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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
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    7,628

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    No but I can imagine
    Maybe TommyC might tell us why he moved from Lancashire to BC himself then eh.
    I'll look forward to it..
    Piscator Non Solum Piscatur

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
    Posts
    18

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    Quote Originally Posted by simon grace View Post
    Maybe TommyC might tell us why he moved from Lancashire to BC himself then eh.
    I'll look forward to it..
    Well, I'm lucky enough to be a dual citizen. I fished in Terrace in 2010 and loved not only the fishing, but the scenery and the space. Finding a way to move my job to Terrace was the hard part! Once that problem was solved the path was clear!

    i see you live in Ilkley Simon. I lived in Ilkley and Steeton for three years up until March this year. Spoiled for choice trout fishing in that part of the world!

    T

  3. #13

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    Hi Tommy Ive travelled over to Terrace for the last two years, both trips in September , a fantastic place , and one that i will hopefully return to in the near future, Look forward to photos and reports

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyC View Post
    Well, I'm lucky enough to be a dual citizen. I fished in Terrace in 2010 and loved not only the fishing, but the scenery and the space. Finding a way to move my job to Terrace was the hard part! Once that problem was solved the path was clear!

    i see you live in Ilkley Simon. I lived in Ilkley and Steeton for three years up until March this year. Spoiled for choice trout fishing in that part of the world!

    T
    Yes..The Wharfe and Upper Aire (don't tell anyone about the Upper Aire though) are great fly fishing rivers. In fact I was up at Bell Busk rabbit shooting in late August and I saw two guys fishing above the bridge looking up to the weir.
    the_river_aire_at_bell_busk-_coniston_cold_cp_-_geograph-org-uk_-_1437325[1]-jpg
    I'm sure you'll know here I mean Tommy and I went to have a word with them. They were both Italian and they'd had two days at Bolton Abbey and a day on Coniston Cold. They rated it very highly and for the size of the river the trout go to a fair size. Should you hit a shoal of Grayling then a 1.5lbr is standard as you'll know.It's finding them that's the problem.
    One year they're there, the next year they've just disappeared!!
    Good luck for the future Tommy.
    Last edited by simon grace; 15-12-2016 at 11:49 AM.
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
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    18

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    Well, apparently we're having the coldest winter in BC for many years. With day time temperatures consistently in the -8 to -16 range, the Skeena and most of its tributaries are frozen over. Any day when the temperature is -5 or warmer has been an opportunity to grab a rod and get out there!

    The Kalum has stayed surprisingly ice free and given the lack of other options has been seeing a fair amount of angling pressure. I've been lucky enough to meet a couple of great local guys who've been kind enough to take me out and show me the ropes.

    Surpisingly enough, when we have managed to get out, the fishing's been excellent. One pool in particular, has yielded six fish in six trips to our group. The best of which was a cracking fish of well over 20lbs. My best so far is an eighteen pounder that stopped the fly dead in the pool before putting up a rather subdued fight.

    A few days ago, having tied my first steelhead fly at a local class, I was persuaded to venture out in -11! Even applying Vaseline to the rod rings only allowed about 15 casts before ice clearance was needed! Concentrating as much on survival as fishing, I crawled my creation through THE LIE in the pool and a fish absolutely smashed it. When it took me 50 yards into the backing on the first run I was convinced I was attached to a beast! How wrong I was. 5 minutes a later a fresh hen fish of around 7lbs came to the beach. I just could not believe that a fish that size could fight like that. My smallest fish since the move but definitely my favourite!

    Other pools have yielded two lost fish both taking on the dangle. The second of which I was convinced was a bull trout when it took meekly and came straight towards me when gentle pressure was applied. It quickly disabused me of that notion when, spying the bank, it went on an unstoppable run across the river and smashed the leader against some rocks.

    In these temperatures, two or three pools is plenty of fishing so I've not had the opportunity to prospect other places too much as yet. Temperatures are on their way into positive figures next week so I'm hoping to make the most of it! Will let you know how I get on.

    T

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
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    With the weather warming to around 2 or 3 degrees, I've managed two half day trips, and a full today, since my last post.

    The two half days were sobering affairs. The first due to leaking waders and the second due to a failed wader repair! Cold, fishless and with a strong upstream wind making casting challenging. In each case, a boot full of icy water made an early finish a necessity.

    Today on the otherhand was an absolute joy. The kind of day to squirrel away in your memory to keep you going on days like those described above.

    The air was crisp, and bright blue skies were broken by occasional banks of cloud.

    Armed with a new pair of waders, I waded across the river and hiked around two miles upstream.

    On the way, I bumped into another angler and we chatted for twenty minutes or so before going our separate ways. He was kind enough to give me a couple of flies (thanks Mat!) and when I lost my black and blue tube half way down a promising looking tail out, I thought I'd give one of them a swim. Around four or five casts later, the fly was skirting the riffle when I felt a series of decidedly fishy plucks at the fly. Everything went solid and then all hell broke loose. Ten minutes later, I was staring down at a beautiful, coloured buck of around 15lbs.

    The rest of the day passed without any further offers but a chance never felt far away. The missing piece in my casting fell into place, and I had a nice rhythm going all day.

    Days like today are what fly fishing is all about!

    If this warm (!) weather holds both the Copper and Lakelse rivers should open up for fishing. I'm looking forward to the Lakelse in particular and will let you know how I get on.

    On on a different note, I've recently read two books by one of the doyens of steelhead fishing, Lani Waller. As technical works, I would rate them only below Falkus' salmon and sea trout books; that is to say, outstanding. Where Waller is truly sensational, however, is writing about why we fish and the experience of fishing. The best I've read since Norman McClean in A River Runs Through It. He has that great writers gift of being able to articulate things that at some level you've always known to be true but have never been able to express.

    Anyway, as this post seems to have taken a turn for the philosophical, this is me signing out!

    T

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    By the river
    Posts
    578

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    Wow - keep those reports coming, it sounds idyllic.
    I had a week on the skeena system last October, caught nothing but fell in love with the place!
    Most of us couldn't imagine living in Terrace..
    I am lucky enough to tag a day on a business trip to the Olympic Peninsula in a month and I can't wait. But the Skeena will break the bank this year so a return is not on the cards til 2018 but my word what a place to fish.
    Steelhead on a Spey rod is one of life's 'must do's but I have not yet paid my dues yet despite 5 days of praying.
    Keep those reports coming, thanks for sharing and tight lines
    JJ

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
    Posts
    18

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    Thanks JJ - I'm sure you'll get that first steelhead soon. Hopefully, there's at least one with your name on it at the Olympic Peninsula later this year!

    Best.

    T

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
    Posts
    18

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    Managed another trip out on Wednesday to the Kalum. An overcast day with temperatures around 2 degrees but with a strong upstream wind making things feel much colder.

    No fish to report despite being on the water from sun up to just before dusk. I did, however, see my first beaver in the river which brightened things up. I had the river pretty much to myself which did make me wonder whether everyone else knew something I didn't!

    Too small a sample size yet to draw any conclusions, but I'm beginning to wonder whether there is a correlation between fishless days and upstream winds. Most of my fishless days so far have featured upstream winds but I'm drawing no conclusions for the time being. Would be interested in other people's views on this.

    A couple of general observations:

    1. In cold conditions, no matter how well wrapped up I am, I find taking a flask of coffee makes a huge difference. Particularly when you've just waded down a long run and your feet and legs are beginning to feel numb, a coffee gets your core temperature up and keeps you out on the river. Appreciate this is probably stating the obvious!

    2. Fishing regularly with heavy tips and cone head flies has made a real difference to my casting. When fishing lighter set ups some of your flaws are not as heavily punished. In my case, often setting the d loop slightly to far away from me and laying too much of the line on the water in the D. I've had to make real adjustments and am casting far better as a result (although not anywhere near the standard of the many real experts who frequent this forum!).

    The Copper and Lakelse are still out of commission due to huge build ups of ice caused by the recent big freeze. I'm told by the local experts that the bulk of the winter steelhead run is unlikely to materialise until the ice build ups lower down the Skeena have cleared.

    T

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Terrace, BC
    Posts
    18

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    Working UK hours doesn't always feel like such a great idea when I'm hauling myself out of bed at 2am in the morning. It does mean though that when work is quiet I can be on the river by 10am so it's not all bad!

    We had torrential rain on Friday night that bought the Copper and the Kalum up by two or three feet on Saturday and meant no fishing was possible the whole weekend. I thought today might be worth a look though, so I headed up to the upper river after work.

    The river was still up over a foot and my normal wade across to the other bank was not worth the risk. It was probably doable with a wading staff but I hadn't bought one with me. It was a little disheartening to see my favourite pool looking in perfect order and totally out of reach!

    Black and blue seems to be working very well for our group at the moment, so I tied on a four inch long black and blue tube that I'd tied myself the previous day. My fly tying is still pretty rudimentary but tying two or three flies a day means I'm making decent progress with it.

    When I arrived here I had a misconception that most of the steelhead would be held up in the bellies of the pools at this time of the year. I'm told this isn't right at all and while you'll hook the odd one in the deep stuff the most productive areas are the shallower tail outs. My own limited experience seems to be bearing this out as I'd say around two thirds of the fish I've hooked have been in the tails.

    Generally the fish seem to want the fly fished pretty slowly and with the heavy flows today it was often necessary to make at least one big upstream mend and then keep the rod tip seven or eight feet up to hold the running line out of the current to maintain a nice slow swing. I was doing just that through the tail of a pool when a series of small pulls suddenly developed into solid contact. In the heavy current the fish made a series of heavy runs before I was finally able to bring a fish of around 9lbs to the bank. Very pleased!

    T
    Last edited by TommyC; 31-01-2017 at 12:45 AM.

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