In between sightseeing, boat cruises, camping and driving, we did some fishing.
Thank God for trout.
On the last two days of our trip (before driving home), we fished the lake with the proverbial fish on every cast with rainbows averaging fourteen inches. We didn’t catch them on every cast, but we did get a bite. Joe, the owner of the Nechako Lodge directed us to Cicuta (aka Rum Cache) Lake.
Forgot my sledgehammer.
We drove along the Skeena River from the mouth to Terrace on Father’s Day. There were lots of fishermen and families. Most people drove their trucks on the gravel bar and set up camp for the day. Although we didn’t see anyone catching fish, the tackle shop in Terrace reported the springers were in the river and fishing was excellent. After stocking up on 10 ounce weights and spin-n-glows (clowns and lettuce and tomatoes), we headed off to the gravel bar and followed the example of the local fishermen. Perhaps because we forgot our sledgehammer, we did not catch any. But Dawn did hook and play one. It showed itself, a large fish, and then broke her line. The locals use a hand sledgehammer to drive their road holders into the gravel and then to bonk the fish. A couple of them caught a fish.
She took my fishing spot
A few years ago, we had a memorable time fishing for salmon with a fly rod on the Xnukw. We passed over it four times and didn’t see any salmon. The last time we stayed for lunch. The tide was about to turn. Hungry looking eagles were sitting in trees. We watched a porcupine and enjoyed the weather. Sure enough, after lunch we saw a few salmon working their way upstream and then a pod and another pod. I was about to get my fly rod when Dawn said. Look at the bear. There was Mama Bear walking into the river exactly where I was going to go. Then we saw two cubs. I decided fishing with Mama was a bad idea. As we drove away, we saw yet another cub.
Canada Day BBQ
Downstream of New Aiyansh, the Tseax meets the Nass. The sockeye run up here. Based on the number of eagles, it seemed promising. After a hike through the lava and through bear territory, we found a pool full of sockeye. I began casting my fly rod. Soon after, a local showed up with a boom box blaring from his knapsack. I hooked a sockeye and began playing it. The local joined in with the fishing. I caught another one and decided to keep it for Canada Day dinner. A half-dozen more locals showed up, also with large boom boxes. By then, it was crowded and the locals were intent on filling their freezers. As we hiked back and looked at all the signs of bears, I wished I had a loud, boom box.
We went for a marine tour of the Haida sites in the Gwaii Haanas Marine Park. We did some bottom fishing and caught ling cod and other fish by jigging large spoons over pinnacles in the Hecate Straits. We had some good dinners.
As we were leaving the Nass River Valley to start our long drive home, we took a look at the Cranberry. People were catching fish. In the evening, I managed to catch one. We drove 1.5 hours to a motel and returned the following day, but conditions had changed (again). We did meet Leonard and Lauren. Leonard worked for the tribe in Canyon City. He tags fish at the fish weir and then drives around and catches fish to see where they have gone. Lauren lives in Prince George and has been fishing the area for twenty-four years. He says the best time is July 10 to August 10.
Our original plan was to meet up with a friend at the Skagit River near Hope to camp and fish for a week. We have done this several times before and really enjoyed it. But drought and heat took their toll. Basically anyplace south of Prince George is closed to fishing in an effort to conserve the fish due to extreme conditions. Maybe it will reopen toward the end of September.