Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vancouver Island Report

I just returned from a few days on Vancouver Island filming an episode of The New Fly Fisher focused on urban fly fishing.  We focused our efforts on a number of the unique lakes located within the Nanaimo city limits.  This episode also celebrated the first time good friend Brian Chan and I filmed together.  We had a great time and gathered lots of great content.

Nanaimo Harbor Shoreline
The fishing was pretty consistent although we didn't run into anything large.  These small lakes are stocked on a regular basis and the trout are almost always cooperative.   We used leeches and chironomids under indicators most of the time as the imitative approach worked best.  Balanced leeches were particularly deadly.  My most productive pattern featured a tail of brown Stillwater Solutions™ marabou, a body of Stillwater Solutions™ olive Crystal Chenille and gold bead.  The best hook for this pattern or any of my balanced designs is the up eye Mustad Ultra Point 32833BLN.  Check out the image below to see how it hangs.  These patterns also work well fished traditionally without an indicator.

Balanced Sparkle Leech

Hook:  Mustad Ultra Point Up Eye Jig Hook 32833BLN #8-#10
Thread: 8/0
Tail: Marabou, Color to Suit, Mixed With a Few Strands of UV Pearl Flashabou
Body:  Stillwater Solutions Crystal Chenille, Medium, Color to Suit
Bead:  Black, Silver or Gold Tungsten Bead on a Straight Pin Secured to Shank

Tying Note:  Please Visit my Flies Section on My Site for Tying Guidelines

When fish weren't cooperating an olive or hot orange Booby fished on a fast sinking type IV or VII line shook them from their slumber.  The marabou tail and large foam eyes shakes and rattles the Booby when fished with a brisk handtwist or strip retrieve.  When using Booby's a fast retrieve reduces the risk of deep hooking which is almost assured with a static Booby.  Use short shank hooks such as the Mustad C49S as well.  Smallmouth bass also fell for both presentation techniques.  A special thanks goes out to Gord MacDonald who provided a camera boat, took us to his local lakes and put up with our warped sense of humor, well mine in particular!

Brian suspends a chironomid from shore.
The 2010 season also marks my inaugural guiding season.  I have been asked for many years if I guide and now I do.  I offer instructional guiding for one or two anglers for stillwater trout, pike or walleye on the fly in the comfort of my fully outfitted boat.  I provide complete instruction, all equipment, lunch, flies.  All you need is a willingness to learn and perhaps a digital camera, although I always bring mine along.  Please see my Guiding page on my site for rates and additional information.  June is pretty well booked but I have space available in July, August and September.  So if you are in the Edmonton area let me know and perhaps we can hook up. 

May sees me home for a reasonable amount of time.  I will be filming another TV show in the middle part of the month but I hope to spend some time exploring my local favorites for the first time.  Keep an eye out for my posts on these waters.

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