By Don Daniels
With social distancing in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic, many anglers are spending time at home cleaning, organizing and even selling fishing tackle.
For the past month, I have tied up my fly selection and, for the most part, have organized the fly patterns in various compartments. I’m ready to go fishing when the insect hatch is on the lake or river, and that time is here for sure.
I have a tackle box that I call the reserve tackle box which means I put away all lures I pick up at stores or garage sales. My friend calls it the junk box. Picking through the lures recently, a couple of four-inch herring imitation lures caught my attention. I looked for any markings that showed who the manufacturer was. The only wording I could find was pat. pending.
For those of us who grew up in Saskatchewan, Alberta and even Manitoba, we all fished with Red Devil or Len Thompson spoons. Yes, the lures are still around today because they catch fish and they are sold all around the world.
You might be interested to know that on Vancouver Island, there are manufacturers that have been making lures for many years and they are still sold in stores today. For fishing lakes and rivers, names that are common around the world are Tomic, Deadly Dick and Buzzbomb. In Canada alone, there are more than 40 companies that sell millions of lures around the world. There are many reputable companies in the U.S.A. as well that sell lures to distributors. The public buys them up because they catch fish and recreational fishing is a gigantic business.
As we keep our distance from each other and there is only catch-and-release angling for Chinooks, the public boat launches are very busy. To make things even busier in weeks to come, the weather is getting warmer, and people are wanting to get out on the water. I still see a car full of people going to a lake and setting up camp in day-use areas and they are blocking the entrance to an area and taking it for themselves and fishing for the day. Since there are no bathroom facilities, they are leaving used toilet paper in the bush; you have to take out what you take in.
Echo Lake has not been stocked with catchable size trout this year but Maple Lake, near Cumberland, was stocked with 2,000 trout on April 9. The trout will be on the move, going after nymphs in April, and ants in May. A lure that seems to get action is the Panther Martin spinner and fish it if you can find the deep water. Worms fished from shore or a boat is working and in this time of isolation, keep away from other people and enjoy a few hours of fishing. You will need a fishing license and you can easily find the link online, have a credit card and print it off.
For those of us who enjoy fishing or boating, we all have to support the necessity to stay at home and keep our distance from each other. The camping season is going to be interesting. I will be in touch with the major contractor, who maintains the majority of campgrounds in the area, to see what happens in future weeks, to see if and when they open for the season.