Fd: Can you tell us about your beginnings and setting up your guiding service in British Columbia?
I started guiding back in 1996 mostly as a flyfishing guide for Salmon and Trout on local rivers and some interior lakes (for Rainbow trout). I had some previous experience working at some of BC's finest fly-in coastal resorts which gave me the passion to pursue this lifestyle. Working in the tourism/hospitality industry was, and still is, an extremely pleasurable experience.
Fd: Why do you think every fly fisherman should visit BC?
The geographical beauty here on the BC coast is unlike most places on Earth. The key features that make it beautiful is the combination of lush rainforest, free running glacial fed rivers smothered in boulders and abundant in wildlife, and the 7,500 ft mountains that jut straight up from the valley floors. And then there's the fish too! Good populations of Bull trout, Steelhead and Salmon. For the adventurous types that can put aside the fly rod for a different experience there's White Sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River. This is real freshwater big game fishing that has blown away many of our fly fishing guests.
Fd: During which months is the season can we go there?
Fly fishing is open year round but like many other destinations we have peak times throughout the year. Bull Trout are best from March 15 to April 30, late May to early July, November/December.
We have 4 species of Salmon that can be caught on the fly. Pinks every odd numbered year from mid July to mid September, Coho from early October to late November, Chums from early October to mid November, Chinooks from mid July to mid August. Rainbow Trout on the beautiful interior lakes of southwest BC in May and June and again in October. Steelhead on local rivers in March & April.
Fd: What kind of fly-fishing gear should anglers take for a week over there?
We do provide any and all gear for those that don't have or don't want to travel with their gear. As for rods, we use weights like 4 & 5 for stillwater Rainbows, 7 to 9 wt for Coho, Pink, Chum & Chinook, 7 to 9 for Steelhead too, and 6 to 8 for Bull Trout.
For reels, we like to use Galvan models like Torque and Rush Light. They are one of the finest on the market. We are very impressed with the smooth reliable drag system and the thicker bullet proof spool post. For all our river fishing we'll have our spools loaded with Rio's Intouch fly lines. I have tested many lines over the years and we find this product to be the easiest casting line for our clients and myself too.
Fd: What are the top flies that should be included in our boxes?
With so many species and seasons we have a huge arsenal of proven patterns that we rely on for our river fishing. Very few of these patterns can be bought at a fly shop. That's why each guide ties their own. Having said that, our top patterns will be streamers/intruders in black, blue, purple, olive and pink.
For stillwater Rainbows we stick to a few proven winners: chromies (midges) in size 12 to 16, damsel nymphs, woolly buggers, scuds.
Fd: How’s the programme for a typical fly-fishing day?
Our single-day walk n’ wade clients often are staying in downtown Vancouver. We pick them up early and then we drive the 60 minutes or so to the river. Suit up, and a short walk to the river. We will cover lots of water and end up fishing anywhere from 1 to 4 kilometers of river. We might get back in the truck and drive to another location and fish there for a bit. Clients will be back at their hotel around 6pm in most cases.
For our Fraser River salmon fly fishing holiday guests, it goes like this: Guests stay at the Best Western in Mission BC (1 hour east of Vancouver). A quick 2 minute drive and they will be at the small marina to hop on our covered aluminum jet boats. We'll drive anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to access prime real estate on the river that is teeming with Salmon. Fly fishers will be fishing along the gravel bars and not from the boat. After 7 to 8 hrs of fishing it's back to the marina.
Fd: How are the lodging options in the area?
For our Fraser River multi day packages: Best Western Plus - Mission City. 2 minutes from our jet boats at the marina. We will take care of your room reservations here.
For our Squamish River trips you can stay in Vancouver or Squamish. There's NO shortage of lodging options. We may be able to help you arrange lodging in some cases.
Fd: How does one get there?
Fly into YVR Vancouver International or Abbotsford airport (serves mostly the pacific northwest and western Canada).
Fd: Any other advice for those visiting you?
Try to plan ahead for multi-day packages during peak season. Be prepared to catch fish, success rates are very high for many of our species if planned correctly.
Bring a camera.
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