Bamfield was a huge success!!! The salmon and halibut fishing was just awesome.
Day one we headed off to big bank. Using GPS navionics map, and radar, we work our way out. When we arrive, we see lots of other boats fishing around us, seemingly trolling around aimlessly as this is such a huge area. We set up a downrigger, and as I set up the second rod I’m half expecting the first one to start bouncing as I’ve heard that it can be hard to get out two or three rods at times. Sure enough the rod starts hammering – it pops free and starts peeling line…and the games have begun!!! I am a very busy man for the next 6 hours as I try to get out three lines. Most of the time I would get out two maybe three, and then we’d have a fish on. Especially during slack tide would the action get busy, and this is the time when you would get most of your big springs and halibut. We decide to end the day by finding the halibut hole, and jigging for hali’s. We find it and drop down two Berkley 8″ power grubs. We had two limits of chickens 15 – 25lbs in under 2 hours. This was a ton of work though bringing up 25lb halibut from 400ft. down. So the next day we tried dragging the mud while we were salmon fishing.
Most of big bank is around 200ft. deep, so we ran one downrigger on the bottom. The result was 3 – 6 halibut plus a bunch of springs every day on that one rod, and it was a whole lot easier to let the downrigger do the work for you. Sure if your just going to get halibut you will get more fish jigging in the “chicken coop”, but this technique killed two birds with one stone so to speak, and everybody loved to figure out what was going to hit the deep line next.
Average catches offshore were 12 – 25 coho, 6 – 10 springs, and 3 – 6 halibut per day.
Inshore fishing started a bit late this year, around the middle of August. The fish wait for rain to swell the rivers, and dilute the saltwater to tell them when to start migrating inshore to their home rivers. We never did get rain the whole time I was there, which is unheard of. However the fish have to spawn, and they did start to slowly come in. We were averaging 3 – 6 springs per day, close to home. The fishing was always best at daylight, and the first slack tide after daylight. Inshore fishing was starting to pick up when we left about the third week of August, and the Coho would be moving in September.
I will definitely be making this an annual trip. Everybody who came out this year, has already booked for next.
When I got home I had one day to get ready for four days of walleye fishing on the Columbia. Limits plus of walleye, and the trout are smashing hoppers. This will continue through September.
Time to start planning for big rainbows on Kootenay Lake. Only 5 or 6 weeks till prime time fishing starts.
The Upper Columbia River is fishing very well for trout to 5 lbs. T he water has gone down a bit, exposing the tall rye grass along the shores. Casting or trolling apex’s and spinners along areas that drop off quickly produce lots of fish.
The Lower Columbia River is fishing well for walleye and trout. The water has been higher than normal for this time of year, and that has slowed the walleye a bit. Still getting 10 – 20 fish per day, and the water is starting to drop.
Nine year old Tynan came out for his first fishing trip with grandpa Horace and Dad. He did an excellent job keeping the spinner on the bottom and caught a bunch of walleye. He’s a natural, and going to be a great fisherman – hope to snag him as an assistant guide in a few years.
Duncan was up to stock up on some walleye, and do some flyfishing in the evening. Limits of walleye, and some beautiful trout to 21 inches.
We were jigging in our favorite walleye hole, when I hook a fish, and it starts to peel line. I hand the rod to Duncan, and the game is on. 6 ft 6 inch lite jigging rods, and 8 lb Maxima line, and this 5 ft. 80lb sturgeon comes sailing out of the water. Round and round we go chasing him around the pool. Duncan had the tension set perfect, using the 8lb test to the max. After chasing him for 25 minutes, we are at the end of the pool, and if he goes into the main river. We will never get him in on 8 lb test, and we won’t be able to get our gear out of his mouth. Finally he lets out a big burp, which Duncan had said earlier that they do this when they are tired. We get him to the edge of the boat, pop the hooks out, and take a few pictures of him in the water. What a magnificent creature!!! Hopefully in a few years they will reopen this fishery, and we can target them.
I’m off to Bamfield on Monday. I phoned this morning, and they are getting lots of fish up to 38lbs. I’ll keep you informed when I get there.
Kootenay and Arrow have slowed down now. Water temp is up in the high 60′s and low 70′s. The attached picture was my last trip on Kootenay at the end of May. A cool but great day. Kokanee are biting, and the creek mouths are also very good for trout on the fly on the big lakes.
The upper Columbia north of Galena is fishing excellent for trout to 6lbs. Arrow Lake is full pool, so the river is also very high, flooding the rye grass at the edge of the river. Casting to the edge of the grass with spinners or flies are producing tons of trout – very busy and a ton of fun, especially on fly rods.
Mr. Walleye is back for the summer in the lower columbia. I start hitting them hard on July 10. Also,the massive caddis hatches started the end of June, and the flyfishing is excellent.
I have three days still open for Bamfield salmon fishing. August 23 – 25. Drop me a line, and we’ll set up this awesome trip for big chinooks and coho.