Reasons to Hire a Guide on Your Next Steelhead Fishing Vacation
Steelhead anglers tend to be a do it yourselfer kind of people, hence they’ve earned the title angler. It’s reserved for the folks who bait their own hooks, tie their own knots and flies and most of all set their own hooks. But trying to enjoy a vacation and learn a new fishing area can be a complete waste of time and money. Even the best, most experienced fly fisherman hire a guide when they’re in a new place.
- You’re on vacation so you might as well enjoy yourself
Getting to know all the hot spots of a river can literally take years. We’ve spent the last 15 years getting to know the great steelhead rivers of South Vancouver Island and sometimes they still throw us a curveball. Generally the best fishing holes stay the best fishing holes year after year and this is where a guide can help you out immensely. When you’re on vacation you only have a couple of weeks (if you’re lucky) to try and figure it all out. Do you want to spend your vacation fishing unproductive holes that make sense in the theory of reading waters or do you want to spend your time catching beautiful chrome steelhead.
- Your guide knows the optimum conditions and where to fish in poor conditions
You might be lucky enough to scrape up enough knowledge from the local anglers, by asking around town at the local outdoor and fishing stores, to have a clue on where to go. But the best holding spots change with each little rise and fall in the water levels. Your guide will know where to fish when water is high and the highly producing spots when water is low.
Swift water can flip a small drift boat in a flash so you’ll need to know the character of this particular river. Steelhead fishing Vancouver Island can be particularly dangerous, due to it’s deep canyons and popularity of winter steelhead runs. If you happen to fall in you could be hypothermic in a matter of minutes, while being a 4 hour drive to a civilization. It’s important to go with someone who knows the system inside and out. Swift water can get angry very quickly. Your guide will know the spots to avoid, and which ones to spend the most time at.
- Your guide knows what will get these local fish to bite
Have you ever experienced a no fish day while your buddy limits out? And you’re fishing the exact same spots? The difference could be as simple as the color of your fly or lure. Us guides witness trends in fly color every year, from season to season. For a few weeks pink will be the hot color, but the in the matter of hours it switches to green. So you may be fishing the best spot on the river but if you don’t know the color of the day or week you might as well be in the worst spot. A guide is always up on the color trends and can save you hours of time switching gear.
- Never trust a local to give up the good spots
Ever heard the saying; I don’t often disclose my favourite fishing location, but when I do, I’m lying?
Most anglers are really tight lipped about the best spots. Of course they want to keep these spots to themselves. A fisherman that will give away local knowledge is extremely hard to find, and this is especially true for Steelhead Fishing Vancouver Island. There is an unwritten rule amongst us islanders, when you find the glory hole of steelhead fishing, tell no one and respect every moment and fish you encounter there. There are spots on South Vancouver Island you simply cannot find without a guide and guide will probably never take a local there. If however, you’re a tourist on vacation they may agree to take you into the best spots- but you might have to wear a blindfold on the way there!
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