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After hearing several banner days from Chris since last week, it was only a matter of time before I am lured back to the Vedder again. This morning I hopped out of bed at 4:38am, seven minutes before the alarm went off! After a quick bite in the kitchen, I was on the road to the valley. I arrived on the river bank at dawn and was delighted to find not a single soul around. Knowing that I would be the first one to dangle a few roe bags through some very fishy run, I was quite certain that there would be a connection this morning.

A few casts later, a parade of cars emerged on the other side of the river. They speedily made their way downstream, perhaps to where the fish really were. Chris’ car pulled over once the parade moved on. He made his way down to the river, waded across and took a look upstream at me. He made his way downstream, probably so I could fished the first run alone. It turned out that he thought it was not me standing by the river, apparently “he looked too tall to be Rodney.”

Once I felt that I had fished through the first run thoroughly, I made my way down to catch up with Chris. As I walked down and took a peek at him, I saw a silver fish flopping beside him on the river bank. Fifteen minutes into the morning, he was already done! A local fisher who scouts the river daily indeed has the advantage on the hook-up ratio. He almost felt bad once he found out I was upstream from him. He said that he would have let me drift through first, but I doubt that the result would be any different.

This female steelhead was approximately 7 to 8lb and one of the freshest fish that we have seen so far this season. Of course, I was glad to snap some photographs for Chris once he marked the catch on his license.

The rest of the morning was rather uneventful for me again. Other nearby anglers also reported the same result. Nevertheless, it was a splendid day as we were able to soak in plenty of sunshine. Water has been dropping and clearing steadily. The expected showers may bring in some fresh fish for the weekend. The hatchery is now holding 52 adult steelhead for its broodstock program. With over two months of steelhead season remaining, the 70 fish target will be reached quite easily.

Well, it took several weeks of learning but either the Baltic sea trout are feeling sorry for me or I am starting to get a hang of it. Today I took advantage of the unusually warm weather once again and spent two hours at the harbour. Ten minutes before I had to end my trip, I felt that tug once again! This was not a silver fish like the one I caught two days ago, but a coloured fish that is still recovering from the late fall spawning. It was a rather large fish. What’s more interesting is how extended the lower jaw is compared to the top jaw. The lower jaw hook also seems worn out or broken. Judging by its size, Stig believes this was the same fish that he caught last week. He also believes that the lower hook in fact broke off because the fish he caught had a lower jaw that is so hooked that it was touching the nostrils. My thanks to Magic for taking the following photographs for me.

Last night we cooked up two pieces of the silver sea trout from Saturday. The taste was slightly different to pacific salmon, but it was very delicious. I seasoned the fillets with salt, pepper and lemon. They are baked at 200C with onion and butter for 20 minutes. These were served with pan fried potato and carrots.

2nd annual Trophy Hunter Steelhead Derby

The Trophy Hunter Steelhead Derby took place on the Chilliwack River yesterday (January 20th). 70 anglers participated, 6 hatchery steelhead were weighed in, and more importantly $1,400 was raised for the Sportfishing Defence Alliance. The weight of the winning fish was 13lb 5oz. Congratulations to Rick for organizing the event and everyone else who supported it.

With the steelhead season in full swing, your chance of having the winning catch is rather big this weekend. This Sunday, January 20th, will be the second annual Fundraising Steelhead Derby in Chilliwack. The money raised will be donated to the Sportfishing Defence Alliance, which actively ensures that your sportfishing opportunities are preserved on the political field.

If you plan to attend and have not done so, please email organizer Rick Lewis. There will be a post-derby BBQ at 1:30pm, where awards and prizes will be presented. Frank Kwak from the Sportfishing Defence Alliance will also be on site to receive the donation raised. The BBQ is a potluck, so please check with Rick what food or drink items he still needs. There is an ongoing discussion about this derby in our discussion forum too if interested.

Event name: 2nd Annual Fundraising Steelhead Derby
Date: Sunday, January 20th, 2008
Derby cost: $25.00 (includes one draw prize ticket and Derby baseball hat)
Additional draw ticket cost: $5.00
Sign-up time and location: 6:00am – 7:00am at Reaction Fly and Tackle
Weigh-in, prizes, BBQ time and location: 1:30pm at Cedar Run (approximately 5 minute drive from the Tamahi Bridge)

Here is the prize list:

  • One Fenwick Canadian Methods centerpin rod with one Okuma Aventa VT 1000 centerpin reel 
  • One pair of Grizzly Creek neoprene waders (with boot attachment)
  • Two Fishing with Rod annual subscriptions
  • Two assorted river fishing terminal tackle packages
  • Two assorted spinner packages
  • One Daiwa spinning rod and reel combo
  • Five packages of spinners (8 in each pack –  2 red, 2 gold, 2 blue and 2 green)
  • Three sets of DNE balsa floats and float stoppers.
  • Stealth Fishing floats
  • Nine copies of “Knotty Girls – A fisherman’s guide to tying knots”
  • Pioneer Dryking 3 in 1 fishing vest/jacket
  • One high end centerpin blank and rod building labour cost of the blank
  • Six $25.00 service gift certificates to Express Reel Service (reel service,wader repair,felt sole replacement)
  • T-shirts

This event is always generously supported by local businesses:

Good luck on Sunday! Here are some photographs from last year’s derby.