I am not convinced that Spider Lake is much different than Maple or Echo when it comes to good fishing for stocked trout. These lakes are part of small group of lakes on Vancouver Island that are near centres of population with easy access – consequently they get heavy fishing pressure throughout the year and they are stocked accordingly.
All three lakes have numerous shore-fishing locations that make them adequate choices for family fishing excursions during the spring break. One of the most useful tools in selecting appropriate times to go fishing is to check the solunar tables in the The Island Fisherman Tide and Bite Guide (2015) available free at the Record front desk or other advertisers.
However it is important to keep in perspective that the best time to go fishing is any time the weather is suitable. One aspect of Spider Lake that is different than the other two is that no motors of any kind are allowed. It is simple, if you go on the water with any type of boat, you supply the power to move it around the lake.
Spider Lake is also popular with people who enjoy exploring its many bays and islands from kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. It gets its name from the narrow channels and islands that feed into the main lake, reminding one of a spiders body.
I fished Spider Lake last Friday in the company of like-minded, addicted fishers. It was not a good day to fish according to the solunar tables, but the weather was sunny and reasonably warm. The type of angling varied according to the habits of the individuals doing the fishing.
There was one group shore fishing with worms, power bait and floats. Another group was trolling worms with willow leaf type trolls on spinning outfits. A third group were anchored and fly fishing with wet and dry lines using small chironomid fly patterns. Then there was another group of which I was a part slowly mooching nymph type patterns on sinking fly lines in the deeper water.
At the end of the day when we called it quits it was interesting to see the results of the day’s fishing. The group fishing from shore had seven nice trout to show for their efforts and one of the participants was in his 90s. The willow leaf troll anglers had two respectable trout in the 13-inch range. The chironomid fishers who were releasing their fish had only two small fish to the boat. For my part I had one fish to show for my efforts and it was a nice 17-inch rainbow, pictured with the column.
Virtually all of the anglers fishing Spider Lake this day had decades of angling experience. If you had asked me to predict the most successful type of fishing for the day I would not have put the shore fishing the outstanding producer for the day. If there is a moral to this tale it is that “Shore fishing in not necessarily a handicap.”
Next Friday, March 27 local school children will be entering their annual week off for spring break. In checking the tide guide, there should be some good opportunities to observe the herring run and associated wildlife from local beaches; which should still be in progress. It is a poor week for clamming and gathering oysters. On the other hand the solunar tables show some excellent fishing times during the day throughout much of the week.
Please remember that lifejackets should be part of any fishing trip gear.
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.