TYEE TALES – Shara Berger

Keen on Tyee fishing. Have you been away for the summer?

Another Tyee Fishing season will end at dark on September 15th. As I spend countless hours staring at my rod tip, I have ample opportunity to reflect on this amazing past time.

In 1968 I had the privilege of coming to Campbell River and met a very keen, young Painter’s Lodge Guide who introduced me to the pleasure and pain of Tyee Fishing. I have been lucky enough to fish in this time honoured way for the last 34 years.

When the season is over and my friends once again ask me if I have been away, I always say yes; I spent August in the Tyee Pool. I realize that so many residents in Campbell River know absolutely nothing about this fishery. While every method of fishing in our area from mooching to trolling to fly-casting is a wonderful experience, Tyee Fishing is not only unique to Campbell River but has been unique in the World for 78 years. It is a highly unproductive way to fish, some members having spent 25 years staring at a rod tip before actually capturing a fish 30 pounds or better. Makes you wonder why we keep doing it? I keep asking myself that.Tyee fishing is a highly social activity, friendly people having pleasant conversation as boats pass each other, communal joy when someone hooks a fish, seeing old friends each year in the Pool and feeling very sad when long time fishermen no longer row their boats or hold a rod.

Come down to the Spit some warm summer evening and watch the boats or stop by the Clubhouse to chat with the Weigh-master, Mike Rippingale, who can explain everything there is to know about Tyee Fishing and is happy to do so.

And if you ever, ever have the chance to go Tyee Fishing at 5AM, grab it – it is AWESOME!

August 2002