>We left Seattle early Sunday morning and headed for the first of many ferries. Then someone sitting beside me realized that they forgot their passport. Luckily, it was only a four hour delay. The weather was typical Seattle weather, but that was to be expected. We traveled for about 8 hours before arriving at a campsite beside the Cowichan River. I was told that this would not be an exclusive fishing trip, but we somehow always stayed near the water.
The Cowichan River was beautiful. It was set in a semi deep gorge with steep sides. The water was a series of pools with small waterfalls. It made for tricky fishing, but saw a guy pull a big Rainbow Trout so it gave us hope. Unfortunately, we hauled out the small dumb trout. What makes it worse is that the guy with the big 20 inch trout was using “worms and weights”. Weak. Us fly fisherpeople are supposed to be a bit more civilized. And maybe even, dare I say it, better anglers.
Leaving the town of Duncan and the mighty Cowichan, we headed to Campbell River looking to kayaks to rent. Arriving at the end of summer is great. There are always campsites available, the amount of tourists is cut in at least half, and all of the kids are back to school. However, a lot of businesses close after Labour (sic) Day. We took another ferry to Quadra Island. It is an island with few people and hopefully Orcas, seals, bear, etc. The weather wasn’t cooperating so couldn’t go kayaking. 25 knot winds didn’t sound like fun out on the water. We got in a fun, but hilly bike ride, practiced casting into the 25 knot wind, then went down to the only pub in town for dinner.
On our bike ride, we stopped at the Quadra Salmon Eco Centre. It showed us how the salmon live and die. More importantly, it showed us what they eat and where they hide. We went to bed hoping for better kayaking weather the next day. We woke up and it was pissing rain. Looked like there was nothing else to do but fish. We departed for Campbell River, grabbed some blue, pink, and green minnow pattern flies and started fishing in the rain.
It worked out well for us.