River Fishing My Life Away

river fishing

River Fishing My Life Away

It is often called Indian Summer. Strange as it may sound, it is neither Indian nor Summer. This morning, I feel more at one with the river. I feel more content, more satisfied with my fishing. My catches have not been numerous, but my time here has been very exhilarating.

I am standing in shallow water at a river crossing. Pink Salmon are darting past me on their final journey. They are coming up the river of their birth to spawn. Their decaying flesh prominent for all to see, as they struggle to make their way up the river in search of gravel beds.

I can only imagine their effort, as they scurry up the shallow river bed. Their journey, instinctive and all-consuming. This is their final task. Their last days of this Indian Summer. Their last days of effort and struggle in their natal water.

Water is their medium of life and soon it will consume them. All this effort expended to procreate a new generation. The sunlight glistening on their exaggerated dorsal fins rivets my attention as I strain to see it all. My polarized lenses clarify this vision and their closeness brings a joy to my eyes. A few fish bump into my riverboots as I stand motionless in the river.

I turn to leave, but I stop myself. This is so pure and so unique that I have stay a bit longer. Staying is easy. I focus my thoughts and imagine their effort as they fight their way up the relentless flow of the river.

Further upstream, I see fish jumping out of the river water and they appear to be Chinooks. Instinctively, I begin working my way upstream. The Pink Salmon’s struggle is inspiring me to continue fishing. The last two hours have only produced one Pink Salmon for me. According to fishing regulations, I had to return it to the river.

I spend precious minutes watching this captivating spectacle, and as I reach the riverbank, I begin to increase my walking pace. I am getting more accustomed to my new baitcasting reel and fishing with it is very pleasureful.

I can’t wait to cast my line into this river. I am a young boy again, with a new toy, and it feels like Christmas morning. The easy flow casting of my new fishing reel makes me giddy. It is almost too much to bear. The result of too much fishing with an old fishing reel, well past its prime.

What is “river fishing” and why is it so popular?

River-fishing is simply fishing along the banks of small rivers and fishing on the beaches and banks of larger rivers. River fishing is also an easy way to get more involved in Hiking and Camping. I often vacillate between my love of fishing the river and my love of the river itself. Are you more attracted to fishing the river, or more attracted to the rivers themselves?

Rivers, for me, are a very addictive Natural phenomenon. They have a life of their own, and this life is in a constant state of change. Seasons are the largest factors in redefining the river you fish on. If you live in the Temperate zone, where we have four seasons you will notice an extreme change in the water levels at various times of the year.

The period before the “snow-melts” usually produces the lowest water levels and after the snows have melted for a few months, in the Spring of the year, the water levels rise significantly and as a consequence, they become very dangerous, hence, the expression, … a Raging River!

Who Can Fish On The Rivers?

Basically speaking, anyone can fish on a river providing that there is an open season to fish there. BUT! There are so many rules and regulations in Sport Fishing that books and manuals are written about it quite frequently. While this may seem complicated at first, do not let this discourage you from participating in this activity.

In British Columbia, Canada, where I do most of my fishing, there is a Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis (2017-2019) that will guide you through most of the regulations you are required to follow. In addition, there is a British Columbia Sport Fishing Guide. Department of Fisheries and Oceans also maintain a website to update some changes that can occur during the actual fishing seasons.

These regulations, for the most part, remain fairly constant and are very easy to follow and understand. They are a necessary requirement to Sport Fishing and one of the main reasons why the fishing here in British Columbia is of World-Class caliber. Proper Fishing Management has proven its worth beyond all doubt.

What Equipment Do I Need To River-Fish?

Basic River Fishing Gear includes

1. a fishing-rod, 2. a fishing reel, 3. fishing line, 4. a fishing float, 5. lead weights, 6. a fishing hook, and, of course, 7. bait.

You can also add

8. fishing boots and 9. waders. 10. A dip net and 11. a bag or 12. fishing vest … to carry it all, make your fishing kit very complete.

A PFD, 13. a Personal Flotation Device, is a definite must if you fish any type of deep or fast water. 14. a Fishing License, and your 15. Fishing Regulations.

There you have it!

The near-perfect Fishing Kit for you!

What Should I Do If I Have No Experience?

If you are new to Fishing, or you have very limited fishing experience, it is best to first begin with some type of research. First, read up a bit on the many types of fishing that you can try in your area.

For instance, if you are spending your summer vacation at the lake with the family, you will require very different fishing tackle than if you are fishing for Steelhead on the Vedder River, … especially if you have friends that are hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool, “river steelhead fishermen”.

The Same story applies if you plan to fish in freshwater or if your fishing will be done in saltwater. There are also many Fishing Shows on TV and don’t neglect to visit the You-Tube fishing videos.

Here, you will find a very extensive and descriptive resource with, literally, endless amounts of information.

Can I Combine Fishing with Camping and Hiking?

Of course, you can! This is Fishing at a more advanced level. It requires more planning, but it is well worth the effort. Imagine enjoying your catch at the end of the day, sitting at the campfire, under a full moon. A beverage to quench your thirst, the crackling of the campfire, and an opportunity to work on your “fishing story”.

Imagine capturing the attention of your friends at work as you explain, in great detail, how you fought with this “silver bullet” for 20 minutes before finally landing your catch.

River fishing for sockeye salmon

Fishing along a river is also an easy way to enjoy a Day Hike.

Walking the riverbanks on a warm summer day with the sun reflecting on the water is a joy to behold.

Stop where ever you want to fish and stay for as long as you want. You are now in control of your life.

In Conclusion

Fishing as a means of gathering food for survival is as old as the hills. As a matter of fact, fishing records date back to the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period about 40,000 years ago.

Recreational fishing, as we know it today, is much more modern and may have begun in the 15th century. There are records that fly-fishing for food and survival may have begun even earlier than that in Japan. Whatever your reasons for this interest in fishing, no one can deny the thrill of a bending rod as you struggle to reel in this bundle of dashing and darting energy.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about Fishing on a river or any other type of water, I would be very pleased to hear about them. I may be able to provide you with first-hand information and if not, I can certainly provide resources for you to explore this fishing concern that you have.

May the river always provide for you!

Happy Fishing and Tight Lines!


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