelhead fishing. This purple bead head nymph has caught more Steelhead than I can remember and plenty of fish when friends & clients have been using it too! The other day when I guided my client into that nice little wild steelhead, we used other little patterns that I thought would work but nothing happened. I'm always one for trying new stuff and approaches to fishing opportunities and I have to say this pattern proved itself once again after trying many other things over that fish you see posted on this blog recently... Simply put, steelhead love purple so next time you find yourself at a loss on a small steelhead river with gin clear water give it a go, you may be pleasantly surspised!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Guide Update Sept 15 / 09

My client was greatly rewarded today with this nice summer run! Fishing this summer fishery has been a challenge this season due to low water conditions, thank goodness for the great salmon fishing we've had to fall back on. Today we hooked this nice Wild Steelhead on a small wet fly casting up to several fish in the pool. What a nice reward after fishing a few hours hiking through Old growth rain forests and casting into beautiful gin clear pools on this awesome mountain stream. Hopefully later this week after the rain we're expecting we can catch some on Dry Flies. A great day with a great guy who is passionate about the sport of flyfishing & just being on the river! Not bad for a day's visit:)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guide Update Sept 10 / 09


We've had some great rain fall in the last 4 days making our waters large & very fishy! This is the time to take full advantage of our fisheries and now I have nobody to guide, oh well, I guess I'll have to enjoy it on my own for a few days... It was remarkable how we went from some of the lowest waters I've encountered to the opposite in such a short time. One of our rivers felt like winter temps which confused myself & the fish we were targeting as they just didn't want to bite our bugs yesterday. I've never seen water temperatures change so dramatically in my lifetime. The Coho are also arriving in good numbers, looks like fall is here:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guiding update Sept 2 / 09



Well as I have mentioned in recent past, we've had a very dry summer! The Rain is here & I'm very excited about some potential great Summer Steelhead fishing this week! As one can see in the pictures above, these summer fish have concentrated into pools in good numbers due to the dry rivers they've encountered for 2 months, staring at blue skies. This is the least I've been on this watershed in one season but my client yesterday really wanted to walk a remote mountain stream away from it all so we went for a look. Well what we saw was very inspiring, one pool alone had over 40 large summer Steelhead in it! Click on the picture above to enlarge them for a better view of what we encountered and enjoy! As I mentioned to my guest yesterday, I see salmon regularly swarming in the home pool but when I see Steelhead like the pictures above it's a different deal for me all together! A beautiful sight indeed, hope to be back later in the week when the waters up to skate one up on a dry:)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fly of the Month


I just tied these flies on Eumer Conetubes. These weighted tubes swim really nice fishing large waters for Steelhead & Salmon. What really amazed me when fishing them last winter was how level they swam in the water. Over days of use these patterns seemed to get you to the Zone without getting hung up on bottom near as much as flies fished with lead eyes etc.. One thing about the tubes was the paint did chip off a little on the cone part at the front of the tube but a little hard as nails coated on them helps allot in preventing this, just simply coat the cone at the same time you cement the head of the fly. On these patterns I use a colored tubing for the hook locks to match up with the patterns giving these simple flies a more refined look! Oh, one more thing... these flies did catch fish too:)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steelhead Update 09


For those of you wondering about our Steelhead fishing & why I haven't been showing much regarding this fishery lately it's simple! First of all most of my recent guests are new at the sport of fly-fishing which has been great with the pink salmon fishing. Secondly is we just haven't had the water this year due to a major drought on the island with allot of heat combined! We will soon be getting some fall freshets & with that will come some better Steelhead fishing conditions. The numbers of Steelhead seem to be there so I'm certainly anxious to indulge in some of this fishing with dries soon. I have many guided dates available for this fall if anyone's interested in coming. The Salmon returns have been great for all the species we target here so hopefully the fall will proceed with great results.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guiding Update Aug 25 / 09



Well we've had some incredible fishing for Pink Salmon on our home waters in the last few weeks. These little fish averaging 3 - 5 lbs 1km from tidal water are allot to handle at times with the average single handed rod. We've had 30 fish days in the home pool alone & some of our guests feel it's some of the best fishing they've ever had. Even after fishing Steelhead on some of the worlds renown rivers there's something to be said when hitting the pink fishery just right! They're much like fishing small Atlantic Salmon Grilse one guest mentioned but having them by the thousands. I understand that we've had close to half a million in the Campbell river alone this season so rumor has it! It wouldn't surprise me with what I've witnessed first hand many days this month:) This is a Great fishery that has made many an angler very happy after a day's fishing here. I just finished guiding to anglers from England who never fly fished in their lives. They landed 10 fish between the two of them for a half days fishing, not bad for being brand new at the sport. they say there's many more fish heading down the straight here and if they're heading our way it will easily surpass and pink salmon return on record to date! There's something to be said for bright waters, bright fish!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aug 12th / 09 Guiding Update

What an amazing month for Salmon fishing in Tidal waters so far, the numbers of fish cruising our beaches seems exceptional. There's more & more large Coho showing everyday with many in the high teens cartwheeling around! We managed to land one nice coho this morning as seen in the picture, this nice silver put up a good fight after grabbing my clients quickly stripped fly! I'm a firm believer in a fast presentation when fishing bait patterns for Coho. I have often missed out on good fish while stripping my fly slow, it seems like they analyse it more, boil on it, even bump it without really grabbing the fly when all of a sudden your flies at your rod tip & the fish is gone! The mystery of what you might hook when fishing Saltwater keeps this fishery very exciting with all the salmon & sea-trout about. Who knows, maybe a Steelhead will surprise us one day when fishing the chuck:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flyfishing Update Aug 11 / 09

A cool picture I took last week in the back yard just before landing this little Chromer! We've been getting some nice Cutthroat in the Campbell River as well. It seems as if the larger Cutts are playing the tides in the lower river so when timed right we're hooking some bigger sea-runs mixed with salmon. Some of the ocean beaches we've fished lately have been tremendous with a mix of large Coho, Chinook, pinks & Dollies! It's not hard to have a 20 - 30 fish day when timed right. Fishing our tidal waters is interesting in many ways. Even within the same stretch of shoreline it can be a challenge based on structure, depth & currents influencing your fly. Then there's the question of what you want to target when you're seeing different fish cruising & showing up through your fishing range. Many times in the last week of guiding I've been torn as to what to put on a clients line being that sometimes a larger fly will get the possible attention of a large Coho or King (Chinook). We lost a nice Chinook the other day likely due to the small fly we were fishing for pinks. This incredible fishery on the inside passage is one that I think many have yet to experiment with to any degree. I'll have to pay more attention to it on years to come, especially when we're droughted out like the last 4 weeks. I have been meaning to play with the 2 hander & different line weights for some larger fish attention that may be cruising our shoreline! As much as my heart lies on the river bank, I am gaining a great passion for the saltwater fly fishing available. Once again a great reason to be on Vancouver Island tackling this diverse environment! Heading to Steelhead waters in the morning:)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home Aug 2nd / 09



Chromers on the Home pool! These Pink Salmon have been late this season & are just now arriving in numbers. We hooked a number of fish in our back yard today, the bite was on & off but for the most part the fishing was great! Here is just a few of the great photos we took while having a nice BBQ & enjoying good company... many of the fish had fresh sea-lice on them so we know where they just came from! A floating line, 7wt rod & some small weighted flies is all one needs to have some great success. these little fish battle excellent fresh from the ocean:)

Guiding Update Aug 1st / 09


The Island has some incredible scenery & places that most people never get to see! This particular river is a high gradient one mostly set in canyon walls inaccessible to the everyday angler.. The ones who venture into it's tough access pools can have some incredible experiences. We fished this pool a good part of the day due to the number of large Dolly Varden schooled up in the tail out of the pool. While fishing these selective fish, we had other fish move into the pool on occasion to add to the challenge. Some wild Summer Coho came through & at one point we had a pair of Summer Steelhead move into the tail out in perfect position to swing a fly to! A couple of times we had these fish take the fly & spit it out before we could hook up! This was also a great situation to experiment with different flies & angles of approach while observing the fish. Frusterating at times like most fishing can be but a learning curve and the odd reward to top off being in an incredible peace of gods country:)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guide Update. 32 celcius & Steelhead



Guided fishing for Steelhead in the heat! Wow, we've had some incredible hot sunny weather here for a couple of weeks now! Tough to fish in at times but tougher being away from the water so not a bad deal:) Hiking a beauty mountain stream yesterday provided us with a great fish & battle ending up with a excellent result. This fish was mingling with a school of rear summer Coho Salmon (silvers) when it came to the fly. We weren't sure what it was exactly until we had a closer look... After a long day in the heat and the reward of a steelhead I took off my shirt and dove into the crystal clear water to cool down. Another great wild fish from Vancouver Island

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fishing Update July 21st / 09


Myself & a couple of friends hiked for some Summer Steelhead yesterday. I ended up this canyon wall where I viewed some pools searching for numbers of fish. Although it would be difficult to fish this water below, I thought it would be nice to have a look so to understand what the fish are swimming through before reaching a stretch of river I've fished for many years. It was actually quite mellow water that I viewed, very deep in places with plenty of holding water for fish to hang out but I sighted no fish! I wonder if I could float through it with my Kayak?:) We made our way back home to the C R where my friend encountered some Pinks rolling down near tidal water, looks like maybe they have arrived, approximately 10 days later than last year! Many good fishing days in the near future for Steelhead & Salmon I'm certain, maybe I'll get out today!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Hey gang, I've been thinking about these Campbell River Summer Steelhead a little lately being in my back yard & all... I haven't caught one yet but know of a few that have been landed so maybe it's a start to a good season. The Salmon are late as well so who knows. One thing I love about fishing Summer Steelhead on Vancouver Island is that all one needs is a small & simple sparsely tied pattern. Our fairly warm & gin clear water in the Campbell River makes these fish extremely aggressive and it doesn't take much of anything swimming into their zone to get their attention! Black & Blue has always been a favoured fly for larger off colored water & winter fishing usually tied much larger & on a tube. I thought earlier that a small black & blue pattern was missing in my collection of summer fishing excursions so I just tied this fly on a #6 tiemco hook. These hooks are great! they are on heavy wire, a nice design at a fair price unlike the Salmon & Steelhead 7999 tiemco which I feel is over-rated at the best of times. Fishing this fly with a long leader & floating line will be a pleasure whether I hook a fish or not . Wish me luck as I am about to embark on a lower river float in search of a new summer run arriving to my home waters:) Catch the blog later to see the results!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dry Fly Summer Steelhead 09


Well, here it is... My First Summer Steelhead of 09. Better yet is it was caught on a dry fly! You can see the stimulator on the other side of it's mouth as I hold it up for a quick picture. Based on what we saw today there looks to be a strong run of fish heading our way in this fishery. Some fish we sighted today were quite large looking healthy wild fish! This fish was the second to come to a dry fly from some fairly deep water in almost the same place as the first fish. My good friend who took this picture had the pleasure of rising the first fish which broke him off all too soon... He later managed to hook & quick release another nice large steelhead in a pristine pool where wild steelhead live. River levels are slightly low but it doesn't seem to bother these fish much. We did more hiking than fishing today viewing many beautiful places to cast a dry fly. We encountered fish through out the watershed, had a meeting with a couple of young deer & enjoyed good company too. We also encountered a great number of steelhead fry through out the watershed in every shallow spot we waded through, the future looks bright{chrome}! A great day with hopefully many more to come this season fishing wild fish on Vancouver Island. Not a bad little chromer for July 15th:)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Historic Vancouver Island Flyfishing Addition

This Summer Steelhead was caught on one of Vancouver Islands Gems... This remote river can be tough to fish a fly productively due to the nature of it. Like other rivers on the Island with Summer Steelhead, the pools where fish stage are large & deep with minimal flows & a smooth surface so fish can see you coming if not careful. Between pools are long lenghts of high gradient stretches that are boulder infested & unfishable at the best of times. Still this river calls me from time to time due to it's spectacular environment & incredible wild Steelhead up to 20lbs. With the tannen water it is sometimes tough to see fish but often if you know where fish hang out, you can see the white of there mouths open & close in this deep clear brown water. This great picture of a friend holding this steelhead reminds me of the quality of many of our small fisheries that rarely see an Angler. The challenge in these waters will make some so called steelhead bums re-think what steelhead fishing is all about!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Fishing

I took the family for a quick float to the estuary the other day from the house, Jocelyn hooked some nice trout. The pic shows her casting from the boat, not a bad cast for someone who rarely does it! She hooked 4 nice cutthroat & one immature Steelhead just over a pound, I guess it didn't like the ocean and decided to come back after a year! We're still waiting for the mature summer run Steelhead to show up in the Campbell River, soon I hope. The pinks will be arriving in 2 weeks! I'd like to have some Steelhead fishing before the salmon show:) We encoutered what I guess was a Summer Steelhead over on the west side of the island while guiding the other day. The fish was in the deepest part of the pool (10ft deep under fast water) along an undercut bank so it was impossible to temp him to a fly, next time I hope!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fly of the Week


Hi Folks, thanks for visiting my site! Here it is, the fly of the week... This fly is not a stranger to many fly-fisherman, but this version may be an unknown approach to some. Early in the week, my Friend was using a bead head Muddler last time we hit the estuary together. He faired very well with it hooking several Dolly Varden!! The pattern in the picture is tied on a tube with a tungsten cone head, next time I hit an estuary I will be fishing it to see how it performs. I am a huge fan of tube flies, & I particularly like how you can slip the cone over the head of the fly for a consistent silhouette. These tungsten cones are very heavy & will dive that little muddler down into the depths, sometimes a better place to be while fishing Dolly Varden on the island from my experiences. Muddler Minnows are a stronghold in the fly boxes of many fly-fisherman on the planet. It is an exceptionally great pattern to fish on Vancouver Island for Steelhead & Trout both Salt & Freshwater. This fly resembles many things swimming in our waters like Salmon Fry, large adult Caddis & Stoneflies & let's not forget the Sculpin (bullheads) that seem to be everywhere including the ocean beaches. My favorite way to fish a Muddler Minnow is using a traditional unweighted one with a Riffle Hitch. Skating this fly on fast riffles & runs where Steelhead & trout roam can bring you incredibly fishing action! Give it a try if you haven't already, you may be pleasantly surprised:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fishing Update June 23/ 09

Good old Dolly Varden, yes we have them on the Island! This picture was taken last year on the upper part of a mountain stream I guide for Summer Steelhead, & Coho. Unlike allot of fishing I've experienced for these aggressive fish on mainland rivers in BC the few Island fish I've caught seemed quite wary! Not certain if this is true fishing all Dollies on the Island but seems to be the case for me after's yesterdays experience. Some Friends & I fished an estuary yesterday arriving there at low tide, it was just starting to flood in. Shortly after starting to wet a line we noticed small splashes at the head of the pool, suddenly there were more around us. As it turned out there was a number of sea-run Dolly Varden in the estuary feeding away on something, likely anything they could get their mouths around. With this attitude I felt that fishing a fry pattern just below the surface & covering ground should fair as well as any fly. Two of us were already at the pool with the other friend working down the other side of the River. We had noticed fish rising really good just below him and mentioned to him to stay on his side as he worked downstream. Steve was fishing a bead head pattern and was into some great fishing! We bumped the odd fish but were working pretty hard for them. I insisted on keeping with one of my favorite flies on the coast, my Slip Stream. I hooked a fish here & there but nothing like Steve was! I eventually tried a different area with little success so I crossed the river to make my way to Steve for a hopeful good picture of a closeup Sea-run Dolly Varden needless to say my camera failed me! I proceeded to fish around Steve and then noticed when a fish was rising near Steve & he covered it, he was almost always successful in hooking up. As the tide flooded in we worked up the River, so did the Dollies. We followed the rises and hooked some fish, mostly Steve and finally I decided to put something with a bead-head on! Well first cast showed me what I was missing... We hooked a few more fish as the tide flooded in, then got pushed out of this great fishing that lasted the morning. On our way Home we stopped at another river where I landed another nice Dolly in a place I had been fishing for years catching everything but, an interesting day for me to say the least! This is one of the main reasons Flyfishing Vancouver Island is for me one of the most incredible places on the planet.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Historic Island flyfishing addition June 18 / 09


One day several years ago on the Campbell River, I had a good friend from Italy & his friend with me fishing the famous Island pools for trout in June. I happened to bring my Spey Rod along thinking I may fish behind them for my own entertainment but didn't expect to hook anything. The Tsitika Summer Run Steelhead stocking program had been dropped several years prior on the Campbell with no significant returns for the last season or two and it was too early to expect any salmon! I think it was my third cast with the Spey Rod from the raft when I got the tug! What resulted was a huge battle to bring in this large chrome fish that I thought may have been an early Chinook Salmon. It was much larger than any summer steelhead I had ever hooked at the time. I actually passed the rod on to my friend in order to land this fish in the high water that was pushing hard at the time. As it ended up the battle went on for longer with my Italian friend on the rod than when I had it. In this picture you can see the water in which I had to tail this fish rushing through my legs unforgivingly. When I finally tailed this fish I watched my analog cell phone slip out of my waders, fall between my legs and float down stream out of sight! The fish was so much more important that the phone could wait... Carlo's friend Luka who was in the raft still, took a bunch of pictures from a distance and this is what we have. Although the picture doesn't do this fish justice, I recall this fish being in the mid 20lb range. What a great experience for all of us, hope to see those Summer Steelhead in the Campbell River anyday now! I did recover the phone about ten feet downstream from where I tailed the fish, dicected it, let it dry for a day & put it back together. It worked fine until I lost it again picking up clients at a resort and recall leaving it on the rear bumper after driving for 20km:) Good times!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fishing update June 11 / 09



Well, I had a fellow come over to the house yesterday who wanted more info regarding a trip for the fall. He said he was only in town for another day & a half but had a bummed out ankle so river fishing was sort of out of the question currently for him. I looked over at my raft and mentioned the casting bars for fishing trout from the boat, with no wading necessary that this could work for him. Well today we spent the day on the upper Campbell fishing all the fast water pockets for trout & had a blast; brushing up on his casting with no shortage of cutthroat pulling on his fly! Although this style of fishing / guiding is a rare occasion for me I had a great time today netting several small trout & most of all assisting one who may not have had an opportunity to hit the river without this style of boat. A great way to spend the day indeed!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fly of the Week.



With July not so far away, we will soon be Skating large flies for Steelhead. Over the years we've used all sorts of flies for this style of fishing. Everything from Steelhead Bees to Muddler Minnows. In recent years we've played with different patterns on plastic tubes and have come up with some pretty successful patterns. The ones in this picture are my latest design. Combining a simple pattern on a modified tube has created a skater that I'm certain is the most reliable fly for getting the job done on top in big water! This pattern is hard to sink and skates on the surface so nice that I think it will be the choice patterns for many moons to come. For more info on our skater tubes that makes many different flies skate spectacularly, contact us at flyguide@telus.net

Now is a great time to go fly-fishing on Vancouver island for some great trout action. It is also a great time for learning to fly-fish. Combined, the 2 activities work great together with lot’s of action for beginners getting involved with the sport. If interested in learning the sport of flyfishing call us anytime for we have a promotion going on in June for lessons on fly-casting & fly-fishing in our area for all its great fisheries! The diversity of our fisheries on the Island is incredible, everything from fishing 2 handed rods on our rivers to Saltwater flyfishing the beaches with a 4wt. In the picture is a beautiful wild cutthroat trout ready for release. Contact us at 250 286 8017 for your flyfishing adventure on Vancouver Island!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Historic Vancouver Island Addition #4


Summer Steelhead are on their way! I'm certain that some of them have already poked their heads into fresh water on the island... Our Summer Steelhead arrive throughout the summer months starting early in June. When everything's just right this is the ultimate in westcoast fishing. In this picture, I took a client fishing after a rainy August week making our waters large & slighty colored. This particular day we hooked several fish, landed 4. I remember this day vividly as we were able to skate fish up in tailouts with large muddler minnows & Steelhead Bees, days I often dream about! This day you could see the fish following our skating flies, then turning off them, after a few casts they'd hammer the flies leaping outrageousely out of the water cartwheeling endlessly! Well on that note, must go look for a chromer:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fly Of The Week


This Olive Space Invader did me well this past winter/Spring Steelhead season. This Tube Fly has a Rivet Head on it which adds action to the fly and keep its profile wider when swimming against the current. I'm not overly fond of the rivet head & usually tie these flies with lead eyes. I recommend only fishing a rivet head in slow to medium current, as flies with rivets on them are hard to lift out of the water on the pick up! A well tied & presented fly has all the action it needs to entice any Steelhead I've encountered! I have to say I have overlooked olive for winter fishing over the years but this season it proved to be an awesome choice, I had one particular fish follow & bump it for 15ft on the pick up at the end of the swing before hammering it. Consider this color while fishing any fairly clear water conditions which our Island rivers usually are. If nothing else fishing a fly this color will be a different offering than the usual Pink, hot orange, & purple flies & gear used for winter steelhead fishing. I am well stocked with this color all the time now!