There’s good trout fishing at Maple Lake right now.

Maple Lake producing good catches of trout

When I think of winter I frequently think of the other side of the mountain

  • Feb. 27, 2015 6:00 a.m.

When I think of winter I frequently think of the other side of the mountain – in this case the mainland coastal range that runs along the western edge of our province.

Here on Vancouver Island we are not seeing very much of winter, especially during 2014-15.

Earlier this month, Elaine and I went to Port Hardy to celebrate her birthday with our daughter and family – just possibly, Ralph might slip in a short session for steelhead on the Quatse River with Bill Shire.

On the drive to the north end and back we were continuously surprised by the absence of snow on the mountains and ice on the high elevation lakes.

So far this season we have had  unusually mild temperatures with virtually no snow in the lower valleys, and without exception  every lake was ice free and full of water right to the tree line.

We also saw circles of rising trout when we stopped for lunch at Homach Lake. It’s fun to predict the weather and I will go out on a limb and predict we are not going to have any cold weather for the balance of the winter.

For lake fishers we are experiencing insect hatches that do not normally appear until early March.

Recently a friend dropped by with a treat of some fresh cutthroat trout he had caught in a small lake behind Campbell Lake that is normally ice-bound at this time of the year. The lake was ice-free with an active hatch of chironomids in progress.

He fished from a float tube and before the cold water forced him to retreat he had excellent fishing on a small leech pattern.

Unless you have a built-in heating system in your body, fishing from float tubes in winter cold water can be a prescription for hypothermia.

I fish from a small punt and wear super warm clothes and enjoy the luxury of hot tea, all of which makes it pretty comfortable to enjoy winter lake fishing.

If you follow the weather on the western side of North America we seem to be in an El Nino pattern that suggests we will not see much cold weather on our side of the mountains.

Maple Lake is producing good catches of trout up to 20 inches long. Whether you fish from shore or a small boat it is well-stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society. It is also brim full, making some shore stations a little wet.

I did manage to get onto the Quatse River with my friends for a few hours.  We were fishing low water conditions, but there were still a fair number of fish around.

One angler was into four steelhead in the run below the campground.

I made contact with a nice fish in the run above the Hatchery Pool.

It is several years since I cast a steelhead outfit and I must admit it was an emotional high to be on the river.

My outfit is 49 years old and still in perfect working condition. We are growing old together.

It was nice to see two young men from the Comox Valley fishing the river and it was especially inspiring to see the type of support they got from local steelheaders.

(Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.)

 

Just Posted

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Port Hardy council agrees to list question and answer period on agenda packages

CAO Allison McCarrick confirmed the question and answer period will be listed on the next agenda.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read