Brent Rogers from Nova Scotia landed this pink salmon during a fly fishing trip to the Comox Valley with his father.

Visitors enjoying pink salmon in Comox Valley

We sometimes take for granted the marvellous recreational fishing opportunities we have in our home waters. It was really brought home to me when I went on a short picture taking venture to get a picture for this week’s column. I went to a local beach that I had heard had a good run of pink salmon.

When I arrived I made a quick count and came up with 15 active anglers fishing with spinning outfits and fly casting. My first encounter was with a lovely lady from Vancouver who was fishing with a spinning outfit. She was enjoying a new wading outfit that her son had given her as a retirement gift.  During the morning she had landed one nice pink salmon.

Farther down the beach I watched a picture perfect scene with about a dozen anglers silhouetted against a clear sky and a setting sun. One  pair stood out as a father and son who were spin casting to some passing fish. The father appeared to be about twice as tall as the child – fishing is truly an inter-generation pastime.

In the meantime, a fly fisher in front of me connected with a nice pink salmon that was quite an active jumper. As he was playing his fish a youth closer to me also had a nice pink salmon take his fly. It would be hard to design a better picture taking opportunity than what was enfolding in front of me and none of the people were movie actors.

I stayed close to the young man as he did an excellent job of playing his fish and sliding it into the grass on the beach. The picture with this column is of Brent Rogers of Nova Scotia just out of university  and he was on a fly fishing trip with his father who joined us as I talked to the youth. The fish Brent had caught was a shiny bright male pink between four and five pounds, taken on a local pink salmon fly pattern. It was silver and shiny showing no sign of the coming spawning hump on males.

We frequently speculate on the value of fish caught in the recreational fishery. In this case, here I was on the beach and had discussions with two anglers, one from Vancouver and the other from Nova Scotia. Their prime purpose for being in the Valley was to fish for salmon on our local beaches. Their transportation costs would have been over $100 for the lady from Vancouver and probably close to $1,000 for the youth from the east.

All other things aside, the transportation costs of landing these two  fish were significant contributions to our tourism economy – what a marvellous way to make very good money on a species of salmon that is on the bottom of the commercial salmon market. I did not follow up with the other anglers so I have no way of knowing how many were from out of the Valley, but I suspect there were several other non residents in that fishing group.

We are nicely into the Area 14 annual pink salmon fishery. Due to the drought conditions all of the rivers in our area are closed to salmon fishing with the exception of the Big Qualicum. This means that until we get sufficient rain to open our rivers the 2015 pink salmon fishery will probably play out as a beach fishery or typical trolling from boats.

Regardless, they are wonderful fish to catch, eat fresh or smoke and can. Valley people enjoy some great fishing opportunities in Area 14.

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay seeking input on community goals and growth

Survey participants could win $100 gift certificates

Comox holds off on mask proclamation

Local doctor called for language to encourage people, businesses to support maks

Seeing double at FYi clinic in Comox Valley

From Dr. Myrfield to another at the local optometry practice

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Bevan Road in Cumberland is Valley’s industrial future

Latest plan shows Village’s vision for how the site can grow in years ahead

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Vancouver Island cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read