Easter long weekend allowed a bit of a break from training so I decided to get a first days fishing in.
I always enjoy fishing a new river and after a bit of research Alistair and I settled on fishing the River Stave in Maple Ridge/Mission (1 hr drive from Vancouver), and what a great decision it turned out to be. We would be targeting cutthroat trout, whitefish and maybe steelhead trout. (Steelhead flies below)
After a leisurely start we got to the river about 9 30. Getting down to the river is a little interesting as I was convinced we should take the most direct route down. I’m sure there were better routes than the cliff we had to scramble down but I always love a good adventure and it made it more entertaining.
Alistair and I had prepared very differently for this trip. I was in: hiking boots, winter hunting trousers, t shirt, jumper and gilet. Alistair had gone for wetsuit boots, shorts and t-shirt (and sun cream which I was very grateful for). The weather was absolutely stunning so Alistair probably got it right apart from the fact we had to wade to fish! Everybody else we saw had neoprene waders and rightly so as the river was freezing!!
It took a while to set the kit up. Switch rod for steelhead (need a separate licence), trout rod for cutthroat, spinning rod set up with bait for anything that would take it. We switched between methods with limited success but couldn’t see anyone else catching anything either and there didn’t seem to be much movement in the water.
It was a cool spot, fishing just below the dam which is impressive in its own right, but the down river view was spectacular. Travelling that bit further away from Vancouver also meant it was a lot quieter than some of the fishing in BC which made me a lot happier.
Alistair managed to find himself a tree stump to sit on which made a great photo but didn’t yield any fish. I joined him for a beer and a chat, but after he knocked my beer into the river I took offence and went back to fishing alone.
As I have mentioned the water was absolutely freezing. Alistair had to take regular breaks and I had to put on my Sealskinz socks although my trousers kept me surprisingly warm.
A few people were having some success catching whitefish on spinners and bait but we didn’t have any shrimp and every time I set up a spinning line I lost all my gear!! While my set up isn’t designed for these fish I also have never really learned these techniques. As a result I have no idea what I’m doing which always seems to end up in lost kit!
The photo below is me catching a float I had lost further up stream in my net, at least it saw some action!
We fished on till about 1 with no action on our lines and we then decided to call it day.
A lot of people ask me how I can enjoy fishing when I often don’t catch anything. Looking at the photo above I just don’t think you can beat a day out enjoying nature, the beautiful scenery and running water of a river. I am always so happy just standing in the river, casting away and watching the world go by, I can spend days doing it and will never getting bored. Not a sentiment shared by the rest of my family!
Once back at the car Alistair whipped out his portable BBQ and he had brought some kebabs and potato salad. An excellent end to a great day.
As we packed up I started a battle with the boot. I closed it and it reopened. This continued numerous times with me closing it ever harder. Alistair then pointed out the keys were probably in the boot, they were! This is a new one to me and seriously clever, modern cars never cease to amaze.
I don’t have the highest success rate with fishing and still strongly believe that if fishing in unfamiliar waters with new techniques then guides are such good value for money. That being said they do cost money and the feeling of working it out yourself and beating the pesky little fishes is so worth it. Just takes a little longer sometimes!! A bit like sailing and skiing every day you are out there you are always learning, even if it’s just what doesn’t work!
My next fishing trips will probably be targeting the Coho Salmon in May. I will definitely be able to get some trips in but training is really starting to ramp up now so will be keeping me occupied.
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