The plans to fish the fabulous rivers and streams of British Columbia with professional angling guide Clint Goyette of Valley Fishing Guides were long in the making. I especially hankered for Canadian fishing where sight casting for trout and salmon in crystal clear knee-deep water was the method.
The time finally arrived and photographer Art Blank and I landed in Vancouver. We'd secured a rental car well in advance knowing we'd probably be meeting Clint in Squamish or Whistler, which are both simple one or two hours drives from the Vancouver International Airport. A quick call from my cell phone confirmed we'd meet in Squamish. The drive through the beautiful Vancouver was simple, and the further north we went, the more striking the terrain became- it was as if with each few miles traveled on the Sea to Sky Highway, snow-capped mountains sprouted up for our pleasure.
It wasn't long before Art had driven into the center of Squamish, where we spotted Clint's SUV. After we picked up some terminal tackle, we lunched at a popular restaurant set right alongside the Squamish River. As we dined on pasta, salads and cold Molson beer, Clint explained that the recent hot weather that had melted some snow up in the mountains had the rivers swollen with "glacially-silted " water — this would limit the number of choices of streams, but would not be an overwhelming problem.
After lunch, we caravanned to Whistler, which turned out to be an exquisite resort city. Clint then checked us in to the beautiful Greystone Lodge. We found our two-bedroom suite to be luxurious and provided with all the amenities. After check-in, the afternoon had matured and dusk was not far off. It was time to fish!
We hopped in Clint's vehicle and he drove us to nearby Green Lake. We geared up with waders, flippers, and float tubes and walked a short distance to the lake's edge. After a short period of instruction by Clint, we eased into the water and over to the area where an underwater bank dropped off from three feet to ten feet. As the sun set over snow-capped glorious mountains, the trout started rising on insects. In the next two hours, we released about twenty rainbow trout to 12 inches on ultralight fly and spin tackle. Before we knew it, pitch darkness emerged and encouraged us to quit fishing for that day. After a quick dinner at a fashionable crepe restaurant in Whistler, we retired for the night feeling thoroughly satisfied looking back on the day's action, and looking forward to the wake-up by Clint 6 a.m. the next morning for more adventure.
The wake-up knock seemed only an hour or two later, but clearly an 8-hour night had passed. In seemingly no time at all, we were headed north to the streams of Pemberton. We had to access the streams through the bush and when we emerged, Clint found their condition and fishability to be in excellent shape.
We were geared up with light spinning tackle and small spoons as well as large spinners. The first few streams held some nice char, and I released one beautiful specimen about 5 pounds and pulled the hook on two more. As we trekked further down the river system, we saw many Chinook salmon from 20-30 pounds. I briefly hooked one of these magnificent fish in knee-deep water, but its violent head thrashing threw the barbless hook on the spoon I'd been using.
We saw many more salmon on this day, but they were slow to strike. Clint laughed as he explained the advantage a giant Chinook has over the angler once the fish "got its head" and rocketed downstream — there would be no stopping it! As the day neared an end, Art and I were thoroughly impressed: The size of this fish, racing waters and snow-capped mountains created an enormous thrill for two Florida flats fishermen.
|If interested in contacting Clint Goyette and Valley Fishing Guides Ltd, call 1-877-85TROUT