A fishy tale

Fishing is something you either love or you hate – and for those who love it, they will travel to the ends of the earth just for that magical feel of catching “the big one”. And what a feel that is!

We are lucky in Canada that we have world class fishing venues on our doorstep – literally on the Bow River in fact. But for those who like the salt water variety there is nothing finer than a bit of salmon fishing. Many years ago I took a trip to April Point Lodge on Quadra Island for a girls’ fishing trip. Having been trout fishing in South Africa and hooking Tiger Fish at Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe I was certainly game for a little salmon fishing. An excursion was arranged – 2 to a boat with our guide (properly known as a ghillie).

My first surprise was that our ghillie baited up all the rods and then clamped them into down-riggers on the side of the boat. Hmm… I thought. What am I supposed to do. I was all decked out and ready to go with bright yellow rubber dungarees – just in case I fell over the side I suppose – so that I would be easily noticed bobbing in the Vancouver Island passage as skyscraper cruise liners pass by on their way to Alaska. OK well, first thing they teach you about fishing is patience. It was quite a nice boat – fairly big and even had a little crouchy kind of toilet up the front and we had coffee and biscuits to keep us going. And so we waited. The sun came up and it turned into a nice day. Eventually our ghillie said he was taking a stroll to the back of the boat and would we ladies mind keeping our eyes to the front. Well he wasn’t watering the daisies!

I sat and continued to stare at the rods clamped onto the side of the boat. There were 3 – one for the ghillie and one for me and one for my companion. They were all bobbing along merrily as we ploughed through the straits. Then BAM … my rod dipped down so quickly – the ghillie jumped in, unclamped and I almost knocked him over in my eagerness to get MY rod, MY fish…. and the battle was on. Man I was happy when I landed him. Just over 16 lbs.

That’s big but not big enough to become a member of the Tyee Club of BC in Campbell River. It has been in operation for nearly 100 years and is definitely old school. To join you have to land a 30 pounder at least and on this fishing trip I was much happier. No one clamped my rod onto the side of the boat, no downrigger – just a small weight – and I was in complete charge of my rod. The only problem was I didn’t catch a bloody thing 😦

But you know what they say in fishing – it is not always about how big they are but how strong they fight – and you cannot get a better fighter than the Tiger Fish of Kariba Dam. This little video from the youtube channel River Monsters says it all

Isn’t my husband a lucky man to have a wife who loves to go fishing??

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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