One look at Big Dave Manners, and you know you…
We had a client in town who just happened to be a fishing fanatic. So we called up Chromer Sport Fishing (featured here in April), our favorite go-to guys for Vancouver day excursions. They hooked us up with Tom McHugh and assured us we were in good hands.
Tom suggested we try a small, lightly-fished river north of Vancouver, as the conditions were good for bull and rainbow trout. Tom’s the kind of guide you want when you’re trying to make a client happy—lots of patient instruction and sharing of streamside knowledge, but not so much that he gets in the way of fishing. Tom knew when to simply let us fish and take in the sounds and scenery of a gorgeous BC river in the fall.
Guided “walk-n-wade” fishing near Vancouver is Pat’s specialty, and he wasted no time in finding fish. Rigging us up with streamers and dead-drifted nymphs under a float, we started catching trout in the first pool. These were rainbows for the most part, scrappy and silvered in the icy glacial water. We hiked and fished the rocky bank for about six hours, traversing a pristine stretch of river untarnished by roads, garbage or yahoos. The fish weren’t abundant, but we caught enough to feel we’d had a bonus day.
One of the things we really appreciated about Tom was his hard work and willingness to try some rather unconventional approaches to get us into fish, including a VERY large muddler (which looked slightly smaller than a marmot) that drew a hard strike, and also skating some dry flies across the surface which yielded a couple of nice rainbows.
We hiked out in the late afternoon under cool skies and brilliant fall foliage, stopping to inspect wolf, elk and cougar tracks. It was the kind of day that gave us a fresh appreciation for living in this part of the world.