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G'Day All. First off, my thanks to all of you who shared information with me. Following are my experiences camping and fishing from September 8-September 12, 2008.

1. The scenery from Alberni to Bamfield, Deer Islands, Pill Point, Assitas Island, the Narrows, the Inlet was astounding. I stayed at China Creek and had a spectacular view of the inlet and the Narrows. The experience of being on the water in nice weather was more than worthwhile for the trip.

2. Having a boat moored was very convenient. I got to China Creek, launched the boat, moored it, and dropped my trailer at camp and set up camp. The folks at the campground were all very nice, helpful, and friendly, although the caretaker was a bit of a grump. They had fuel from 9-5. Bruce, the park manager, was particularly helpful. I liked the set up and the shower facilities.

3. I was by myself (now retired) as my wife could not get off work (4 letter word, eh). I met some very nice folks. I was most appreciative by how friendly everyone was and willing to share information.

4. My fishing experience was very positive as well. Living in Idaho, I just love being on the salt. I was fishing strictly with an 8 weight fly rod and Type V sinking line. I knew in advance that the fishing would be difficult to say the least. I only fished Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday concentrating on Assitas Island, Deer Islands, and Pill Point with some fishing inside. I fished hard from my 20' Pro-Line Bay boat. Many folks out on the water would say hi and offer encouragement. I am grateful to the hospitality extended to this vistor. I had only two salmon chase my fly with no hook ups. I could have loaded the boat with bottom fish. I caught 3 different species of bottom fish, with the largest about 5#. I released all of them unharmed as I caught them in depths above 60'.

5. The wildlife was an added bonus. I saw black bear, bald eagles, all sorts of various birds, several herring balls with birds working them, seals, and sea lions. The trees were beautiful.

6. Most people got skunked while I was there. There were some exceptions. Thursday morning at Pill Point most boats landed fish taken from 30-45' trolling with downriggers. Several boats limited. Other than that there were very few fish caught. The fellow who runs Reel Time went out to the banks and found some feeding Coho and did well there. Bruce, the park manager, said many who had significant experience and were considered very good salmon fishers got skunked.

7. It was a bit expensive. The BC Ferry cost was a high. They should give a break to boaters. My truck and boat/trailer was 42' long and just over 8' tall and took up the space of just two passenger pickups. I paid $167 out and $177 back. Also, the fuel cost in BC was a bit high, but I am glad there was fuel in Bamfield and China Creek.

My last observation, I fish for the experience. Yes, it would be wonderful to hook a number of salmon and maybe kill the odd fish for the grill. But it is fishing. It is being on the water. It is riding on my boat. It is enjoying time watching the scenery and going with the tide. It is having a nice camp to return to and to have a safe haven. It is meeting interesting and friendly people. It is experiencing the weather.

Folks, I am already planning a return trip to Canada. Right now, the steelhead are heading our way and fall fly fishing is turning on. But I miss the salt. I will post this to several forums. Cheers, Gary
 

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Thanks for leting us in on your experiences on the west coast...always nice to read what others impressions are of an area we really take for granted. Sorry to hear you did not smack a few of those big coho the west coast is famous for. but sincerely hope you will return another time............Cheers, Ortho 8)
 
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