There are several different methods of fishing and anglers who swear by each.
The most relaxing is still fishing – anchoring your line and gear in the current with a weight and using a Spin-n-Glo or a Spin-n-Glo/Hoochie combo as the lure – both come in a bewildering array of colours and sizes.
But for most, casting and “bottom bouncing” is the method of choice using either a spoon – there is even one named after our river – or again a Spin-n-Glo/Hoochie, but with a lighter weight.
It’s also the more successful method since, by varying your cast length and retrieve, you’re searching out the fish rather than waiting for them to bump into your gear.
Because water conditions have a lot to do with your choice of colour, it’s a good idea to check with a local tackle shop to find out what’s working when you arrive. Or pick up a copy of the Northern Sentinel newspaper and see the Fish Finder update in the sports pages. Check out the ad on the inside cover to see where it is sold.
Finally, a relative newcomer is the jig, and one that is gaining in popularity in leaps and bounds.
Last year I got down to Radley Park about 7 a.m. to find there were already three others there.
They had been there awhile and landed just one pink.
Soon after another two anglers joined us to make for six rods in action.
Although the fish were there, we weren’t getting any. “Don’t worry,” one of the guys – a local retiree – assured us. “The fish will come at eight o’clock.”
And at five after all hell broke loose for him and his buddy as they hooked into eight in 15 minutes.
Leaving the rest of us chartreuse with envy.
The difference? They were the only two using jigs.
By the way, while gear colours are generally important, there are days – especially with pinks – when, to quote a young lady at a local tackle shop, “you could throw a soup can out there and they’d hit it.”
And there are days when the opposite applies and the fish get very strange tastes. Which is why I always carry a couple of ghastly yellow or orange Spin-n-Glos to chuck out there if all else fails – a few times that tactic has rescued a quiet morning, once producing three fish in as many casts.
Then there are the fly fishermen.
I’ll admit I’m not one of them – I’d probably strangle myself if I tried it – but I can tell you I have been mightily impressed by their success rate with all species.
Take this report by local guide Ron Wakita from the beginning of July last year when five fly fishing friends from Quesnel floated the river.
“The group hooked forty-one chinook and landed fourteen.” No wonder his comment was “WOW!”
TIP: Get a copy of the tide tables even if you’re fishing on the river because a lot of fish come in on the high tide and take a breather in the lower part of the river.