The Big Qualicum River is One of the few Vancouver Island Rivers that always has Sea Run Cutthroat Trout somewhere in the system. Being the First BC River that housed a Specific Hatchery Program basically hurt the native runs of fish in the beginning of the so-called management program. However,since the programs were greatly reduced, the river itself and the adjacent raparian areas have developed into a very dense and wild setting once again. Thus,Trout tend to inhabit the system at various times in great numbers and throughout the entire system at other times. The down side is that the Hatchery complex itself closes daily operations about 5Pm every day and leaves the Poachers free range to invade the unprotected river. I have had to chase several poachers off the system recently...and this is very disappointing!.
Do take time to fish this wonderful little system and enjoy all of it's wonders.
Basically all the Chum and Pink Fry have exited the river leaving thte thousands of Coho fry to fend fro themselves. There are good numbers of Cutties and a few Rainbow in teh middlke and upper sections..many of the Cutties have exited the River in favour of working the beaches...we will see Cutties return into the river soon chompoing on the Coho fry and many Stonefly and Caddis now ererging
July 8th...if you work hard and find deep slots you may be rewarded with some very nice Trout..no retention on this river of any wild trout...there seems to be a good number of big rainbow(Steelhead Smolts) this season...be gentle and take care...Bead head Muddlers and Double bead Stoneflies are working also big dry flies...Elk Hair Caddis,Stimulators and so on
June 22nd...this system has a very controlled water flow and fishes very well through out the summer..some nice Sea Run Cutties and Rainbow Trout are being landed..dry fly action is well underway
May5...few cutties about yet..there will be a smolt release in mid May and that usually triggers Trout fishing..some big Rainbow landed so far this spring
February 8th...although the water is still high you can find many spots to swing flies,this great little system will boast big Cutties and an occasional Steelhead..no retention of any sort this time of year
Many Salmon throughout the system..good water fir fly fishing these big fish...some Chum and Coho have begun to enter but we need the rains to begin to move the masses of fish..watch the regs for gear restrictions
Water is well maintained and fish have been allowed to head up river...several hundred chinook are holding in the big pool and retention of Jack Chinook is permitted. Please take it easy on any trout you might happen to get into
We are seeing some nice trout about and salmon have begun to enter the system..Chinook and Pinks
July 20th..Our water levels are still fine in this system..there has been river maintanence recently before the Salmon show up...some very good trout fishing has been going on..stone flies and minnows
June 30th..good trout fishing at the moment in the middle reaches..small leeches and dries are both good bets
June 5th...Oh yes fish close the tree lines for some big ambushing trout
May 15th..river is fishing so much better and some big fish bouncing about..still lots of fry spinng about
it is the time to begin chasing late Steelhead and Big Cutthroat Trout,,the winter has been full of High Water and cold conditions..it is warming up so get out ther and swing Haig Brown Patterns at these legenday fish
2016..yes it is open
After a fall of very high water but lots of salmon we are now seeing lower water needed to seek that trout fishing we all so enjoy..and if really lucky intercept a Steelhead along the way
October 4th..cooling water has delivered better conditions for incoming Salmon...there are chinook,Chum and a few Coho holding in the lower river
September 7th...Chinook have entered the system and the gates are still open..not many have come in yet...some nice trout in the upper system and of course Chinook have moved up the system
August 25th..water is very low but fishable..fortunately this river is damn controlled and the loggers really haven't masaquered the raparian areas for years leaving some cooling potential for the eco system...play the trout well and release unharmed,,,salmon will be arriving soon
June 28th...Fishing is very good but please be caring of the small trout in these low water conditions..most South Island Rivers are closed..fortunately this one will remain open for now
June 12th..Fishing is good with water levels sustained in this system..have a great time and make sure to have along a few minnow patterns
It is s great time to visit this great little stream that is know for big Cutthroat Trout...any Steelhead that were in the system have gone by now . Sea Run trout will visit all the regular spots where juvinile and Salmon fry hold on their way out to the sea. Also the hatchery folks will release the hundreds of thousands of Salmon fry from both hatchery holding areas into th system..and trout like this. Don't be afraid to use dry flies and bead head muddler minnows..and of course the must have Rubber leg Stone flies
We are back..the winter has been a wet one with very inconsistent water levels for all systems making trout Fishing difficult at best. Steelhead are in this system but in small numbers..however the good news is that the time is now to intercept these great fish..and of course with the fry beinning to show the Cutthroat trout fishing will become consistent.and the water levels are on the high side and falling
November 4th...with the lower pool closed to snaggers/fly fishers we are seeing a lot more pressure further up the system where being unseen is important to some... but please release all trout and snagged fish..there is retention of Coho
October 20th..Now that the River is wode open to both Fly Fishing and Gear fishing we are seeing more fish being taken..lots of Coho and Chum about..and a few trout
October 10th...Pinks and chinook have all but expired,chum and Coho are making their presence really felt...with the rains fish are streaming in...retention of 1 chum and no Coho yet
September 15th...Fly Fish only reg has been lifted to allow for flossing fish..not a good idea but ???Lots of Pinks about and Chinook..retention on both..size limit on the Chinook...report all poaching
September 1st..Remember ..fly fish only until October 15th///lots of Pinks in the system witha 4 fish retention...and of course the Chinook are adding for some crazy excitement...don't playa 30lb chinook with a 5 or 6 wt fly rod. The bonus is that there are some really nice trout about...try those slightly weighted egg patterns
August 22nd...yes the river is open,and there are Chinook in the system and some very nice trout..respect the fish
July 25th..low water but ok...lots of trout on the dry fly..there is river maintenance ongoing this time of year..be prepared for dirty water
July 15..the clarity of the water is much better now after the hatchery group were doing maintenance all along the rivers' artificial drop offs..this is to get ready for the many big fish tha t spawn all along the river..Trout fishing is good especially using dry flies and muddler minnows
July 4th..this river is still open and there are some nice trout about..please be easy on the fish and not overstress them
June 28th...lots of small fish in the system,water is very low but certainly fishable..watch for closures
this gem of a river produces good size fish throughout the year ..even during the current unususal and much dreaded drought..being damn controlled is a bonus I suppose.. Good dry fly action along the middle stretches and at the top end of most pools.
Now is the time for Dry Fly on this river..water conditions are excellent,temperature good and lots of small hatches going on..also a few fry about..the next bit of rain that we get will bring in more fish
Some really good dry fly action on the lower River lately..some cutties have come back in and have made their presence very exciting..you might see the odd Steelhead Kelt making their way out..water levels are on the low side
April 14th...Its been a long time since we updated this River Report,during the Winter we have seen some excellent Cuttie ,and a bit of Steelhead action, now that the water is coming down and warming up we are going to see some excellent opportunities when using fry,small leech and Stone Fly patterns...
this fish below was landed on the 29th of Dec.2014
This Gem is one of the Last Rivers on the Island to actually become unfishable...recent heavy rains have blown out most rivers,many Big Chum and Coho are now all teh way through the system..today the hatchery released nearly a 1000 Coho up above the Hatchery..and there is now retention for Coho
Respect others and yourself..know the regulations and good karma
October 16th...let the show begin..the big pool is now open to visit and watch gear fishing at it's worst,there is retention of Salmon so know the regs. Gear fishing is a great past time and awesome way to fish..so if you see your neighbour snagging fish fill them in. The Entire river now has big fish present...strong hooks and tough leaders are a must...alsos try small minnows and egg patterns for the big trout getting fat on salmon eggs
A few chum now coming in with the Coho and still some chinook...there was a regulation change posted a couple days ago..gear can be used also /artificial Fly..that means yarn on a hook or actual tied fly...make sure you have the details..and no reg changes on the Little Q!!
So many big Chinook and Coho coming in with the odd Chum check regs for any retentionand area closures
September 26th..amazing to see so many big Chinook throughout the system,with good water control we see many fish move above the Gates at the Chum Channel..a few Coho have come in but very few at this point...remember you can retain only Jack Chinook Salmon.
..September 19th...WOW..there are so many Chinook about...fly fish only ,no retention..but do have fun...the pool at the Chum Channel is well endowed with willing fish, also at pool 23 are some nasty big brutes...try big epoxy minnows in Red or Pink
Very low water levels and warm temperatures and the issue..the big fish have begun entering the lower river and into the Hatchery facility..there are good nuimbers of small trout about soon to be visited by their much larger partners currently holding in the salt water...no Coho yet..watch the regs carefully..fishing only above the train trestle and fly fish only
August 1st..some nice trout about but only in the pools and deeper slots ..Salmon will begin entering the lower river soon ,mostlu Pinks for now
Lots of small trout about with the occasional big Cuttie in the 20" size..dry flies are working well with Prince Nymphs a close second
MAy16th..2014..River is again fishing well
With the recent warming weather we are seeing some nice Ant hatches..have fun
April 2014...Water is excellent,warming a bit and fry are just starting to show their small selves...Fry Patterns are a must for this fishery...
February 5th 2014,...Water levels are a bit on the loow side and very cold...if you work hard and get your flies into thte riffles and under logs you will be rewarded with some very nice Cutthraot Trout or even a nice Rainbow...we are expecting rains next wee..warm water coming,Fry will be a comin out so get ready...We have a large selection of hand tied Minnow patterns designed for this wonderful fishery
October 27th...Lots of bright Chum being landed mixed in with big cooho...watch not to snag fosh and keep only what is permitted,the Chum are really only beginning..gear and fly fishing permitted
October 16th..Opening day will be a gong show but to many well worth the wait..there are lots of fish to connect with and retention is for Chum and Chinook only...so far...although from what is happening off the beaches we would think there will be retention for Coho before the end of the month..for the Trout fisher now is the Bonanza time with Egg patterns ...drop by the store for the latest materials and flies
.October 7th.2013...The Hatchery has alredy harvested some coho today...lots of Chinook in the system and Coho..although numbers are not really too strong...retention limits are yet to be determined for Coho
September 28th/2013..Lots of Coho and giant Chinook about...remember that the river is fly fishing only until October 15th
August 15th..the water temperatures are actually good in this system although a bit on teh low side levels are well maintained ...lots of big trout are in the system ,some Pinks have entered the lower River and there are a few Big Chinook coming in with the high tides..
June 1st...Conditions are excellent...temperatures have been on teh low side providing conditions for good survival of out coming fry ...lots of nice Cutties in the river
MAy15/2013...The river is fishing very well these days..lots of fry about and much bug activity...try some dry fly ,Prince nymphs or Minnows
March 2nd,2013...with the recent rains and water levels coming up slightly we will see more Steelhead,of which there are few,come up into the upper reaches of the Big Q. Spawning will occur later in MArch thru May ..Sea Run Cutties are also beginning to show up with all the chaos off the beaches and the herring causing so much termoil but the good news about this is that we will be seeing more fry coming out of the gravel and into the estuaries. Get those bead Head Muddlers and Brown Minnow patterns out and sharpened..there are some big cutties to check out.
January 2,2013.. Water levels are excellent for sea run cutthroat trout to do their annual spawning event. The middle section of the river is fishing fair..with some big cutties surprising the few fly fishers in that area...Expect the occassional Steelhead to surprise you as well...especially in this section of River. Try small colourful egg sucking leech patterns with Pink or Orange heads..
Also good size Minnow Patterns will produce good results..I like of course te Bead Head Rolled Muddler in Natural,Olive or even Blue
Decmber 24th/'12...the River has perfect flow this week and with that we are seeing some big cutties making their way into the lower River getting ready for their spawning season...the occasional Steelhead will also make it's way into the river. This once great Steelhead River is only a fraction of it's potential..but the trout fishing is good ..get out and enjoy this mystical valley
November 10th...though I rarely will fish this wonderful River into Late October and Early November it is again my time to fish the Big Q..by this time most of the snaggers have their fill and won't bother all the old and dying Chum..there are still silver Chum coming in with a few Silver Coho mixed in..but my target will be the large Cutties slurping up all the eggs
October 23rd..Many fish being taken home this week..water is stable as are the fish numbers..there is a retention for Coho,check posting at Hatchery facitity...Reduce snagging by using smaller or Circle hooks..Respect other anglers and keep it safe
October 10th...a bit of water was re;leased allowing for many new fish to come in..Chum have entered the system along with a few Coho..don't overlook the Trout fishing as we get nearer the rainy season and all the spawning...
Sept 20th..Lots more Chinook and a few Coho have entered the system.,weather has been very nice for Humans but not so nice for fish..once we get a serious weather change the fishing with go ballistic..but at the moment Trout Fishing is a keeper and the Salmon are co-operative in the Early hours of daylight and late afternoon
Trout fishing on teh Big Q is very good these days above the new highway..some large chinook havae made tehir way all the way up..the water is fine...try dsome large dry flies for the big rainbow and Cutthroat Trout
September 4th..2012..Sadly we saw a lot of poaching over the Labourday weekend because of no enforcement ..there were adn still is active illegal fishing going on at the bridge pool inside the hatchery compound,please report all poaching..some of the juvenile Steelhead(poachers are calling Rainbows) are being killed and taken......on a better note there are several hundres large Chinook in teh system that will spawn and provide great fishing for the future..Check the regs..for retention...
August 28th...2012..there are clouds of fish moving into the river these days..mostly Chinook with Pinks mixed in...no retention and fishing only above the trestle..enjoy
July 19th..2012...with the warm weather we are seeing there are good numbers of small fish hitting anything drifting by...try the upper reaches of this river for some larger Sea Run Trout... A few very big Salmon have wondered in with the high tides we are having but have wondered out with the falling tide..it is only a matter of weeks before we see more large fish come in...we can fly fish near the Hatchery only until August 10..walk along the nice runs under the trestle and see some very large cutties laying in wait..
June 15th..2012..Water levels are excellent with some very big Cutties and rainbow throughout the system..some dry fly action is happening..we ar enow into a period of expanded areas where we can fish..check the regs for complete details
May 22nd.2012. The water levels are coming down better for fly fishing..there are lots of fry about and with this we see a better result for our efforts. Some nice Cutties have been caught along with a few recovering Steelhead. Make sure to have in your boxes a few Brown Polar Bear Minnow patterns and a few bead Head natural coloured Muddler minnows..and of course the beaded Stone fly
April 8th...Easter..what a great day to be fishing! Lots of fry coming out..get your minnow patterns into the water ..somethign with light Brown or orange will do just fine...
April 2nd...Water conditions are good,a bit high so make sure you have the ability to get down to the fish..there has been a few big Cutties move up into the system ,with the warmer water temperatures we are now seeing fry emerge ..it will be a feeding frenzy soon for the larger Trout and recovering Steelhead,,
Water levels are excellent this year so far,fish are not really co-operating,temperatures are too low to trigger a major fry hatch,we have seen some good insect hatches going on but no rises and few indications of activity..watch for a light and warm rain
Water levels are excellent..some very nice Sea Run Cutties have been landed and to many a surpise numbers of big Rainbow Trout are about..Fry have begun to emerge so make sure you have a good supply of Minnow Patterns mixed in with a few egg and Wolly Buggers
Fishing has been good still in teh middle reaches of the system...with a bit of higher water these past few days we will see the old Salmon carcasses washing down and out ,leaving better fishing opportunities for Trout and the occassional Steelhead...fishing is only allowed abover hte train trestle and no retention..Period!
The Fall Coho run was very good this year as was the Chum run,as of yesterday I still saw Silver Chum coming in although very few..There are good numbers of Sea Run Cutties in the middle section of the River ..enjoy the holidays with a nice walk along this great river system
With the gong show well underway we are seeing many fishers hooking into the many Chum and Coho available to them...some Gear fishers are having a good time slashing and tearing away to get their limit. Regulation changes on teh Big Q are allowing retention of Coho..make sure you clarify possession limits. For the more serious flsher,there are quiet areas to seek out above the hatchery facility that will allow you experiences that many of us wait for all year. Some good Coho fishing above the trail tresle is available. Try flies like the Coronation and large Mickey Finn,another good bet is a bead head Muddler Minnow and even some small Bunny Leeches with a fair bit of flash on them..
October 8th...plenty of Coho in the system with fresh chum now coming in..
it is still fly fishing only above the counting fence..when hooking into small trout please do take care releasing ...these are the future
With over 2,000 Chinook and near 700 Coho into the river system above the hatchery there is bound to be some good fishing,for me the Trout is the attraction and Silver Chum when they arrive in good numbers...Coho are always difficult to target because of all the other Salmon about...but try the edges with Muddler Minnows and Coronations....
There are good numbers of Big Sea Run Cutties in the lower River chased in by the large Chinook Salmon entering the River,also mixed in are some big Pink Salmon...remember,Fly Fishing only!
The Hatchery must have released the Chinook Fry from the upper Hatchery facility, this has moved the large Cutthroat Trout back to the estuaries...Check out the Middle section of the River for some very large Rainbow Trout that are having their way with teh many Stone and Caddis about..some small Lamprey are also laying on the bottom of slow moving pools..so try large leech patterns
Water on this River is in excellent condition,there are many nice Cutties and Rainbows throughout the system, bright Polar Bear Minnow Patterns and bead head Muddlers are teh ticket to success. Also some large weighted Stone Flies and Caddis will work just fine..
Water levels are excellent...may fry now about...Minnow patterns...and don't leave home without those Dry Flies..
Waiting for the water and air temperatures to rise this year is a long process...we have had only One day reaching 15 C thus far,that means that the fry are still waiting also. BUT,there have been some very Large Sea Run Cutties and Rainbows landed in the central sections of the Big Q recently,try going in from the New Highway Bridge and walking up river a few miles and fish back...water conditions are good ,with little insect activity because of cold water
Water is a bit high but there are lots of nice fish about...some Steelhead are in the system but I couldn't find them this morning...
fished the upper to the middle...nice water but it began to colour up with the heavy rains
There are good numbers of Big Cutties waiting for the fry to really begin to come out of the system,wait for this cold snap to leave and a bit of fresh warm water to raise the rivers and "voila" feed is on it's way...yes Minnow patterns,come by to see the Tan or Brown Polar Bear Minnow patterns that are the hot D..mn.,another good option is to tie a DNA Minnow pattern on a #6 Tiemco 9394...colours in a Chartreuse and Black,only about 1 1/4" long...best results are with eyes on teh fly(large!)
We have had much rain but as typical,this jewell is fishable...over the past few weeks there has been some great trout fishing to be had with more ahead of us...The rainbows have been particularly active and will leave the system soon to hopefully return as Steelhead. The Cutthroat Trout are still feeding like crazy in anticipation of their Spawn time in LAte January...the usual Egg patterns,Bead Head Muddlers,Polar Bear minnow patterns and of course Nymphs such as Stone Flies and Prince's...don't over look the Small egg sucking leech patterns...
The counts have been met for the Coho Brood stock..thus we have an opening..watch out for all the snaggers but do have a good time...the Chum numbers are also down a lot,but you may keep One...Water levels are excellent for Fly Fishing...don't be shy of Egg patterns and bead head Muddlers,,plenty of nice Cutties in teh system
There are lots of Coho in the system and as of today the hatchery almost has their brood stock numbers...although the Coho are not biting. Chum are still coming in very bright and in good numbers..retnetion of Chum is open...take it easy on the numerous Cutties that are in feeding on Eggs
There was a good run of Chinook Salmon this year again in teh Big Q...the Chum Salmon are slow to arrive as are teh Coho...there are more than 400 Coho in the holding tanks on the Big Q but as of the other day most were hatchery fish and this is not a good thing..so the retention of Coho is not permitted yet... Respect other anglers and have fun
Sept 14th...Same as Sept 3rd...
Chinook have seriously entered the river with a good number going up into the system...you will also find some Pink Salmon mixed in ,Egg patterns might just do the deal with the Cutties and the Pinks will pick up a slow drifted Bead Head Prince Nymph or such..
Trout Fishing in the Big Q is fair with this warm weather ,but beware, the Chinook have entered the system all the way past the New Highway... be prepared for some very tough pulling if you hook into these beasts..check the regs for correct details
The river again closes only below the Hatchery on August 10th..if you can get there before ,some very nice Cutties are about that area...otherwise try Stone Flies all along the upper River above the Train Trestle..and of course the old faithful Dry Fly such as a Stimulator of Tom Thumb
Some very nice Cutties are about,,,use Stone Flies or Dry flies...big dry flies,,,some of these fish are in the 5 lb range..Salmon will be entering soon so the big pool at the hatchery will close on the 10th of August..Dry Flies
Dry Flies and Bead Head Muddlers are the ticket these days,some big Cutties are holding between the Trestle and the hatchery itself...also near the new Log bridge several miles up.also working the deeper pools with small egg sucking leeches will often produce results, I like florescent pink egg heads.
June 15th...the river is very fishy these days with some very large Cutties and Rainbows being landed in the lower River areas...
May 19th...its even better these past few days..lots of Minnows are in the system
What can you say about the Big Qualicum River except that it can be a sleeper ...the fishing has been good and getting much better.. here you see Bruce's nice fish from Yesterday...notice the ugly fly that worked!
As with the Little Q there are some very nice fish being caught all along the lower stretches of the River...some Steelhead have also been hooked into...but this year we have seen only a few Steelhead....Try large Stimulator patterns to attract the larger Cutthroat
The fry have moved into the lower river areas and fishing has been good,even the dry fly action is on...dry fies can be farily large for this river..some big Cutties are offering to accept your fly...don't miss it
Great water conditions have made fishing a real bonus for those fishers willing to walk to the middle sections of the River...Some good dry fly action has been had
If you have the energy and correct flies you will enter the realm of Sea Run Cuthroat in big numbers...this year we should see some amazing fishing all throughout this system into the early summer months. I like Bead HEad Muddlers in natural colour and a light green and white Polar Bear Minnow pattern...I have also had good success with small black egg sucking leeches.
Water is still a bit high but you can add a bit of weight to your fly to get it down...the fry are becoming thicker and the Cutties that have already spawned will follow their prey to the ocean and of course lay in wait there as well..good fishing
Feb 25th 2010....
This river has actually been fishign well..the fish have had lots of water to reside in ,some very nice Cutties have been had so far ,a few Steelhead are about as well as a few poachers doing their nasty deed...lets catch these B.........RDS..
The better fishing is as usual in the middle sections...soon the fry will be exiting the river as will teh Cutties...fish the lower river above the Train Trestle
.Water levels are perfect for Cutthroat Trout Fishing...Minnow patterns,Terrestrials,and of course keep trying the egg patterns..there are a few Salmon(old) remaining...food for the juviniles and everything along the Raparian Zones.
November 8th...there is lots of water in the river ..it is definitely fishable with many nice Coho about...no retention for Coho...Some Chum are still coming in that are bright and if you are able to, retain One fish. Behind these fish are some very impressive Cutthroat Trout seeking eggs...hint nint!
October 24th...With the numbers of Coho still down for any coming there is no retention fior Coho at this time. There are several thousnad in the system but not congregated, The CHum Fishing is better with ertention of One fish and some are very bright.
Take your favorite small fly rod up into the middle sections of the Big Q and get rewarded with some very nice Sea Run Cutthroat Torut...a 4 plus pounder was landed yesterday about the Powerlines..
There have been a lot of large Chinook Salmon in this system for the past month , following these big fish are some very impressive Sea Run Cutthroat Trout...now that we have some Coho and Chum coming in and with the opening of the River to gear fishing it will be very hectic for anyone wishing to find peace and Quiet. However,there is a good retention this year for Chum and Chinook,although the Chinook are basically finished. The Coho fishing will be opened once they have their numbers for Brood Stock,etc. Check your regs' and the board at the Hatchery for changes!
Many fish are now in the system...several hundred have been let up into the system...Fly Fishing only..and no retention yet...there are surely some very nice Cutthroat behind any schools of Chinook or Pink Salmon...eg patterns
Wow..some big Chinook holding in the pool below the bridge...there are some Pinks in there and some very big Cutthroat Trout..
Fly Fishing only for a while...barbless
With the cooling off we will see many Chinook making their way into this River soon...some nice Trout are awaitingeggs.
August 20th...there are many nice Cutthroat Trout in the system mixed in with some very nasty Chinook Salmon...Fly Fishing Only till October..
There is some mighty fine Trout Fishing going on at the moment...with the hot weather we have seen a slight increase in the water levels that regularly bring in larger Cutthroat Trout to chase the Fry...Enjoy.
April 1st...no fooling..
I have seen many small schools of Cutthroat trout holding in the currents of the Lower River in wait of the Fry coming out...there has also been a good Stone Fly Hatch and with warm weather predicted there will be more..The Steelhead run this year has been poor..and again there has been some poaching going on for both Steelhead and sea run Cutthroat Trout. If you see these $@#@%@&^@ report them
March 26th...some very interesting Sea Run Fish have entered this wonderful trout fishery...Cutthroat trout are now terrorizing new fry on their way to the ocean...intercepting these fish is a wonder in itself
Have fun and do be careful with the release
The water is lowish here as well..but there have been moments when the Cutthroat Trout were in good numbers...these fish Spawn this time of year so the bite is off a bit...and you may even hook into the odd Steelhead..Have fun...
Fishing opportunities abound on this system all through the year and winter is something special...try the middle section of this system for some very nice Cutthroat Trout,a few resident Rainbows and of course Winter Run Steelhead that begin to enter this system about now....the water is very cold but perfect height at the present...Minnow Patterns,a few egg patterns and flesh flies will get you into good position for fish.
now that the meat hole is open and all the snaggers are about you will get a chance to get into some fresh Chum and Coho...there is no retention for Coho just yet....but there are good numbers of Coho all throughout the system to the top....There are some mighty fine Chum coming in and very fresh...great for the smoker!
CHUM and COHO
With so many fish in the river there are many opportunities to keep a few fish for your freezer or smoker. There are a few Chum and Coho in now with many more to come,,....also for the Trout fishers out there egg patterns and nymphs will do the job very nicely.
Lots of large fish holding in the Hatchery pool with a few Coho in the Mix.....some fish are going up and you will find them in the Middle section of the River...some above the New Highway Bridge...please observe the regulations...there is a retention quota of fish under 62 cm...only
There are a good number of Chinook in the system now that we have had some rain...the Hatchery folk have opened the gates to allow some fish up into the River itself..no retention and watch for closures...along with these big fish will also be some very big Cutthroat Trout just a waiting for EGGGGSSS
There are several dozen Chinook in the big pool(Closed) along with some very big Cutthroat Trout at the Moment. The High Tides will bring in many more fish.Lets hope the Hatchery gets it's Quota early so some fish can be released into the main River...The weather conditions are too hot at the moment ...over stressing these large fish wouldn't be a good thing!
I have seen only a couple of Chinook in the hatchery pool above the walking bridge... before the pool was closed there were some nice Cutties pre-empting the river before the bigger Salmon...typical.
At the Powerline pool above the new highway there are some nice Cutties in the 3 lb range...taken on a double bead Black Stone Fly...and Mickey Finn
Cutthroat Trout Fishing is really good at the moment in the Big Qualicum River above the Train Trestle pool all the way to the upper river.
Tthere were no big fish coming into the Big Q as of today,although there are some Chinook arriving daily off the mouth of the River,saw several jumping about near Sunny Beach...so,that usually means the season is early but upon us...
Fly fishers can ply their skills in the big pool;s below the hatchery and above the Native fence until August 10,fly fishing only...can be fun..but the water is a bit warm and be careful with these big fish.
No big fish(Salmon) in the System yet, however, I would suspect the Cutthroat will be moving into the river before their 30 lb. cousins decide it is time to mate...so that can make dry fly and nymph fishing very productive and fun...don't be surprised to see more Pink Salmon that normal coming into the big Q this year if we continue to have little in the way of rain.
July 10... During the past few days there have been more good size Cutties enter the system(up to 4 lbs)...these fish haven't entered the upper River as of yet but will be pushed up once the Chinooks begin to come in likely by the end of the Month..Fly Fishers have the good fortune to be able to fish for the Chinook,C&R only,watch for the reg's posted on the board.
July 5th.......AS usual,the Big Qualicum produces some very fine specimens of the Cutthroat Family and this year seems to be a good year. Some 5 lb. Fish have actually been seen and hooked into as well as released. There is a bait ban on this system....report all poachers...especially the guy with the rubber boots and an attempted half grown black beard! Big Caddis and Stone Flies are working well as well as Mickey Finn patterns.
June 20...Water levels are slightly above normal and this is good for the fish and the fishers....there have been nice Cutties caught and released up to 4 lbs. recently..on a Bead Head Rolled Muddler and a small Mickey Finn...