Posted by: williekp | September 20, 2018

A small indulgence and some local trouting

I have been a member of Beaconsfield Squash Club for more than twenty years. I play regularly. I have competed in many club competitions and won nothing. That was until last week. Before I went to Canada I entered a competition called The Walton Shield. It is handicapped according to league position. You had to play four games and win them all to win it and to cut a long story short, yours truly won it!

My thanks go to my opponents and the organisers. There has been a gap in my life’s achievements which has now been filled by my ability to look at my name on a winner’s board at the Squash Club. It is not a major trophy, but at my age it will do. Picture of board said board with name may follow.

My fishing buddy Bill invested in membership of a nice piece of the river Kennet to have access to chalk stream fishing for trout and grayling. He kindly hosted me yesterday for a final chuck for this season. We both had success with all the fish safely returned. It was a tricky day with 40mph gusts!

Many thanks Bill for a great day out and a day off my diet!

The next instalment won’t show any pictures of fish because we are going salmon fishing on the river Tweed. There has been a shortage of rain and fish this year and currently neither are predicted for our visit. An update will follow.

Posted by: williekp | September 5, 2018

A picture is worth a thousand

Pleased to say yesterday and today have been better fishing. Yesterday we fished the lower Kalum River which is a tributary of the mighty Skeena. It is still a pretty big river but the fish seemed to prove easier to find. I had 5 hookups. Two steelhead, one which broke me off and one I lost at the net but the tug is the drug so all well with that. I hooked a chinook which is the biggest of the salmon species. It took me about 300 yds down River before it spat the hook. I might still have been playing it now had it not gotten off. I dread to think what a big fresh one takes to get to the net. The other two pulls were a bull trout which came to the net and something else mysterious which we didn’t get a look at.

Today I was back on the Skeena and accompanied by my new fishing dog (wolf). I managed to catch a species which should be abundant but which is proving elusive this year. That is the silver salmon or Coho. We got one to pose for its picture but the other got off. C’est la vie.

Coho release

Coho posing

Bull trout

New best fishing dog.

I am honoured tomorrow because the chap who owns the lodge here is one of the best Spey casting instructors around. He is coming out of guiding retirement tomorrow to help me get to terms with casting from my wrong side. Think of it as learning to write left handed with a hook flying around your ears.

Watch this space.

Posted by: williekp | September 3, 2018

You can always tell when the fishing isn’t all that great

I have been getting to know the natives.

Dare I say sleeping with the natives. But I have competition.

They say steelhead are ‘the fish of a thousand casts’. I have been doing some figuring. It takes about 90 seconds to retrieve the last cast, put out the current cast and fish it through. That means about 40 casts per hour. Fish a 7 hour day and you have racked up about 280 casts so one fish every 4 days. Yesterday was day 5 since I had my fish so I am overdue. Having said that, I hooked up yesterday afternoon, only for it to come off as soon as I put any pressure on it. Hmmm, better angling today I hope.

The bears are everywhere !

Let’s hope for a bit more fishy content tomorrow.

Posted by: williekp | September 1, 2018

A few pictures to capture the atmosphere of this place.

Early start 6amimg_1848

Putting in at the boat slipwayimg_1839

Cody and Coal the fishing dog

Fish on

Spectacular scenery on a wild riverimg_1836

Look at those shoulders

Happy angler Willie with first ever Steelhead 37inches about 18 lbs

Premature death of a set of wading boots. Don’t buy Korkers.

Leaving the Kalum River Lodge now and moving to the Skeena Spey Lodge

Let’s hope for a bit more action over the next few days.

Posted by: williekp | August 28, 2018

Fishing the Skeena River with Kalum River Lodge

8cf23eae688bf783e9e267513fcf0e8a104B2FED-8511-45F6-96DF-46AC652C12C173ACF916-C250-4549-BBEC-514E0A62A198Well I made it to Terrace but there were 5 hours to kill between landing and getting picked up to go to the lodge. I found a hotel but it didn’t do my diet any good. The lodge is beautiful, single rooms en-suite, lovely communal areas, good food and well organised. I feel like a bit of an interloper. My buddy Mike is not here due to an unfortunate accident with his wrist. Everyone else here has been coming on this week for multiple years. They all know each other and the proprietors like family and stories of fish caught and fish lost abound.

Yesterday was the first day on the river which is always stressful. What kit to take, how many layers to wear, what flies to fish, fitting in with one’s boat partners and the guide, etc etc. It all distracts from the primary purpose of having fun and catching fish. Both my boat partners had fish to the bank within a few casts and by going home at 1600 I had really nothing to show for my efforts. Back to. U-Tube to find out how to cast this different line and hope I would do better today.

Up at 5.10 to breakfast , Travel to the boat launch and find 3 boats waiting to put in. Despite the fact that the river is vast, there are only a few favoured ‘spots’. This leads to a sort of race to get one, which we lost yesterday. So we ended up fishing a run about half a kilometre long. It all started happening for me then. I was casting better with a couple of tips from the guide. I was covering the water and suddenly got the tug and big fish up out of the water in the middle of the river. Just as quickly it was off again. I didn’t think I would get another chance.

But I did. And with an even bigger one. So here are some of the pictures of my first ever steelhead. It measured 37 inches long , about 20 pounds. I am reliably informed that people have fished for these their whole lives and not caught one this size. Muggins here does it on his first try. It was like winning the lottery. Enjoy.

P.S. I look stressed in the photos because the single barbless hook had fallen out and the fish was very lively and not interested in posing for photos whereas I may never get another moment like today.

Thanks for reading and hopefully more to come.

Posted by: williekp | August 25, 2018

Not really a city person

I’ve been here in Vancouver for two days. I always build in some slack time on the way out to fishing adventures in case the airlines lose my luggage. I was looking forward to sharing the waiting time with our friends Mike and Shelia but poor Mike fell over playing tennis a couple of weeks ago, bust up his wrist, and can’t be here. Commiserations Mike if you read this. Like I said , I’m not a city person so two days was a long time.

There were bright spots. I used Air B&B which was great and saved me some money which I promptly spent on trips to two different and wonderful fishing shops. I thought I would make savings on tackle here and I suppose I did , but the flies that catch the steelhead fish come in many sizes and colours and you need at least two of all sizes colours and weights. The flies catch fishermen too.

I could walk to the fishing shops and to Granville Island which is one of Vancouver’s tourist attractions. That’s where the photo above was taken. I hired a bike and rode to Stanley Park (Prospect Point) where the other picture is from. It has been dull and a bit smoggy here because of all the forest fires🔥 .

Right now it is 7am Sat 25th (1500 in Blighty) and I am out of my room and through security at the airport waiting on my flight to Terrace. Settle into Kalum River Lodge later today and hit the river tomorrow. River low but a little rain forecast.

Next post….. more about the fishing!

Posted by: williekp | August 23, 2018

Not convinced about flying cities.

via Not convinced about flying cities.

Posted by: williekp | August 19, 2018

New Canadian adventure on the short term horizon

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I’m off to British Colombia way north of Whistler in the next couple of days to fish wilderness rivers for Pacific Silver Salmon called Coho and sea run rainbow trout called Steelhead. The trip was fixed over a year ago with a fishing buddy but he broke a wrist about a week ago and can’t now make it. I would be suicidal. I have been looking forward to this so much. Problem is that I now need to be able to outrun the guide when the bear appears.

So, I will next post from Vancouver where I will stop over to make sure I have luggage and explore the city. After that, one and a half hours north by commercial jet, I will arrive in Terrace BC for about 12 days fishing next Saturday 25th Aug 2018.

Packing for a fishing trip like this is a big balancing act that swings between bringing everything and at the opposite end making sure that when you turn up to check  in with all the different airlines you don’t cop massive extra luggage charges. I think I have that in hand.

A few years ago I fished a famous river called the Skagit in Washington State for these steelhead and had one on for literally seconds. In that time it got to about 100 yards away downstream, jumped numerous times on the way, got off and I hope is living happily ever after.

This year I am much further north in an unspoilt area with no dams, fish passes or other things to spoil the natural environment. If we get success, it might look like this.

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More to come. Wish me luck.

Posted by: williekp | January 23, 2018

It’s never fun pulling the boat apart to get work done

Because of a bad decision to fit a little known brand of sailing instruments when Lila was built I am having to replace two instruments in the cockpit that act as repeaters for delivering data about position, wind, depth etc. To make matters worse I need to migrate to a new networking protocol.

Hopefully it will be in and working by the end of today because when you shift everything to get at the guts of it all the rest of the boat becomes uninhabitable.

Really not good for my OCD tendencies.

Posted by: williekp | January 22, 2018

Back sailing ( fingers crossed)

Back in Lanzarote with a mix of old and new crew to try a bit of a tour around a few of the islands. Lila has been tethered at her berth for a long time so she needs a little cleaning up and I’m hoping to get some new sailing instruments fitted.

Current crew is in the photo above from left to right Issy, Harriet who sailed with me across Biscay last year and who has since gained Yachtmaster Offshore and Millie who has Day skipper and will do her Yachtmaster this season. Issy has a go pro camera and makes video logs VLOGS so I am hoping to repost what she records as well as some stuff of my own.

Watch this space.

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