In a culture that places great emphasis on salmon, I was surprised to hear my grandson, Kenzie Brown of Edmonton, recount about how they would like to catch a nice lingcod; since to date, fishing with charter operators out of Prince Rupert they had been unable to get them to try for lingcod. Everybody spent all their time fishing for salmon and halibut.
Species such as lingcod and rockfish were not on the target list with the charter operators that he fished with. This was the opening discussion on the possibilities of getting on the ocean to fish for lingcod with Madelynn, his eldest daughter who was already quite a successful little angler in her own right. The picture accompanying the column is of the two of them with two respectable lingcod they caught off Hornby Island due to the generosity of one of my angling friends.
Madelynn was coached in the not insignificant battle she had with her very respectable lingcod. We were impressed with her fishing skills as after several up and down runs she finally brought her large lingcod to the net.
Grandchild season on Vancouver Island usually starts at the end of June and continues until the Labour Day weekend. It is an especially enriching season for family gatherings and special times for grandparents who have retired to Vancouver Island and smaller islands.
Our great grandchild run in 2015 was especially enriching because we had all nine of them make the migration this summer. Mind you there are times when you wonder what’s happening!
In the popular press there are a growing number of articles that stress the importance of getting children into the outdoors where they can experience nature in an unorganized setting. During the summer there is no better place for children to experience raw nature than on a local beach that is covered with rocks and small tidal pools that are exposed at low tide.
When they turn over a rock and little fish and crabs scurry for hiding places they become completely involved with the real life scenes at their feet. They discover little hermit crabs making homes in empty snail shells and beautifully coloured oyster drill snails.
Each rock is a separate community of life. They are taught that the rock should be returned to its original position to protect its inhabitants. Our great grandchildren range in age from one year to 11 years. The three year-old marvelled at the sights, while the older children added the challenge of collecting empty shells in their pails. Careful selection of oyster shells produced some special shell dishes that would be very popular as little dishes for trinkets, candy etc. – when they returned home to Alberta.
Three-year-old Linden Tait from Quesnel was particularly intrigued by all the sea life around him in the little pools of water as he waded through them in his little boots. His great grampa saw in his special interest the makings of a future angler and outdoor person.
You may note that the children on these seaside excursions were in places that were rich in life – such as tidal pools and rocky beaches. Their grandpa’s bias is to get children and others interested in the natural world around them. Building sand castles and so forth on a sandy beach in also a great way to get children interested in the outdoors.
Our islands are surrounded by thousands of kilometres of various types of marine shorelines that are a rich resource for family adventures. Area 14 has about 114 access points from Oyster River to Deep Bay. We truly live in a magic place to learn about nature.
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.