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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winter Steelhead Update (Vancouver Island) Feb 16th / 11

It all started with some guys who built bamboo rods planning a Steelhead fishing trip, one of them living in Vancouver BC and two of them living in different parts of the states. They contacted me about a guided trip on Vancouver Island and told me they built bamboo rods for the trip, Two handed rods of approx. 12ft... Well this is something I don't see often so I was looking forward to seeing these big bamboo rods in action! When I met these guys they had their rods on roof racks ready to go and mentioned the rods had been on the hood of their truck for the last three days, traveling around the island in search of Steelhead. The rods had spliced ferrils that are taped together and I assume keeping these rods together once taped is the way to be if possible on a fishing trip... For the three weeks prior of their guided trip with Single Spey Flyfishing Adventures we had experienced low water condition and cooler weather and frankly the catching was challenging, even the sea-run trout seemed to have evacuated the watersheds. We then received a massive low pressure that pushed in rain and within a few days our water condition went from one extreme to the other! Our booked day was questionable on the morning of after the guys endured massive winds and rain while sleeping in their tents... I checked the water levels when i woke up. The rivers showed that the peak of flows were over and flows were dropping fast. When I woke up I realized our power was off and checked my I phone for the time, 6:25AM! I also realized there was a text on my phone from the boys, how are the rivers... I replied lets go look! We headed to the river and after a 45 minute drive arrived to the put in where we start our float, the river was raging but had good visibility and I pondered... I though to myself if we can avoid all the logs floating and jammed in the river rowing three guys, my gear and myself safely to soft flowing water we shall find steelhead! I must admit I was slightly concerned how it was going to go as I had never floated this river with flows near this high!! "Lets do it guys" I said, so off we went:) With two of the guys never experiencing Steelhead yet and having built these great bamboo rods just for the trip I was excited to get them hooked up! The first good pool we got to one of the guys got tugged twice, "Ah shit, I just missed one" I heard from above... Hhmmmm, I could see that there could be a few challenges ahead, trout guys wanting to set the hook as soon as they felt anything! This is always a challenge as hook setting while swinging a fly for steelhead is a whole different deal. You must allow them to take the fly, reaching to them as they take rather than setting up! We moved on and got to a one man pool that is as reliable as any... The guys wanted Brian to go for it as they felt he deserved a good chance at a fish, I set him up and within 5 casts, "there he is" Brian shouted and then nothing! The fish had broke Brians tippet with ease... Another hard lesson for trout anglers, when fishing for the elusive Steelhead most experienced Steelhead fisherman make for certain that their gear is always top notch, no room for errors when often it's a one shot deal in a days fishing... You can't miss out on that opportunity! Well we now knew we were likely in for a good days fishing after missing out on two fish in two runs. It was great to see the Bamboo rods in action, the guys were all new at spey-casting but making it work and to see the differences in the rods actions made it a nice challenge for myself in assisting these fellas with their approaches to casting these interesting fishing poles. One of the rods had a fairly flimsy tip section, the other a softer mid section and the last one that looked to be the most consistent action from tip to butt. As the day progressed we had trees flowing past us, the occasional push of dirty water and no shortage of new obstacles to row around while the river flows never seemed to ease up! The guys hooked and lost more fish, large chrome fish that would come to the surface when hooked or simply leap right out of the water but the guys just couldn't keep them on the line for any amount of time. What a way to get the Steelhead Bug! We did manage to land one fish thankfully as you can see and this is a classic situation for myself as a guide, working rivers through hell and high water for dreaming steelheaders:) Most local anglers would simply pass on days like we had, with pelting rain, flooding happening everywhere including the ditches along the roads but oh no, lets go fishing lololol!! In the above picture you can see the pool where we landed the fish. When floating to this section I say to the guys lets have a look at this channel, it's some of the slowest water we've seen today, deep looking and flows into the head of what is usually a great pool. So we get out of the boat and Ryan says to me, do Steelhead lye on the sand as this back channel was simply that, a very sandy bottom, deep and slow moving... "oh ya" I answer, anywhere they can be to be out of the raging currents that has depth and a slow flow is as good a place as any! The back channel where this fish was hooked is merely an oxbow with barely any water in it at regular river levels. Here is the link to the you tube video I posted of us playing and landing this fish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQPjDIKLKTg&feature=youtube_gdata_player As the day progressed we hooked a few more fish but brought none to the beach. With hopes of the rivers levels dropping as the day progressed I was at a bit of a loss when some of the last great pools of the float were simply not wadable. As it turned out when I arrived home and checked out on-line river levels and our water had started rising quickly from noon on...  A great day none the less and quite the adventure to say the least, just us and the Wild Steelhead of Vancouver Island. I also did manage to get all three Bamboo Spey rods in hand for a few casts and will say they are in a league of their own and do the job just great! It also put more meaning into our day and would love to one day own one for myself:)

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