Winter steelhead fishing, particularly on a heavily used river such as the Chilliwack River, can be both loved and hated by some (me). The sudden burial of that bright float is an instant rush, yet it happens so seldomly. The wait can be so agonizing, especially when the temperature goes subzero. Sometimes the wait lasts all day and when it finally happens, the worst that can happen is the dreadful missed hookset.

Today I ventured out to the Chilliwack River for the second time this season. The plan was to fish with either Chris or Nick, who both are currently fishing for broodstocks for the Chilliwack River Hatchery (Please click here to read about the broodstock collection program). The phone rang as I made the drive out from Vancouver.

“Where are you?”, asked Chris.
“Stuck in traffic!”
“Oh… I’m almost at the river, will check back later.”

Before I even reached Chilliwack, the phone rang again.

“Well, I’m done after six casts.”
“Arg!”

I decided to focus on an area where Nick and I fished on Monday, but it did not produce a bite for two hours. I wandered further away from my car to seek for new spots, then the phone rang at 10:00am.

“We just tubed a wild fish from Lew.”

When a wild fish is collected for the hatchery, it is kept in a tube where river water would run through it freely to keep the oxygen flowing until the hatchery truck arrives for pickup.

Excited, I began making my way to where Chris and Lew were. It was a ten minute sprint to the car then a short drive to their spot. I wanted to get some video footages when the fish was being picked up.

Upon my arrival, Chris proudly showed me his catch of the day.

Peter and Bob from the hatchery arrived soon after me. We gathered and discussed how the season has been before they left with the fish.

Here is a video of transporting this solid wild fish, which will hopefully produce many offsprings for this year’s hatchery program.

In the afternoon, Chris followed me around while I looked for my chromer. Apparently my roe chunks were not approved by the guide, who brought me some of his prawns and roe sacs.

At 3:30pm, the float finally took a dive. Somehow I hesitated and set the hook poorly, the result reflected that effort. No fish was going home today.

I arrived back to my car and discovered these broken glasses, which must have been from other cars that recently parked near me. It’s a reminder that all should pay extra attention on suspicious activities in parking lots along the Chilliwack River. Car thefts and break-ins continue to be a problem in this recreational corridor. Solutions?

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