Well every year I have a moment really where I'm outside or looking out the window and get that itch. Its not the kind of itch one can get his wife to scratch. Its an itch that can only be scratched by me jumping in my boat and heading out on to the Shuswap for my first spring fish. Now most years I'll head out on to the 'wap in February but this year it took me a bit to get going and now we're full steam ahead. Its killing me every day that I'm not out there but at the same time it's great being in the store hearing all the stories from people, especially the youth. It's darn good out there on the Shuswap folks ......really good. Stories come in on a daily basis of 20 fish days and more. The chrionomid boys have been having a hay day over on Murdoch point by Sicamous. Josh Fennell has been cleaning up over there topping 30 fish most days out. (I'm still waiting for the pic of a 5lb fish caught in the Shuswap on a chronie Josh. Can it be done?) If you're going to try to chiroromid fish on the Shuswap it's not much different than in a small lake and the cool thing is you can have great luck doing it off shore. Try different leader lengths. That's the key even more than colour choice. The fish in the early spring really seem to hang down in that elbow of the shoal so you need to really get it down there. I know at times Josh has been chucking leaders up to 20 ft long. Colours vary - try chromies, black and silver, black or red or even a big blood worm. For more info on this please don't hesitate to drop by the store and we can show you the set up and have you on your way to a 20 fish day.
Now I really love to troll my fly rod out there, that's how you can smash one of those 10 lb fish on the fly. As I always tell everyone the set up is so easy when it comes to trolling bucktails on the Shuswap. The most important thing, even more so than fly choice, is the line you're going to use. You need a type 6 or type 7 fly line with a sink rate of somewhere around 6-8 ips. I prefer the Rio intouch deep 6 or deep 7. So once you've lined up with the proper fly line then you need to pick a fly. And here comes the shameless plug.... Shuswap bucktail owned by myself is really our stores #1 selling bucky. As usual I just cant seem to tie enough of them. Once again this year the hot fly has been the tequila sunrise and the creamsicle - both an orange bucktail. Other popular colours have been the black and silver, sea weed, olive, brown and watermelon. There are many more colours to choose from and they all seem to snag a fish or two. We also have a line of bunny minnows in the store that work great as well. If you like your fly to wiggle the this is the one for you. These flies were designed by Nathan Meekes, a local fly fisherman in the Salmon Arm area. I've seen the proof of what these bunnys can do in my very own net. We also carry the #1 mallard minnow tied locally again by Les Robinson. You may have seen Les recently in B.C. Outdoors - this guy can tie, and his minnows work great. Now we've got our rod, line and flies its time to head out. Murdoch point has been the hottest spot on the lake bar none. When you get there fish the shoals. As I always say if you can see bottom on one side and nothing on the other you're in the honey hole. Put out all your line, right out to the backing, and troll slow. Troll about 1.5 to 2mph if you can. Again, stop in so I can show you this easy setup.
Now my last two trips out have been pretty good, the first trip giving up a nice rainbow in the 6/7 pnd class.(I never weigh my fish any more, too hard on them). I got that big guy on an olive muddler. Two young guys who have been doing quite well out on the lake are Matt Jagt and Brayden Kalke. These boys really seem to have the fishing bug and have been doing great with the little brown trout and tequila sunrise. Good job guys!
This year I'll be doing all of my fishing reports over here on the Westside Stores page and I'll try to do them weekly if not bi-weekly. So please check back.
So have fun out there and play by the rules. Conservation has been out and will be out in full force over the next couple months. Next time I'm going to cover flourocarbon, and skinny fish.