Well this is the time of year when we all pace the water’s edge and await the first chance at “Ice off”, and getting those boats and flotation’s out on the water. I know for sure I’m one of those who have the cabin fever from winter and now have all my new patterns of bugs tied up and ready to get the lines wet on the fly gear! Typically we can see most central and lower elevation northern BC lakes breaking up around mid-May for the early catch, but to be safe most will be open for the beginning of June. This for me is one of the most exciting times to get on the water in the pontoon boat and look for those actively feeding big Rainbows that have the same winter cabin fever as most of us. Best suited patterns are micro leaches, big dragon fly nymphs, or if you are patient try to go deep with still water tactics and chironomids of various sizes and colors with an indicator.
Best approach with most lakes in the Northern areas is to get on them early before the lake turns. You can usually expect a good 3-4 weeks of fishing before the lake turns over after the ice comes off, and at this point the lull can be anywhere from 1-3 weeks while it turns where those elusive rainbows tend to get lock jaw for the most part. With this said , don’t be discouraged and think you can’t get out on your own or with the family to a local creek or river while the lakes are in this phase, as this can be VERY productive prior to and after the high water run offs. Just be sure to check you regulations on all these rivers and streams as many have bait bans and spring closer dates posted.
I myself am a fly fisherman at heart but with a family and a couple of younger boys you have look at the trusty spinner option, or the ever famous bobber and worm in the right areas! These are generally the fail safe methods for the younger ones when trying to assure a lifetime of memories and the basic knowledge of fishing as they will almost always get into a little something on the line. Nothing beats seeing the little ones hook into the first fish!!
Now for those of you who are still cutting holes in the ice on the smaller high elevation lakes, I would certainly emphasize caution while being out there, and be sure there is a solid 10″ minimum of ice thickness. We certainly are hearing reports of nice size brookies and some decent bows being hooked still on these “hidden” smaller lakes, as well as big char (lake trout). Some of the most standard methods being used are bait; shrimp, dew worms, king worms, and blood worms. You can find some of the larger fish being hooked on small bright jig patterns being presented in a slow up down manner right off the bottom.
All in all I foresee this to be a great year in our area for all types of species on all types of water. This is due to the perfect winter and the slow melt we are getting right now.
I was asked to write a pilot article based upon angling in BC and a bit on me; however this has turned out to be more of a tutorial of the PG area fishery, with more tips and reports in my eyes. Once this ice has receded and the season is in full swing I would love to enlighten folks on where to be and what to use, and possibly teach more about how to get involved in the local angling practice. My father has been the one who started me off at a young age, and with over 25yrs of avid fishing from Vancouver to Prince George and further north in BC, I have come to be quite the outdoorsman and conservationist with respect to or province. Nothing beats a long day at work and the pleasure of unwinding on the water of your favorite little honey hole on a river or lake that is within 15 minutes of your house. Watching the floating line as it sits still on that calm water and straightening out to that instant strike of a hungry rainbow….that feeling is just as exciting every time still after all these years as it was when the first one you caught was. One should never pass up the opportunity to try out a new lake or undiscovered area at any given time, in the hopes of having that next big fish peel off the line and hear the drag scream on a quiet section of water…..and even to this day when I am out on my own, I still find myself yelling out ” FISH ON” even with nothing but that quiet breeze and sound of nobody else around.
Tight Lines & Conserve Your Catch Everyone!