Published: August 25th 2012August 25th 2012
Last Sunday we visited the Coulson Fire Fighting facility on the other side of the lake. They are restoring one of the seaplanes so it can fly out to a museum in the USA. Its being repainted in its original US Navy dark blue. There were originally seven built, only two remain, the one in service as a water bomber and the one being restored. We had a walk in the lakeshore park and looked at the first nation petroglyphs on the rocks. Roast pork for dinner.
Wednesday Larry and I were up in the dark at 5.30am to go fishing with neighbour Richard who is a commercial fishing boat captain. The public launch at PA was a hive of activity, boats launching every couple of minutes. Word had got around that the Springer Salmon run had started in earnest. We motored down the inlet and were fishing just after first light. It was like the Dunkirk flotilla out there. There were at least fifty boats that I could see with other larger boats powering down towards Berkeley Sound. I drove the boat while the others set up, working hard to avoid other boats and their lines. About 8am we
had a bite and the guys instructed me how to play the fish whilst they quickly retrieved other gear in order to avoid a tangle. After 5 minutes of concentration I landed an 18lb Springer! Fantastic, my first fish! I was well chuffed. Ive been waiting to do this for a long time. Larry & Richard were pleased it was a sizeable specimen for my first. We continued to about 12pm, slowly motoring up and down the channel at walking pace. I caught a small Cod as well and we lost one other fish. Back at the dock I watched Richard clean the fish and he took an obligatory photo of me with it. Very good. (The guy next to us at the dock landed 4 Springers, each at least as large as mine, so there's plenty out there.)
When we got back home things were overshadowed a bit when Judy returned from the dentist with news that she had to immediately go to Nanaimo (80km) for an emergency dental operation. L&J were gone for 4 hours leaving me to watch my catch! On his return Larry filleted the fish, preparing two huge sides of salmon. Yummy, can't wait
to eat it. Judy was very groggy and sore but impressed with the size of our catch, she just can't eat any for a few days :( On Thursday night Richard came round for dinner and helped us make a big dent in one of the sides, the other is marinating before going in the smoker!
Thursday I did some sightseeing and shopping in PA. Friday we drove up to the Stamp River Provincial Park. The river rapids quickly develop into steep falls which are a bar to most fish migrating up the river to spawn. Consequently a "fish ladder" has been built to help the fish to bypass the falls. This consists of a series of interconnecting climbing chambers that allow the fish to swim up river and rest in the chambers as they go. During the run bears come down to the river and swipe the fish out of the water, quite a spectacle apparently. No bears about while we were there though. We had to eat T bone steaks for tea:0 What a chore.
There are more photos below