I have in my library a bundle of solunar tables covering the period from 1962 up to 1997. They are part of the material I have from the late Jack Shaw who was a guru of fly fishing in British Columbia covering the period from the early 1960s up to his death in 2000.
I co-edited the book The Pleasure of His Company, which is the story of his contribution to fly fishing based on his diaries and personal contacts. I have been an admirer and student of this talented man for over 55 years.
Jack was always aware of when solunar periods were happening on any lake he fished. If a solunar period happened during a mealtime, the meal time would be delayed until after or prior to the period. If at all possible Jack would make certain his fly would be in the water enticing a fish to bite during the period.
One day last week I was looking at the solunar tables as printed in the local Tide & Bite Guide 2015 and I noticed that on Friday, April 17, 2015 there was a major period starting just prior to 11 a.m. I suggested to Elaine that it would be an ideal time for me to enhance our evening meal with a fresh trout. Being the fortunate angler that I am, my very patient wife and partner agreed and I was free to go fishing Friday morning. Accordingly I left home in time to be on the water well in advance of the period.
When I arrived at the lake I launched my punt and in a short time I was joined by about 10 like-minded anglers, although I am not certain how many were motivated by the solunar periods. It is important to note that even though the fish may be in a biting mood during the period it is paramount to try to match the hatch unless you are fishing with worms.
From my last day of fishing we had used sedge pupa to good effect. The weather hadn’t changed that much so I started with a dark green sedge pupae pattern and tan dragonfly nymph on wet sinking lines. After about 15 minutes nothing happened so I changed the nymph to a #14 black micro leech with a black tungsten bead for a head. My reasoning was that it may be time for small leeches to begin to appear along the bottom of the lake.
During the next hour I had several bites and played two recently planted trout that I released. What was important for me was that prior to the major period I now had a pattern that should work.
I fished throughout the major period and delayed my lunch until it was over. When I changed from an exciting fishing session to a lunch break it was around 1:30 p.m. During the solunar period I had seven fish to the net and kept three. It was an exciting two and half hours with small leech patterns proving to be the solution to matching the hatch.
It is important to remember our passion is about fishing and once in awhile it is nice to do some catching. If you are trying to improve your catching skills read the section on solunar tables in the local Tide and Bite Guide. A tip of the hat to Larry Stefanyk for putting the tables in the guide. As a reminder, the guide may be picked up at the front desk of the Record and all of the local advertisers in the booklet.
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This Saturday, April 25 the Comox Valley Fly Fishers are hosting the annual convention of the British Columbia Federation of Fly Fishers at the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association clubhouse and grounds. Welcome to our guests.
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.