Jackpot on Spider Lake

RALPH SHAW caught this prime 16-inch triploid rainbow trout at Spider Lake.

I decided to go trout fishing on Spider Lake the day after the Easter long weekend in the belief that the lake would not be too crowded. The lake was not crowded as in the real sense too many boaters, but when I arrived in the bay I had planned to fish there were nine boats plying the waters of the relatively small area. I took a quick assessment of the situation and opted to fish out in the main body of the lake.

You may recall that the weather has been far from warm, and most days seem to be plagued with rain showers and strong breezes. None of these conditions promise a good day on the water, but not withstanding if you dress appropriately; i.e., warm clothes and rain gear you can still have a great day in the outdoors. Believe me this old man knows how to dress warmly for inclement weather.

Before leaving the bay I took a slow turn around it while dragging a couple of flies behind my boat. During my quick survey one boat landed a nice trout taken on a gang troll. I talked to a friend and he reported several small trout, but no large ones. In my exploratory short trip one small trout was released from this season’s catchable trout stocking and I also had several good strikes. Trout were dimpling all over the bay and some of them looked to be good size. They were feeding on emerging chironomids (midges), which is an important trout food at this season of the year.

Upon my return to the main portion of the lake I noted there were only two other boats in view. As I have learned over the years a lake will have quite a few places that offer different sources of food at the same time. I knew one sheltered area that offered a good chance of taking a fish on a dragonfly nymph or sedge fly pupae. I wasn’t in the sheltered bay very long until I hooked and landed a prime 14-inch trout that fell for a small imitation of a sedge pupa. After landing the fish I quickly killed it and dressed it to put it on ice as is my custom. After examining the stomach contents, sure enough this bay of the lake was serving fresh sedge pupae.

As lunch time approached I opted to anchor my boat in open water of about 20 feet in depth that gave evidence of hatching chironomids. Stiff breezes challenged my anchors but they held. The lunch time show was one to remember. Over the years I have frequently written about the eagles who maintain a toll system on the lake where they take trout from successful anglers. On this day the eagles did not seem interested in what anglers where catching and I think I discovered why. As I sat quietly watching the pleasant scene before me I realized that an osprey was flying near my boat and then it dove into the water near the boat and came up with a prime trout of about 12 inches. As it started to fly across the lake two eagles came out of nowhere and harassed the osprey until it dropped the fish and one of the eagles scooped it up. As the show continued another osprey appeared on the scene and both of them were catching fish and being harassed in the process. As it turned out the ospreys were able to get away with some fish, and the eagles also seemed to get their share of the bounty – in the meantime anglers went free of harassment from the eagles. There are some wonderful nature shows away from TV screens if you just take a day and go fishing.

In the meantime most of the anglers had left the small bay so it was time to have another look at one of my favourite fishing holes. There were still five boats in the bay, but none of them were near where I wanted to fish. Large trout tend to feed near the bottom where there are both large insects and the small chironomid larvae. Within half an hour of plying my fly near the bottom, the prime 16-inch triploid rainbow trout in the photo above made my day complete and a near nine out of ten rating. No wonder fishing is addictive.

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.

 

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Campbell River schools, First Nations preserve traditional tongue

Project uses new technology to promote language to kids

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Vancouver Island nursery property sells in historic deal

Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries in north Nanaimo sold

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

17th Street to be repaved

Motorists can expect closures and detours

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Most Read