8 months ago

2018 27th Annual BC Sportsmen's Show

BC's Largest Sportsmen's Show Official Show Guide



‘Fish On!’ Author with a nice coho caught with a cast fly. Saltwater fly-fishing in beautiful British Columbia offers some things the same and some things new for those who have already learned the art of freshwater fly-fishing. The biggest difference is that the angler is now casting to much larger fish that are living in much bigger water. Eight- or nine-weight rods with largercapacity reels are needed to cast to and fight black sea bass up to 2.25 kilograms (five pounds), pink salmon to four kilograms (nine pounds), and coho salmon sometimes more than nine kilograms (20 pounds). A reel’s large line capacity is really needed where one might even hook a big chum or chinook salmon that will test every facet of both an angler’s equipment and talent. There are fly-fishing purists out there who couldn’t even imagine catching fish with anything except an artificial fly. That’s definitely not me, nor is it most anglers who just enjoy trying a little fly-fishing on a saltwater trip. Most of us will use conventional gear to put a few good-sized chinook salmon, along with some halibut and ling cod, into the boat before we even ask our guide about fly-fishing. That’s what happened to me. I had enjoyed a great morning of fishing at Langara Island in Haida Gwaii. During lunch, I asked the lodge manager about fly-fishing. He graciously loaned me his own nine-weight outfit and a handful of flies, and sent me south to nearby Bruin Cove. I ran the boat up onto a kelp bed, tied a green-and-white Clouser pattern onto the 15-pound test leader, and cast up the passing current. I let the fly sink until it was downcurrent, and then jerkily retrieved the line back in. After just a few pulls I got a hit, and sank the barbless hook into a nice black sea bass. After 12 similar casts, I had caught and released eight fun fish: six sea bass, and two small coho salmon. The next morning, I caught two hefty chinook salmon on conventional gear, and then reached for the fly rod. Two hours and a couple hundred casts later, I boated a pair of trophy coho salmon – on a fly. Although my earlier chinook were bigger, I really enjoyed fighting the feisty coho on the much lighter fly gear. And I was hooked on saltwater fly-fishing. Since that first experience, I have bought a quality eight-weight fly outfit. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still not a purist. The saltwater resort trips are expensive, and my family loves to eat fish. I still let the guides put me onto fish for my freezer, and only then do I reach for the fly outfit. I’ve been skunked many times 23

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