River Orkla July 2018

Base camp on Joholen beat on the River Orkla.

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I left Manchester on Friday 6th at 10.20am on route to Gothenburg Airport with a change of flight in Copenhagen. The plane arrived on time and I was met at the airport by Anders my Swedish friend. We had arranged a fishing trip to the River Orkla in Norway with three other friends, Goran (Joran), Hakan (Hawkan) and Claes and would be driving up to the lodge early Sunday morning. Before that there was a little matter of a football game on Saturday between my host’s team, Sweden, and England. Goran came in time to watch the game so I was outnumbered by my two fishing pals and Anders partner Anna. The result was a win for England 2-0  and a very subdued Swedish support.

We left Anders home at 03.00am on Sunday morning for a 9 hour drive through some spectacular countryside and reach our destination at Joholen fishing beat at about 13.30pm after taking a couple of rest stops on the way. The rules of the river are that waders and boots, rods and reels have to be disinfected and a certificate purchased to this effect. My fishing licence had been purchased on line before leaving the UK.

The accommodation at the beat was in two log cabins with one of the cabins having cooking and dining facilities and a lounge with easy chairs and a TV. A separate cabin housed a shower room and a toilet. By the river there was a hut with a large table and bench seating and a open fire grate with a wire tray for cooking on. We BBQ some sausage in the evening and they tasted wonderful after our long journey. Hakan had decided to fish and came back with a picture of a nice sea trout and later Anders caught the first salmon of the trip a nice fresh fish of about 3 kg.

Hakan’s Sea Trout.IMG-20180708-WA0000

Anders salmon.IMG-20180709-WA0000

We had all retired to bed by 12.00 midnight for a well-deserved rest after a few beers and a couple of celebratory shots of single malt Scotch whisky.

On Monday morning we gathered in the main cabin for breakfast and to discuss plans for the days fishing. It had rained in the night, the first rain for weeks, but this had made little difference to the water level. The temperature was a lot cooler that the Sunday and made the fishing a lot more of a pleasure than the 25deg C and higher of the previous weeks. We had seen a lot of fish on the Sunday and held high hopes for the day ahead and this seemed to be proved when Hakan returned with a broken hook lost in a fish.  My first run down had produced no takes but I had seen five salmon running through the pools. I took a rest then fished down a nice fast run with a nice pool at the end which looked very fishy. As I was nearing the bottom an angler from the beat below appeared so I left the water to have a chat. His name was Jan and he too was from Sweden and was fishing with his father for the week and would then be joined by his wife and children for a further week on the river. He had fished the river for a number of years previous and told me of the best fly patterns that worked and some of the better pools on the beat. We said our farewells and I continued to fish the pool while mulling over the advice he had given. I decided to change fly to one I had tied on a salmon single hook before coming on the trip. I fished a short line at first to get the fly to swing across the bottom of the pool just down from the fast water. I lengthened the line after each cast and on the sixth cast I had a very strong pull and the fish was on. Jan had seen that I had a fish on and came back up and after a short fight I landed my first Orkla salmon, a fish of 3kg in weight.

My first Orkla SalmonIMG-20180709-WA0001 (2).jpg

In the afternoon the river had started to fall and by the evening had gone down by 25cm and was now very low and fish we had spotted running earlier on Sunday and Monday morning now appeared to have stopped. Goran and Anders prepared the evening meal on the BBQ and we ate at the cover table area by the river. Very pleasant.

TUESDAY 10th July.

With the river very low and the high temperature from a cloudless sky the prospects for the day did not seen too good for salmon fishing. Early morning proved fruitless and most of the late morning and early afternoon was spent lazing around and setting up rods with floating lines and a variety of flies to see if any fish could be tempted.

Goran prepared a BBQ meal by the river of Pork belly and Burgers and Anders assisted and prepared sautéed new potatoes with sliced mushrooms. This was washed down with a couple of glasses of a nice Italian Red wine. We all then retired to the main cabin to watch the first of the World Cup football semi-finals between France and Belgium with France taking the honours 1-0 and progressing to the final to be played on Sunday.

Late fishing seemed like a good idea due to the present conditions and Anders was rewarded in the early hour with a Salmon of 4kg and a small Sea Trout. Hakan also had a small Sea Trout.

Anders Second SalmonIMG-20180717-WA0001

WEDNESDAY 11th July

The river had dropped again overnight and the temperature was climbing and by 11.00am was at 26deg C and not the best of conditions for fishing. I’d got up early and decided to try a pool in the middle of the beat which had a good flow of water and a nice depth even with the low water level. After a couple of hours and the sun hitting the water I decided to return to the cabin for breakfast and met up with Anders, Goran and Hakan who had all had the same idea as me. Claes had rowed across the river and was fishing at the top of the beat and didn’t return till later in the morning. No fish had been caught or seen and this was the same in the afternoon and by 16 .00 pm we had all returned to the cabin apart from Anders who we thought had gone to sleep on the bank.

Cooking on the real BBQ.20180712_111248.jpg

The Motley Crew20180712_190840.jpg

It was my turn to cook the meal and so I set to work preparing the meat which I covered with a marinade and left in the refrigerator till later when it would be cooked on the BBQ. I was serving the steak with a shredded cabbage, carrots, new potatoes and a sauce. I had asked Goran to assist by cooking the meat as he seems to be a bit of an expert going by the two previous meals he had BBQ’d and I prepared the rest and set the table outside. We ate at 18.45 pm and the meal was delicious, if I say so myself, and was accompanied by a nice red wine. As it was my meal I was responsible for the washing up and finished just in time to watch the Croatia verses England World Cup semi-final. After a good start England took the lead from a free kick and they held this score till half time. The longer the game went on the Croatian team began to control the game and scored an equalizing goal and after 90 minutes the game had to go into extra time. Croatia scored in the second half of extra time and held this lead till the final whistle and would now progress to the final against France on Sunday. England would play Belgium on Saturday for the 3rd and 4th placing.

Around 23.30 pm we had decided to try a different approach to the fishing and work into the early hours. I returned first to the cabin at 02.30 am and the rest over the next couple of hours with Hakan getting back at 04.30 am. No salmon or sea trout showed and our plan had proved fruitless.

 

 

THURSDAY 12th July.

I got up at 06.00 am and visited one of the pools to see if any salmon had moved into the swim in the early morning but still no show or takes. The marker we had put in the river was showing a rise in the level of 5cm to 6cm which I hoped was a good sign that the hydro system was letting in a bit more water. It turned out that the extra water was from a downpour higher up the river and by 13.00 the water had taken on a bit of colour. The level was slowly dropping back but hopes were high for some fish as Anders friend who was fishing lower down the river had seen a lot of salmon running the river.

The colour in the water increased in the afternoon and the prospects of a salmon decreased and no fish showed in any of the pools. Anders and I decided to try the lower pool and at the top in the rough water the wind took my hat and it disappeared into the murky depths never to be see again. I was very fond of that hat.

It was Claes turn to cook and he had brought a Beef Bougineon from home which was served with mash potato and a Carbonate Sauvignon red wine. It went down very well and all the meal and wine disappeared into a group of very ravenous fishermen. We spent the rest of the evening chatting and the partaking of a few beers and a shot of single malt. I retired at 23.30 pm and woke at 8.00 am on the following morning. Not sure if I was tired or maybe something else.

FRIDAY 13th July.

Claes and Hakan had gone out in the early hours of the morning and had managed to make contact with some Sea Trout, the biggest at 1.5kg. They reported that the water had cleared overnight but the water was still very low. I went with Hakan to the top of the beat and I was fishing with a full floating Short Head Spey line with a sparsely dressed hairwing fly I had tied on a size 4 single salmon hook. The rod was A Guideline 13ft 9” 9/10 LXi 6 piece and the reel an LTS Precision. We both managed to hook and land small Sea Trout but no salmon. We returned to the cabin and Hakan began preparing the meal he was to serve early at 16.00 pm so we could fish early evening to correspond with the high tide and hoping this may see some fresh salmon in the system. I change my reel and line for a Danielsson H5D and a Rio AFS with a 2.6 ips 10 ft. versaleader on the end and another hairwing fly I had tied on a size 2 salmon single hook. I fished through the evening and met with Goran at the bottom of the beat and we decided to light a fire in the stone fire grate by the river. A wooden table and chairs had been put there by the owner for the anglers use and we brought some bread and sausages and BBQ’d them over the open fire. Hakan joined us and more sausages were consumed. We returned to the cabin around 01.30 am and retired to bed for a well earned rest.

SATURDAY 14TH July.

I got up at 08.00 am and had breakfast with Anders and Hakan. Claes and Goran had gone out fishing early and returned at around 10.00 am but no salmon contacted. Anders went to fish the top of the beat and I fished the bottom pools. In the fast water at the top of the pool I made contact with a fish but after a very short period it was off the hook. No other contact was made and after reaching the bottom of the pool I returned to the cabin for a meet up with the others. Anders had made contact with a salmon but lost it as he went to tail it. Frustration.

As this was our last day we had to clean the cabins as part of the hire contract and also to start to gather our kit together ready for an early start on Sunday morning. Anders had the honour of preparing the last supper and set to work with the assistance of Goran to prepare a BBQ’D ROAST BEEF a la RIVER ORKLA served with a Red Wine Sauce, Potatoes, carrots and Red and Green Peppers.

The meal will be served between 15.00 and 16.00 pm so we can watch the England verses Belgium game to decide the 3rd and 4th places in the World Cup and with a bit of good driving we should be back at Anders home on Sunday to watch the final between France and Croatia.

The older of the cabins.20180709_183041 (2).jpg

All in all a great trip with good company and with better water levels I’m sure the fishing would have been better.

Anders took me to the airport on Monday for my return flight to Manchester via Copenhagen and that is where the trip took a bit of a downturn. The departure information showed that the flight to Manchester had been cancelled but not where to go to find out why. A SAS official directed me to the Transfer Department were after a bit of a wait a rep informed us that we had been transferred onto a flight to Heathrow leaving at 18.30 pm  and it was now 17.45pm  and I needed to get to the far end of the terminal. The flight left late at 19.00 pm due to a baggage problem. On arrival at Heathrow I given a £6 meal ticket at told to be at a coach station for a trip up to Manchester. Next problem , collect  luggage, nowhere to be found. A trip to the baggage handling department to register missing bag and I was not alone as other passengers on the same flight to Manchester had the same problem. After getting the necessary  paperwork the time had move on a a coach had to be found just giving time to get a meal deal from Smiths.

The coach arrived at Manchester Airport at 01.05 am and after a very kind offer of a lift I arrived home at 02.00 am on Tuesday morning and went I straight to bed. After a few phone calls my baggage finally arrived at 11.45 am on Wednesday too late for me to organize my gear for the trip up to the Highlands and so I would lose a days fishing and travel up on Thursday. News from my fishing friends who had been in the Highlands since Monday was not favourable and the rivers were very very low and so I am packing my trout gear for some good fishing on the lochs.

More to follow.

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Update 22nd June 2018

Well lots to report about after my last update of April 24th.

On the 26th April I drove up to Mitton on the River Ribble with my girlfriend Maureen for my Spey casting lesson with Jim Fearn. I had arranged with Jim to give Maureen her first casting lesson with a single hand rod and this went very well. Jim had set up a Sage 9ft 6# rod with a matching Rio Single Spey floating fly line and the lesson was given on the field by the river and lasted 30 minutes which is enough if you have never cast a rod before. Maureen enjoyed it very much and we may have a convert to the fishing fraternity. Maybe.

This was my third lesson using just a full head Spey line as I think if you can master a spey line then the rest comes a lot easier. Jim had set up the new Vision Tool 15ft 10/11 double handed rod with the cork handle and a Rio Long Head Spey line with a head of 70 ft and 840 grains.  This is a link to a video of Jim using a Tool with shooting head of about 40 ft and fishing a Sunray Shadow. Very informative and his casting is awesome.

Earlier in the month Ian and I had decided to join Ceiriog Fly Fishers club and attended the AGM at the Parish Hall in Chirk and a matter arising was the proposal to merge with Corwen and District Angling Club, CADAC, who have some very good fishing on the Welsh Dee. This proposal was later carried and the merger is in the process of being carried out. Ian and I will probably take a full salmon and trout membership when it comes to renewal as CADAC has some good salmon pools on the Dee for both fly and spinning.

On Sunday the 6th May Ian and I drove up to Pitlochry and met up with Geoff and Phil at the Birchwood Hotel were we would be staying for three nights and fishing the Lower Tummel beat on Mon/Tues/Wed. Jim, John, Dave and a another would be fishing the second half of the week. After a nice curry at a restaurant in town we retired to the hotel bar for a sample from the bar before retiring for the night. We met up for a very nice full Scottish breakfast, with porridge oats as a starter and arrived on the beat just after 9.00 am. Condition were perfect will about 18″ on the gauge and the river running clear but the water temp. was a bit too cold and this effected the fishing for the first two days. We managed two fish of about 9 ld on the third day and the other guys had one fish each making six for our week.

On the 24/25th May Ian and I, along with two of Ians friends, had some trout fishing on the Derbyshire River Wye at Cressbrook. This is a lovely river and the fly life was in abundance. It was a bit early for Mayfly and the river keeper said he thought the flylife was maybe two to three weeks behind due to the cold weather earlier in the season. Some Mayfly did show but the main hatches were olives and we had good sport on both submerged patterns and small dries. I used a 7ft 3# rod with floating line and a short sinking polyleader for the submerged flies. Over the two days I caught about 25 fish both wild browns and stocked browns and rainbows up to 16″ in length.

Well I have a weeks holiday with my girlfriend in Anglesey, North Wales, and will be making use of our membership of the National Trust to visit places of interest in the area. When we return I will start to get my gear together for my trip over to Norway on the 6th July to fish the River Orkla with my Swedish friends Anders, Goran, Claes and Hakan. Looking forward to fishing the Orkla for the first time and it is a river that has some large salmon.

Tight lines everybody.

 

Update

Well the talk Ian and I gave to the North West branch of the Fly Dressers Guild went down well with the members. I gave a insight into the organisation and tackle for our trip to Vancouver Island, BC last September/October and Ian showed some of the flies and spinners we used. He tied up a fly that proved successful for Coho and a very simple fly that can be tied while still in the water that we call the “Snot Fly” examples of which are shown in my previous blog posts.

At the recent BFFI show at the Stafford Showground I visited the Discover Tenkara stand and picked up a bit of literature which I read though when I returned home. I registered online to receive a free Tenkara email update and the lessons are now up to 12 that I have copied and pasted into a Word document for future reference. I also purchased a very well produced DVD called  “Complete Kebari Collection” which demonstrates the tying of 12 popular Tenkara flies. John Pearson one of the guys from Discover Tenkara does an excellent job showing three examples from the four main types of fly, Ondori Futsu Kebari, Mendori Jun Kebari, Mendori Sakasa Kebari and Ishigaki Secret, Honryu Sakasa and Honryu Kebari, the last three being weighted using tungsten beads. Ian is the fly tyer and has loads of tying material and I have twisted his arm to let me have some Pheasant and Rooster feathers to get me going at these smaller flies on size 12 to 18 hooks.  Link to the web site http://www.discovertenkara.com/

I have a Spey casting lesson coming up on Thursday with Jim Fearn on the Ribble at Mitton to brush up my technique, ha ha, and I have found this very useful ironing out bad habits that have crept in over the last season. My girlfriend is coming with me and will be having her first lesson on a single handed rod and maybe get the bug and come trout fishing with me.

My first salmon trip is at the beginning of May and I will be staying in a nice hotel, The Birchwood, in Pitlochry and I will be fishing for three days on the Lower Tummel beat with Ian, Geoff and Phil. The Thur/Sat will be fished by Dave, John, Jim and his friend from Crieff. This has been a good trip over the last few years and we are hoping for a good water level and lots of fresh salmon.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.