Off the beaten track

 IMG_5726A guest post by Jack van Delft of adventurestarts.com, who has just moved back to Canada after 16 years in Aus. You can follow Jack’s adventures over at his facebook and instagram pages. 
I’ve been away from Canada for 16yrs. Australia has been good to me from 10lb. brown trout on the Eucumbene river to Mac tuna on Fraser Island. Our little family decided to pack up our lives in Aus and move to Canada to be close to my family. Setting roots on the east coast of Vancouver Island.  (I did pick a location that was teaming with every salmon species, trout species and also the infamous steelhead.) Which is another story in itself.

Coho salmon.
Coho salmon.
Back to head further upstream to spawn.
Back to head further upstream to spawn.
A chum or dog salmon. A lot of fun, especially on glass.
A chum or dog salmon. A lot of fun, especially on glass.
I’ve been working 40 minutes south from our house for the last 3 months and there happens to be 10+ streams to small rivers which I have been exploring. I have found migrating chum and coho as well as resident rainbows and cutthroat trout waiting for a free meal. What I’ve found with many of the local fisherman is that they are happy to fish the local hole which is full of salmon travelling upstream. If they have to walk more than 50 meters it’s to far. Which is understandable when there are salmon everywhere this time of year. Which is great for me cause I love hiking and exploring new water which 99% of the time are unoccupied.  As for accessibility most creeks and rivers have walking tracks or quad tracks to walk. There is bush whacking if your keen to find that magic waterfall.
Cutthroat trout in particular are what I’ve been targeting lately. These trout are by far the superior trout species. They can live in the ocean when the food source in the rivers are low and travel back upstream when the salmon are migrating. Salmon eggs  and soon to be fry are on the menu that time of year.

Perfection
Perfection
Cutthroat trout. So many spots
Cutthroat trout. So many spots
 I’ve heard some of the old blokes at the fishing shop talk about 9 pound cutties that travel behind the salmon into the rivers.  Which got me excited about targeting these fish. At the moment the largest cutty I’ve landed is 2.5 pounds which took me for a run downstream on a 4wt. with 6x tippet.  These fish roll like a croc and then run and jump all over the stream. They know these waters better than any fish. I would also note they know where the snags are.  I’m waiting at the moment the salmon eggs hatch because they bring every resident fish to the smorgasbord.  These fish will be fattening up and will become very aggressive and will chase down any fry pattern presented. Not many fisherman target cutties, as salmon and steelhead take up most of there of time. They are a beautiful fish with a golden body and lots of spots. They also have two large red cuts under there chin which is where there name comes from. When there in spawning colour they have a lot of red on there bellies and fins. These fish truly rule the rivers.
Respect
Respect
Cutthroat trout are on the menu and I’ll keep exploring every inch of this island till I find that 9lb. Don’t let the cold get you down embrace it.
Jack Van Delft

flickandflyjournal.com

Hamish Webb, Dan Firth, Graham Fifield and Lee Georgeson have been fishing the south-east Australian region since 1987. Since then they’ve become avid sportfishermen who are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves. They are all scientists and conservationists who are passionate about the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem in which they live. They promote understanding and appreciation of the complex socio-political, economic and environmental issues surrounding fish, fishing and fisheries, while never losing sight of the various motivations that keep them coming back. In English, that means they love all things fishing and have a damn good time on the water, and that’s all that really counts in the end!

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