Who cares? We’re fishing in Paradise!

I thought a bit of a history lesson would be in order

Sure we can comment all we want about the nasty grins of the anglers on the river, but really we’re fishing in paradise!

After reading the local letter to the editor about the Kitimat anglers’ angry faces, I thought a bit of a history lesson would be in order.

In the past the only time a local angler would ever see another person on the river was after having fished a mile or three of private water – in the old days there was just not that much angler traffic. The local angler would have the neoprene waders, faded, and gooped with Aquaseal or shoe goop, to keep the waders from leaking, and the signature Alcan Tuxedo (black and red checkered jacket). Those days are long gone, as angler traffic has multiplied to the point where many local anglers have said “forget it” and purchased a saltwater boat for some serenity.

Most, if not all rivers in the north as well as hunting grounds, have seen increases in traffic. I can see why the regulations have a section about river etiquette – not sure if it’s ever been read, but nonetheless there are guidelines for anglers.

The Kitimat has easy access and with that come the people. I still remember having one particular Japanese spoon fisherman cast his lure inches from driftboats as they drifted past him, to give them a little nudge for them to move on through and not touch his pool.

We all want this privacy for a bit of the day when fishing – I took my son to the hatchery island, crossing a fast flowing river, putting the fear into the boy, assuming we would get a nice pool to ourselves.

When we peered through the bush onto the long shoreline, a group of 10 to 12 fisherman were already casting in rhythm, so as not to tangle with the next guy downstream. I found a small opening about 10 metres wide for us to set up in and start casting into the aquarium of salmon, hooking a fish instantly.

Suddenly I could smell cologne, and sure enough, a fisherman had crept in and narrowed the gap between us to less than 2.5 metres. We caught three fish in that short period, but eventually my son gave me a sign to say we should get the hell out of here. I agreed with him, packing up and crossing the fast-moving water back to the trail and back home.

When you’re catching fish, the crowds don’t seem too bad – but yes, the serenity is kinda taken away. I personally try to make a friend rather than an enemy on the river and have had a few conversations with the anglers, as they’re all within speaking distance. I didn’t get the name of the cologne though!

Tight lines and keep smiling!

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