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Salmon Mother Nature's Stimulus Package

Capt. Adam Watson
April 19, 2009
Clayoquot Sound - Saltwater Fishing Report

Stimulus Package on the Way...

With the commonly varied spring conditions of Sun, Cloud, Wind, Rain and even Snow in the last 12 days, spring-time on the West side of Vancouver Island can be considered predictably unpredictable.
As Mother Nature shakes off the remnants of winter and ushers in spring with a mix of conditions that only a true Westcoaster can get used to, both rain gear and sunglasses are close at hand.
For Salt and Freshwater anglers in Tofino and Ucluelet, these varied conditions, and the local fish species they pursue are all part of the mix for early season angling in our beautiful and wild Pacific Rim region.
Chinook salmon numbers and healthy sizes have provided us with a great taste of the season at hand, leaving us yearning for the great fishing forecasted for the months ahead. Recently we have been fishing a variety of inshore spots near Tofino, as well as the popular offshore tacks between Tofino and Ucluelet along the 150 ft contour. Baitfish stocks consist mostly of Needlefish and "Firecracker" Herring, so the gear of choice has been trolling 3-4 inch spoons or small anchovies behind a Glow/Purple flasher down deep. Bright, Scrappy and Tasty feeder Chinook up to the high 20 lb range have had our rods pumping, and guests smiling. Halibut have not exactly been plentiful yet in these same areas, but enough to provide a great mix for the day of fishing the offshore waters. Our best Halibut action has been 3-6 miles offshore with spreader bars and baits like the standby White Power Grub or Whole Herring. Fresh Octopus would be the ticket right now as well, for those that have access to this prime Halibut bait. The Tofino and Ucluelet areas often see the season's largest average size of Halibut during the next two months, normally within 6 miles of the coastline. Later in the season, the Halibut fishing action migrates a little further out for consistent action on "Chicken" Halibut in the 12-25lb range.
Steelhead and Trout fishing on the local freshwater streams and lakes has been slower to turn on with the cool weather that has prevailed. Springtime indicators that have common timing to local freshwater species are also a little delayed. We are eager to see more Skunk Cabbage and Fiddlehead Ferns sprouting in the River valleys, as the Steelhead and Trout will soon follow. This timing is also juxtaposed with the downstream migration of young salmon fry heading out to sea to begin the largest and most challenging part of their life cycle. Presently, the cooler ocean temperature conditions are the most favourable aspect of a colder spring season, as this is optimal for the base food source of copepods, relating to better overall survival of these precious young Salmon.
Overall, it is a pretty simple compromise to add another layer of clothing during a cooler spring, while Mother Nature delivers her own version of Stimulus that will not only provide good fishing opportunities now, but for returning Salmon in future years.

Clayoquot Sound Fishing Forecast:

Good and getter better as spring progresses

Target Species:

Chinook Salmon and Halibut

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Tofino B.C.'s most recommended Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Outfitter. Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Pacific Rim National Park, we outfit Half, Full or Multi-day packages for Chinook and Coho Salmon, Halibut and Bottom fish as well as Fly in access excursions for Steelhead, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. Operating from our full service Fly & Tackle on Tofino's main street, with info and updated Fishing Reports.

Contact Info:

Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing
Box 652
Tofino, BC V0R-2Z0
Phone: 1-888-534-7422
Alt. Phone: 250-725-2700
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