Our Man in Canada

Here is Phil Ramsden’s recent update about his trip. Canada, an internationally famous destination for anglers, especially those interested in wetting a line for the hard fighting and abundant Salmon and Steelhead. I've been out on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, for the past two weeks, and having read accounts and heard stories all my angling life, I now appreciate what the fuss is about. I've taken a modest range of tackle from John Norris over with me, and thankfully, I seem to have judged it pretty well. I'm equipped with two Shakespeare Expedition travel rods, one a 7 weight 9'6 fly rod, the other an 8'0 5-30g spinning rod. At first glance, noticing the torrents of white water on rivers like the Campbell or the Sproat, I was worried I'd brought knives to the proverbial gunfight. On closer inspection though, it seems that very few people fish as heavy as we do at home. I've yet to see a 15'0 rod in action. The similarities to Salmon fishing at home are in fact fairly sparse, flies, choices of leader and even casting styles vary a great deal, and I've spent a while learning from locals. Standard practice for the fish that are currently in the rivers (principally pink salmon) is to roll cast well upstream, using a sinking line and ultra fast sink tip. The fly is more akin to a ball of wool, and is best fished bumped along the river bed, on the "dead drift". I've found that I'm fairly well equipped with my expedition fly rod, which is coupled with a WF6 John Norris Pro 2 Sink 6 line, and a 3ft length of Rio T14 leader. My first fish came to this method, and after about 10 seconds and 25 yards of line, I fell in love with single handed salmon fly fishing. He tipped the scales at under 5lbs, but fought like a fish twice that. My first Pacific salmon, a Pink from the Campbell River.  In coming weeks I'm hoping to get involved with Sockeye, apparently the tastiest of all Salmon, and as time goes on my ultimate goal is one of the bigger species (Chinook/King). One lesson I have already learned, and will certainly be bringing home in September is that of fishing light. Where possible, I strongly recommend trying single handed, or switch rods for Salmon. It is simply unimaginably good fun.

We will bring an update on his next adventure.