We loaded up the drift boat with all our gear as my fishing guide, Les Koroluk from Tweedsmuir Park Lodge rowed me down the jade silt colored waters of the Bella Coola River.
Over the summer, I have come to love fishing and the beautiful rugged outdoors. Since there are no motorized boats allowed on the Bella Coola River, I was going to experience a different type of fishing, river drift fishing. As we made our way down the river, I enjoyed the scenic ride through the lush green forest with the backdrop of snow-capped glacier mountains. As Les paddled, I soaked in the quietness of the rugged wilderness. I appreciated the skill and stamina it took Les to move and hold the boat steady in the Bella Coola River because of the strong currents and eddies.
The Bella Coola River is one of the best places to go river fishing because of an all-year round stock of resident fish, such as Rainbow, Cutthroat and Bull Trout. During the spawning season there are migrating fish, such as Sockeye, King, Pink, Coho, and Chum Salmon. As we kept moving down the river, I saw plenty of bald eagles hovering over our boat or perched on the treetops. I waved to every fisherman who was standing on the river’s edge in fishing holes. It was so picturesque that it reminded me of the movie, “A River Runs Through It”.
Les cast both our lines out and I sat holding the rod at a 45 degree angle. I familiarized myself with how my weight felt like in the drift and if I felt something different, it probably meant I had a fish. As I was sitting, drifting and talking, I felt a bite, so I set the hook hard with a long strike and quickly began to fight the fish. Les advised me to lower my rod tip on the water’s surface and lure the fish toward the boat, this way the fish would stay calm. Les slowly rowed the boat to shore and I smoothly placed the salmon into the net. I ended up catching 2 Coho Salmon that day in a short span of 45 minutes. Not to bad for novice angler.
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