First post of 2018.

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This is a bit of an update of what has been going on since my last post in November.

Phil rang me before Christmas to suggest we start planning for our 2018 trip to BC and we roped Ian in again to make up the team.

We had found that booking return plane tickets to Vancouver early gave us really great discounts and these were purchased through Canadian Affairs who use Air Transat as the carrier. We will travel out from Manchester on the 28th September and returning on the 14th October and land back in Manchester on the morning of the 15th.

We have decided to try some new rivers further north for the first 5 days and will be staying in Port McNiell. The rest of the stay we will be based in Campbell River and if we have decent water will fish some of the rivers we missed in 2017.

After last years trip to BC Ian and I have been asked to give a talk to our local Fly Dressers Guild in Timperley, Cheshire on Tuesday 20th March. I have put together a Powerpoint Presentation and I will do the talking and Ian will do some fly tying of some of the flies we use, including our simple “Snot Fly” which I have shown in my previous BC blog posts. Should be interesting.

I have been in contact with my friend Anders in Sweden and along with Goran, Claes and Hakan we have booked a private beat on the Orkla River in Norway for a week in July. The beat comes will log cabin accommodation and is on the river bank. We will cater for ourselves and share the cooking for the week. Because Norway is very expensive we take most of the food and drink with us and just purchase fresh bread and odds and ends while we are there. This is the first time I have fish the Orkla so not sure what to expect.

My first trip out will be to the River Tummel at the beginning of May and followed by some brown trout fishing on the Derbyshire Wye. On my return from Norway I have 3 days to get my gear together for a trip up to the Far North of Scotland for 3 days on a couple of spate river. I will return again in late August for a week on the same rivers. Canada is September/October and possibly a trip to the Tweed at the end of the salmon season.

More to follow.






Summary of 2017 and the last salmon fishing trip of the season to Holylee on the Tweed.

Midge protection in the far north of Scotland.

Midgeprotection in the far north of Scotland

Sunday 19th November 2017

Well this was the last trip of the season for salmon fishing and I was fishing with Ian, Geoff and Jim on the Holylee beat of the Tweed. Ian picked me up from home at 12.15 pm and we motored up the M6 to just passed Carlisle and then turned off onto the A7 for Galashields and our destination the Kingknowes Hotel. We arrived at 4.10 pm and booked in at reception and were show to our room, a twin, which turned out to be a suite about the size of the ground floor of my house. Dinner is booked for 8.00 pm for Ian, Geoff and I, with Jim joining us later in the bar.

Breakfast is at 7.30 am and then a 6 mile drive back up river to meet up with Jack Melrose, the gillie, on Holylee. Fingers crossed for a productive 3 days.

Well not a very good report for our 3 days with not even a pull for our efforts. The river was in good order with a level of just over a foot for the first two days and just over 2 foot on the third day. Lots of resident salmon on the redd’s but very little sign of any late run fish. Plenty of casting practice and a chance to test out a couple of new lines for my Loop Evotec 13ft 7# , a Spey line and a DT floating line.

This season has been very poor with regard to the number of salmon landed in the UK and Norway and only the trip to Vancouver Island made up for this.

I have put together a few pictures that have not appeared in my previous blog’s to end this year’s reports.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018. Tight lines everybody.


BC update and thoughts.


This was my sixth visit to Vancouver Island since 2003 and I never tire of this beautiful part of the world and the fishing is a bonus. This year the flights had changed and it was decided that we would go for three weeks as the alternative was eleven days.We had checked the weather and rainfall before leaving for the trip and the rivers were at low level and the forecast was for rain while we were there. The rain did fall but not enough to made a difference to the river levels and so we were restricted to the rivers that we could fish with prospects of catching fish. We did manage to locate two rivers that we could fish the tidal reaches and they both produced fish to the spinner but not the fly. The Campbell River was our banker as the level is controlled by a hydro dam and over the years has been the most consistent. We had traveled to the Island a week later than normal to be ready for the arrival of the Chum and Coho but they did not make an appearance until the last week of our trip. I guess that’s salmon fishing.

I have one last outing to the Tweed in November and will continue with the blog.

All the photos and videos from the group have now been gather together on a memory stick so we can share among ourselves. These are a few of the collection.

Marble River.20171001_143842_004

River Eve.20171003_145302_001

Ian posing.DSC03702

Tying a Snot fly.DSC03716

Gold River.DSC03693

Puntledge River.IMG_0736

Chinook Salmon.IMG_1308IMG_1376 (2)

Buttle Narrows, Strathcona Provincial Park.IMG_1312

Chinook (King) Salmon.IMG_1377

The salmon hatchery on the River Quinsam, Campbell River.IMG_0746

Autumn on the Campbell River.P1010794


Vancouver Island week three 9th October.

Monday 9th October.

After visiting the Island for a number of years now we decided to have a morning of discovery and head into some of the backwaters of two of the rivers we have fished before to see if we could find new pools to fish. This proved useful for us not only finding new places to fish but also the access to them. All of this involved a lot of driving on logging roads and through First Nation Reservations and trekking through forest and undergrowth to find the new stretches of river.


After test fishing a number of these new pools we drove to a proven part of one of the rivers were we had a packed lunch by the river and then fished three pools down and had a bit of sport with some long awaited new arrivals. The season appeared to be late but last week the Coho had started to show in numbers and today we had a number of Chum  salmon and so we held out great hope for the fishing during the rest of the week. Fingers crossed as there was still no really heavy rain to bring the river up and encourage more fresh fish into the rivers. Due to the lack of rain we have not fished a number of our banker rivers as the levels have been to low and not very good for fly fishing. The local bear population was still giving us entertainment and on occasion coming a bit too close for comfort and the whistles and shouts came into use to clear them off.

Graham H making a quick getaway.IMG-20171009-WA0000 (1)

Best fish of the day.IMG_1383 (2)

We left at 19.00 pm and Ian decided to drive back to Campbell River and show off his driving skills on the winding road and got back in 1 1/4 hours when the Satnav. said 2 hours and 10 mins. To say it was a bit hairy in the back would be an understatement.

Tuesday 10th October.

We had a late breakfast at 8.30 am as we wanted to go to River Sportsman tackle shop to purchase a tartan one piece fleece, child size, and a few blue flies that are preferred by the Coho. We then went to the Campbell River for a full days fishing on the upper reaches in search of Chum and Coho that we believed were now entering the system. One Chum, one Coho and five Chinooks were landed and a large number were lost, probably Chinooks, which is not unusual. We left the river at 18.15 pm and after a quick turn round ended up at Boston Pizza for our evening meal. Forgot my camera so no pictures today.

Graham H into a fish.20171010_135512_001

Base camp.20171010_104143

Wednesday 11th October.

Over breakfast we discussed the plan for the day and decided that we would look at a river to the south of Campbell River , the Little Qualicum, as we had some rain during the night and hoped that the river had risen. An hours drive later we arrived at the fish Spawning Channel to show Ian round the place and to see the amount of fish that had entered the spawning channels. This  is a bit different to the one on the Quinsam River, a tributary of the Campbell River, which strips the eggs from ripe salmon and fertilizes the eggs from milt taken from male salmon. The fish are diverted from the main river into spawning channels that let the fish reproduce naturally in a more controlled environment.  IMG_1421IMG_1418IMG_1420

After looking round the hatchery intake facility and driving up the river to see the top of the spawning channels we decided that the river was to low to fly fish and so we made the return journey back to Campbell River. We had lunch in the motel gardens by the river and then changed into our waders and drove to a couple of pools at the top end of the Campbell. The fishing on this river is reliable due to the Hydro dam controlling water flow into the system and we had a fruitful afternoon with the best fish going to Ian with a nice Coho on a small blue fly pattern tied on a size 12 single.IMG_1422IMG_1425

We packed up a 19.00 as the light was fading and the walk back through the woods is a bit dangerous in the dark. After changing out of our waders and into some more casual clothing we went to a Thai restaurant in town for a nice meal then back to the motel for an early night .

Thursday 12th October.

The day started with breakfast and then a shopping trip into town to purchase food and fishing bits and bobs. One of the guys wanted to find out about vacuum packed salmon and so we visited three different outlets that smoked and packed the salmon and managed to purchase a nice fillet of fresh Coho. We returned to the motel for dinner and to change into waders and warmer clothing. The temperature in the near three weeks we have been here has gone from a high of 23 deg c. to a low of 8 deg c. in the daytime and was at -1 deg c. one morning. Thermals and fleeces where the order of the day.

The general thought on our last three days fishing was that we should concentrate on the Campbell River due to the lack of water in the other rivers that we had visited previously. I took an extra rod with me to try out with a 600 grain Skagit and a number of T tips in 14 and 17 grains per foot and in lengths of 10ft, 12ft, 15ft and 18ft. This made the heaviest tip just over 300 grains. The heaviest tip on the single handed rod I used was 410 grains at 22 foot long and the exercise was to see if it was possible to get the T tips down to the same level and if the rod would handle a 300 grain tip. The rod was a 13ft 9″ Guideline LXi T pack 6 piece travel rod rated as a 10 weight. The rod had no problem casting the heaviest tip and after adjusting the line control a method was found to get the fly down to the correct depth required. The lines used on the single hander are not available any more and I have not been able to source a similar line with the same performance and this was to find another method of achieving the depth required to be were the salmon hang out, Deep.

Ian and Graham H had gone upstream to fish a pool that had produce fish for Ian the previous day and I stay with my colleague to experiment with the two hander. After this we went back to our usual method of single hander’s and using a 350 grain, 22ft, sink tip. We soon made contact with fish and after loosing a number a nice Chum salmon was landed. The sport really livened up and we had a spell of contacting 14 fish and landing no more. 4 were lost at the very last moment at the bank and all the fish were Chum and 1 Coho. The exhilaration you get from these salmon in the fast water is fantastic and the fight is arm numbing. They do not give up easily.

Ian and Graham came back and Graham managed to land two Chinooks before losing the two top sections of his rod and his fly line in the river. This fishing is brutal on tackle and any weakness in rod, reel and line is soon found out. Today’s total count for the trip is 1 very expensive reel, which was repaired to a fashion but will need to be returned to the manufacturer for rebuild. One 9ft 10# single hander, at least 10 fly lines and a massive amount of flies. Ian does a bit of diving and has volunteered to go in the river to recover what he can find if we pay for the hire of the wet suite, mask and snorkel. The cost is $40 and works out cheap if he can recover any of the fly lines. This is the reason we trawl the internet looking for cheap lines and also tie most of our own flies.

Chum salmon.IMG_1426

Graham into one of his Chinook salmon.IMG_1431

These Cray Fish are everywhere in the river eating the dead spawned fish.20171012_173709As the light was going we packed up at 18.45 pm and made our way back to the car and then back to the motel to change and then off to the pub for dinner and a drink.

Friday 13th October

We have to move rooms this morning due to a booking cock up and so after breakfast we need to pack up the cabin and move to our new room in the motel. This will be a bit of a ball ache as this will be our last full day fishing and it will be 11.00 am before we can get to the river.

We arrived at the river at 11.15 am and gathered  our rods and backpacks for the short walk to the top pools that proved successful yesterday. I started off with my Temple Fork single hand 9 foot 9# rod with a 350 grain, 22ft sink tip line and a Snot fly tied with a sky blue tail and a bright red head. Its was not long before I was into my first fish which lasted about 2 minutes before shedding the hook. This happened most of the rest of the day with contact with eight fish that all managed to got free. I seem to have been making contact with the biggest fish in the river. We all had the same problem and we landed none of the twenty five fish contacted. I did do some more experimenting with the Guideline LXi T pack 6 piece 9/10# 13ft 6″ rod and a 600 grain Skagit with a variety of heavy long T tips. I managed to cast 18ft of T17 with no problem and gave thought to how I and the group could replace the heavy lines we use on the single hander’s as the lines are no longer available and the ones we have tried as replacement don’t do the job required. We will look for a supply of T20 on a roll so as to make sink tips from 10 ft at 300 grains to 20 ft at 400 grains which will cover all our needs on any of the rivers we fish. We finished at 18.45 and returned to the motel before going out for dinner.

Saturday 14th October.

This is our last day fishing on the Island and after three weeks of praying for rain the heavens had opened and the forecast was for more over the following week.  We had a lot to do before leaving at 8.00 am on Sunday to drive to Nanaimo for the ferry to the mainland and then on to the airport. The flight will arrive back in Manchester at 9.00 am Monday morning the 16th.First job after breakfast was to clean out the inside of the hire vehicle then shopping for Ian and Graham and download all the photos taken during the trip so that we all have a copy of everyone’s photos and videos. We had a sandwich lunch to use up the contents of the refrigerator before changing into waders and driving to the Campbell for a last try at the salmon. The rain was constant and we were all buttoned up in Waterproof wading jackets to keep out the rain and the fishing was much the same as Friday. A lot of fish hooked but none landed and very aching arms by the end of the session. We left a 18.00 pm and returned to the motel and put all the wet clothing, waders and boots in the Drying room so as not to pack wet clothing in the cases.

Close encounters on Friday.

A very wet last day fishing on the Campbell River.


Sunday 15th October.

We had an early breakfast and packed the car with four lots of equipment and left the motel for the drive back to Naniamo for the ferry from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay on the mainland. We left at 8.00 am and arrived in good time for the 10.20 am sailing and had booked a passage on the internet to make sure we did not have the same problem of the ferry being fully booked that had happened on the trip out to the Island. The highlight of the crossing was watching two Humpback Whales blowing water plumes and then coming out of the water. No pictures unfortunately. We docked around 12.00 noon and left the ferry for the drive to the airport and the Avis car rental drop off point. All checked out ok despite our trips off road down logging roads and tracks and we unloaded the luggage and went into the main check in area to book in and put the luggage and rod tubes through for our flight to Manchester. Graham was on a flight to Newcastle via Heathrow and so we met up after check in and went through passport control and security checks together and then found a restaurant for lunch. Our flight was at 16.20 but was a bit late taking off but we made up time on the way back and landed in Manchester on Monday morning at 09.10 am a flight of over 9 hours. The luggage and rod tubes came through after about 30 minutes and we said our goodbyes to Ian and Phil and I got a taxi back to my place. I went to the shop for a few supplies and had bacon butties for lunch before taking Phil back to the airport for his flight to Inverness.

This was the end of our 3 week fishing adventure to Vancouver Island, BC. I will put together some thoughts and more pictures and videos later.

Vancouver Island week two 2nd Oct 2017.

Monday 2nd October.

After breakfast we needed shopping from the supermarket and a few bits from the Tyee Marine tackle shop. and then decided to have a leisurely day on the Campbell River as we were all a bit knackered after a hard weeks fishing. The weather was glorious and most of the time was spent chatting on the bank with a few locals and a long break for a packed lunch. The fishing today was not up to scratch and a few fish were hooked but none landed. The highlight of the day was an encounter with a Canadian angler who on our arrival started shout at us in a loud and aggressive manner and asking what we were doing. I said FISHING in a loud voice. His reply was funny really as he shouted that we Must get in above him on the river and that the procedure was two steps and a cast and that he had fished all over the world and that was the way it was done in Canada. Anyone who has been to Canada will know the funny side of this. He then lambasted a fellow countryman who came into the river below him and actually cast his fly and line at him. At this point we decided to ignore him and he soon got tired and move on to harangue some other poor angler.

Peace and quiet


We met up with Graham R and Eileen in the Royal Coachman pub for a meal and a drink in the evening and passed on our good wishes to them both as they where leaving the following morning for the long trip back to Aberdeen.

Tuesday 3rd October and Wednesday 4th October.

On Tuesday we drove one and a half hours north to fish a river which is set in some stunning countryside. We planned to fish the lower reaches of the river at the high tide and follow the fish down as some would return to the sea. Unfortunately we got our tide timing a bit wrong and arrived about two hours too late and so missed the best of the fishing but it was still a pleasure to be in such a beautiful setting. I drove back to Campbell River and we dined in Boston Pizza before returning to the motel and a well earned rest.

Fishing the tide.


On Wednesday we drove to another river about an hour away and had an afternoon of really good sport catching Chinook and Coho on small spinners. The fly would not have worked as the river was low and little flow to be able to fly fish with any success. The local bear population put in an appearance and showed us how to catch salmon the easy way. The fishing peaked and then faded out about 17.00 pm and so we decided to make our way back to the car and get out of our waders. We had spotted a restaurant on the way and so called in and had a starter of chicken wings, garlic and salt and pepper flavour, and fish dishes for mains and washed down with a beer. We arrived back at the motel about 20.00 pm and unloaded the car and put the waders and boots in the drying roomuntill the morning. One off the party will be leaving in the morning and we will be joined on Friday by a mate from Northumberland.

Nice Coho and Chinook.

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Bear showing how its done.




Thursday 4th October.

After returning from dropping one of our team off at the local airport we had breakfast and spent a few hours sorting through fly boxes and drying out the flies. We then went shopping for food supplies and some fishing gear, mainly a spinner we had found that worked very well. It is called a Deadly Dick and comes in a variety of sizes and colours. The hooks are a bit light and so they were replaced with 2/0 Open Eye hooks that are closed up with pliers

A selection of spinners with three Deadly Dicks on the left  and home made to the right and One Yellow and One Silver Vibrax.


We had lunch in the cabin and then loaded the vehicle with equipment and drove to a pool that we thought would produce on the Campbell River near to the motel. We stopped off at a logging bridge that crosses the river to see if we could get into fish there but the spot had been taken so we did a bit of salmon spotting off the bridge. We saw about fifteen large fish pushing up through the water in the short time we stayed. We arrived at the first choice pool to find that no other anglers were there and so we had the choice of lies. The pool hold a large number of salmon and is a very fast flowing water and so the choice of tackle is vital if the fish are to be tempted to take the fly. We again fished with 9# single hand rods and a fly line with a 22 ft head of 410 grains to get the fly down though the fast water. I tied a 4 ft length of 20 lb Maxima Ultragreen as a tippet and through the session used a number of different flies I tie up with Marabou on Waddington shanks and a clip on stinger hook,shown in a previous post, in size 2 and 4. This was alternated with the Snot Fly also shown previously. In the 4 hour session we hooked approximately 15 fish and landed 1 Chinook of about 25 lb. My Lamson Konic reel drag housing retaining nut unscrewed while playing a very aggressive Chinook and pushed the spool off the reel. This had my two fishing partners in stitches as I tried to keep hold of the spool and deciding what to do about a fish on the other end of the line. The only solution was to wrap the line round my arm and pull till the fish unhooked itself on the barbless hook. Lucky for me I managed to keep the spool, drag assembly and  retaining nut together and so when I reached the bank I could reassemble the reel. This is a problem with the reel when you change from left to right hand wind and play fast moving fish.This is not the first time this has happened on our trips to Canada and I have checked both Konic’s to make sure the retaining nut is really tight. We left the river at 19.00 pm and after changing clothing went to the Royal Coachman pub for a meal and a couple of beers.

This is what the Chinook salmon can do to your hooks.


Landing a Chinook salmon.

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Bear and cub


Friday 6th October.

Two of the guys decided to go fishing at 6.00 am at a spot on the Campbell River that always produces fish. I stayed in bed till 8.00 am and then had a leisurely bath to ease the tired muscles. The guys came back at 9.15 after a very hectic two and a half hours fishing when they made contact with 19 fish and landed none. Snapped leaders, straightened hooks and frustration all round. The adrenaline rush you get from these monsters is phenomenal. We had a late breakfast and then went to a couple of tackle shops and supermarkets to replenish lost gear. We returned to the motel and had a late lunch and then went to another pool higher up the river and met up with two guys that we knew from the UK. We fished till 19.00 with a few fish contacted and two landed. On returning to the motel we got out of our wading gear and dressed to go for dinner at the Royal Coachman. We received a text from Graham H whose flight had been delayed in Vancouver and would not arrive in Campbell River till 22.30 pm. All was well and he arrived the motel at 10.55 pm and after a short chat we retired to our beds ready for a early start as Graham H needed to get a license and a new spinning rod as his would not fit in his case.

Yours truly into a Chinook on the Campbell.

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Saturday 7th October and Sunday 8th October.

As Graham H had had a tiring trip and we were feeling the pace of no stop fishing we decided to have a leisurely weekend and started with breakfast at 8.00 am. We then went to Tyee Marine tackle shop to get Graham H a license and to look at short spinning rods that he needed as the one he has at home is two piece and to long for his luggage allowance. He did not find a rod but purchased a number of spinners and I purchased another Deadly Dick as they proved so successful. We moved on to the supermarket for food supplies and then on to River Sportsman tackle shop were we found a 4 piece spinning rod for Graham H.

After lunch we drove to the Eve River, about 1.5 hours away, higher up the coast to fish the receding tide. We arrived a little early and had to wait about an hour to be able to cross a creek onto the main river. We fished down with the tide and saw lots of fish but they did not have much interest in being caught. It rained most of the time we were on the river and after four fruitless hours we decided to return to the car and drive back to  Campbell River. I drove and it rained all the way back making the drive a test of concentration on the twisting parts of the road and was barracked for my slower than normal driving. We got back in one piece so I must have done something right.

The Eve River.


Sunday followed much the same pattern with a trip to Nanaimo via a few rivers on the way. The idea was to check river levels after the heavy rain of the previous day but it seemed that the rain was more in the North and West of the Island. We ended up visiting Cabela’s store in Nanaimo were Graham managed to find a Camouflaged  Hoody in the sale for use back home for his wild fowl shooting in the North East. On the way home we called at French Creek for lunch at a pub we had found by the harbour which serves excellent value for money food.

French Creek harbour.


We drove back to Campbell River and fished from 16.00 to 19.00 pm on a  pool high up the river. While we were all in the river a bear sneaked along the bank behind us looking for an easy meal which caused a bit of excitement.

He’s behind you.


We retired to the pub for a meal then an early night ready for the start of week 3 of our trip to BC.




Vancouver Island 26th Sept. 2017.

The travel from the UK to Vancouver Island on the 25th was a bit of a marathon and took 24 hours in total. We met up at Manchester Terminal 1 at 8.00 am and checked in the luggage, rod tubes and hand luggage and passed through customs without any problems. The flight was delayed by 1.5 hours and we arrived in Vancouver at 12.55 local time and met up with one of the other guys who had flown in the day before from Heathrow. We had ordered a vehicle from Avis and this was the start of more delays with them taking 1.5 hours to book out and bring the vehicle to the pick up point. This meant that the ferry over to the Island that left at 15.20 pm was not a possibility and so we had to try for the later ferry at 17.20 pm. This was full and so we had to wait for the next at 19.20 pm which got us on to the Island at 21.00 pm and after a 157 km drive we reached the motel at 22.45 pm.

Tuesday 26th September.

After a quick breakfast we went to the tackle shop for  licenses  and bits and bobs that we were short of and then to the supermarket for food for our lunch. We returned  to the motel and made our packed lunches and changed into fishing gear for an afternoon of salmon fishing on the River Campbell. We all used single handed rods in the 9 to 12# range will lines with 22 ft sink tips in the 350, 425 grain range. My rod was a 9 ft 9# Temple Fork single hander with a Lamson Konic reel loaded with a 350 grain sink tip line and I used a variety of flies tied on articulated shanks( Waddington’s ). We made contact with a number of very large Chinook salmon but landed none as the river current was very strong and these brutes make Atlantic’s seem like pussy cats.

After a busy first day we retired to the motel and then met up with Graham R and his wife at a local hostelry for food and a couple of beers before retiring to bed for a well earned rest.

Wednesday 27th September.

After breakfast we set off for the Conuma River and when we arrived we found that the water level was low and left after a couple of hours and drove to another river in the area that we thought would be a better prospect. This proved correct and a number of Coho salmon made their presence felt and several were landed by our groupl. The local bear population also put in an appearance and became very friendly.


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Ian with a nice Coho.


Thursday 28th September.

After breakfast we made a trip to the supermarket to top up on supplies and I needed to buy new braid for my spinning rod. We also called at one of the local tackle shop for a few bits and pieces. We got back to the motel and made our lunch sandwiches and got into our waders and boots. The car was loaded with all the rods and backpacks and we left to fish the Campbell River near to the accommodation. The weather report was for a hot and sunny day and so we wore only shirt and wading vest under the waders (we did have pants on as well). I tackled up my 9# single hander with a 350 grain 22 ft sink tip line on my Lamson Konic 4 reel and used a fly tied on a Waddington shank using Marabou feathers and with a snap link tied to a size 2 Owner strong hook using 18 lb nylon and this was tied to 20 lb tippet about 4 ft long.


Snap Links

It soon became obvious that the river was stuffed with large Chinook salmon and that we would have difficulty landing them in the fast flowing river. And that was the way events turned out with 29 fish lost and 2 landed by yours truly. These fish fight like street fighters and when they decide they want to go back to sea its a hard job persuading them otherwise. The losses  and the very rocky river bed resulted in the loss of a multitude of flies and 5 fly lines. My first visit to this river 15 years ago started me tying my own flies as it cost me near on 200 Canadian dollars. It is worth mentioning here a fly that catches loads of fish and can be tied while in the water. We call it The Snot Fly and its constructed by tying a knot-less knot onto a size 2 or 4 hook, pushing the tippet back through the eye and making the fly up using floss for the tail and head and passing it through the loop and pulling tight. Easy as that and a saving of about $2 to $3 dollars.



Box of floss and hooks and a Snot fly                  Knot-less knot


We met up with Graham R and his wife Eileen at a local Thai restaurant in Campbell River and had a great feast and water for me as I was the designated driver for the evening.


Playing and landing the two Chinook Salmon.



Friday 29th September.

The morning saw a change in the weather and it rained till two o’clock in the afternoon which can only be a plus as the rivers needed fresh water. After breakfast we loaded the car with rods and equipment for a trip to Gold River and this would be using spinning gear as the water levels were low and not very good for the fly. The rods were 8ft with a light casting weight capable of throwing small size 2 and 3 Mepps type spinner that had been made  at a fraction of the cost of the genuine ones. On the way we stopped off at the Campbell River at a spot we thought might produce a few fish and although this proved correct the mighty Chinook salmon decided they did not want to be landed. After an hour we carried on with our journey to the Gold river and arrived at 11.30 am and hiked across the boulders by the river to a spot we knew held Coho. We spent the rest of the day spinning in a number of pools that had fish showing and landed some nice fish. We had company on the banks with our friends the bears that showed us a thing or two about how to catch salmon. IMG_1319

Stunning scenery


Our friends the bears.

We left the river at 6.45 pm and arrived back in Campbell River at 8.15 pm and after a quick change went to Boston Pizza for Dinner and a drink. As we were all very tired we went back to the lodge for an early night.

Saturday 30th September

We decided to use this as a rest day as the weekend can be a bit like combat fishing on some of the river as the locals enjoy their weekend break. After breakfast we drove to Naniamo to visit a couple of large tackle outlets, Cabela’s and Wholesale Sports, and had lunch at a pub on the coast that served really good food at a reasonably price. On the way home we visited a couple of rivers, the Little Qualicum and the Puntledge to recce  new beats to fish. A visit to the supermarket was required to top up supplies and then we went down to the Campbell river mouth to see if any salmon were waiting to come in as we had had some rain . The evening meal was at the Royal Coachman pub where we met up with Graham R and Eileen to talk over the day and  partake of a couple of beers.

Sunday 1st October

We had decided to travel to a river that I had not fished before and one guy had been to twice as we thought with the rain the river may be carrying a bit of extra water to tempt in salmon. The Marble river is a 2.5 hour drive from our base at Campbell River and we set off at 8.45 am for a drive that follows the coast road north until we reached the turn off to the river. We parked up in the campsite and changed into waders and took two rods and a back pack containing lunch, drinks and tackle odds and ends. The walk to the river was about 1.5 km along a forest track and we reached the water about 11.30 am.

We had a mediocre day with plenty of fish showing but not to many takers. The best fish was a Chinook of approximately 25 lb and very fresh, still showing silver, and probably only in the river a few days. The Chinook colour very quickly on entering the river and spawn within a short period of time  unlike Atlantic salmon.

We left the river about 17.30 pm and walked back to the vehicle and took off wading gear ready for the trip back. We decided to eat on the way back and turned off the highway at a place called Port McNeil and we found a place to eat called Gus’ Bar and Grill facing the harbour. The food was very good and washed down with a beer for a very reasonably price. Worth another visit in the future. We arrived back at base at 21.15 pm.


The Marble River


The battle bus after a few trips down logging roads


On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine.


Very tall trees.

This is the end of our first week, more to follow.

Preparing for a trip to BC.

After my trip to the Laerdal in Norway and subsequent stay in hospital when I got home I was looking forward to a weeks trip to the far north of Scotland. The conditions where perfect but the fishing was a bit of a struggle and I managed one 5 lb salmon and a small sea trout for my efforts. The river we fish is a spate river and has produced good results in the last few visits and we will definitely be going again next year.

The next trip is to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and we leave Manchester Airport on Monday 25th September and return on 16th October giving us the possibility of 18 days fishing. This will be my seventh trip to the Island with my first being in 2003 and the last in 2015. The chief organizer of the trips is Phil who has been over to BC at least 14 times and has a good knowledge of the rivers on the the Island and some of the more remote places to fish. Our party for this trip will be myself, Phil and Ian who are travelling from Manchester, Geoff who is flying from Heathrow and Graham who is flying from Newcastle. We will be joined at sometime by Graham and his wife Eileen from Aberdeen. We have all fished on the Island before apart from Geoff who is on his first trip.

This week I have been sorting out the rod tube and travel case and going through my list of tackle that will be packed into the the tube. This took most of the day but at the end the tube was packed with all the fishing equipment and weighed in at 10.5kg.

The list consisted of : 9ft 9# and 9ft 10# single hand rods. 11ft 8# and 10ft 9″ 10# Switch rods and a 8ft Spinning rod. 2 Lamson Konic 4″, 1 Danielsson Control 7twelve, 1 Lamson Guru and a Spinning reel. A selection of lines for the single handed rods with 22ft sink tips ranging from 300 to 500 grain. A selection of Skagit heads with T11 to T20 tips in lengths of 5/10/15ft to suite. A Rio SSVT 8# with tips and a selection of tippet from 15lb to 25lb. A selection of flies and fly tying material with VERY STRONG hooks in sizes 2/4/6 singles (debarbed).  Home made Mepps type spinners. Wading Staff. Socks to pack out the spaces and various bits and bobs.

Next week I will sort out the case for all the personal clothing and fishing gear. I will be washing my waders and light weight wading jacket and reproofing with Nikwax products.

Roll on the 25th.