Tofino Fishing Report – January 2018

The bathroom scale and I haven’t been getting along lately.  Once a source of pride and adoration, the relationship has thoroughly soured over the past few months. In fact, now that I think about it, since I turned forty the thing has developed a deeply concerning attitude problem.

Take today for example. Fresh from the shower this morning I gave the scale a tentative push with my big toe, secretly hoping the battery had given out, or the LED readout would have finally stopped working thanks to the copious amounts of water I’ve taken to dripping on it lately after stepping out of the tub.  

No such luck. The blue numbers lit up all zeros, taunting me to step on.  

Really, I should know better. I’ve attended a number of good pot-lucks lately and I have not shied away from savoury entrees or rich desserts. The holidays have been wonderful, I thought, no need to ruin them now.  

But I couldn’t help myself. On went one foot, and then the other. With a sigh I waited for the microcomputer to work out the numbers, and winced as the scale delivered the news.   

Not at all satisfied with the readout I sucked in some air and picked up my left foot in hopes of tricking the scale.

And it worked!  Two whole pounds immediately vanished.  

Figuring I was on to something, I fanned out my arms for balance and stretched my left leg straight out behind me.  I fought for balance on my right foot, flailing my arms and shifting my weight as best I could in a buck-naked quasi-yoga move intended to force a more favourable recalculation.

And that’s when Andrea and Jenny Mustard both marched into the room.

Andrea, in her typical fashion, downplayed the scene by walking straight to the bathroom sink.  I turned my head, catching her eye in the mirror as she began to brush her teeth, and watched her raise one eyebrow in return.

Jenny Mustard, far more interested in the absurdity of the maneuver however, decided to charge.

Normally I’m pretty good at deflecting the pounce of a fifty-five pound Golden Retriever, but not today. She launched though the air and hit my naked buttocks with both front paws, taking advantage of my already precarious balance, and knocked me to the floor with a sodden thud.  

As I lay gasping for air, with Jenny furiously licking the remnants of the shower off of my face, I decided that it wasn’t too late to come up with one last New Year’s resolution.

So, if you see me lugging a fly rod, panting and sweating in some remote river canyon this winter be sure to ask me how my New Year’s resolutions are going. Not that I needed another excuse to sneak out and fish…

Thankfully the steelhead fishing seems to be firing on all cylinders this season, so there’s a lot of motivation to get out there. Solid numbers of steelhead hit the rivers this fall and the action has been borderline fantastic this year. There’s been some very big fish around this season too, which is a tidbit of information that should not be taken lightly.

It’s a rare year indeed when both quantity and quality are in the same sentence, but this year seems to be the exception. If you don’t mind the cold slog into the January elements I’d strongly suggest making a few trips to one of our local rivers. It’s an excellent way to get away from the in-laws and defeat cabin fever. And if you’re not a local who’s well-versed in the infinite nuances of chasing steelhead in Clayoquot Sound then hire a guide, trust me you’ll thank me later.

 Lead Guide Josh Temple with a beauty Steelhead

If you’re looking for some saltwater action then you are in luck as well. January offers legit chances at great salmon fishing in protected, inshore waters safe from open ocean swells.

A favourite trip at this time of year is a six hour saltwater excursion where shots at winter chinook, and traps filled with prawns and Dungeness crab are all in the cards. Nice warm boats, hot coffee, good stories and fresh seafood make for enjoyable January days.  

Life is short people. Don’t be the naked guy dancing around the bathroom scale all winter. Get out there and grab hold of some adventure, maybe lose some weight and catch some nice fish along the way.

- Captain Josh Temple