Hooking Salmon on Canada’s Sooke River
The banks of the Sooke River and Juan de Fuca Bay, near the southern tip of Vancouver Island, are heavily populated with eagles, harbour seals, bears and lots of edible wildlife. Turns out that the eagles are here for the same reason the bears and seals are, which also happens to be the reason Adam Heffelfinger and I were both here at dawn one morning: to catch some salmon.
Heffelfinger runs Adam’s Fishing Charters (motto: “We catch fish”). And catch them we did. Heffelfinger’s phone rang frequently during our half-day at sea on his Gulfstream 232 (“Regulars and referrals,” he boasted). Some callers want to go out for halibut (in season), others for salmon, still others for both. “If it swims, we can catch it,” he added.
During our four hours fishing the Race Rocks area, we caught our share of salmon, snagging a few over 14 pounds. (You can view the fishing area – and sometimes a migrating orca whale in the summer– at racerocks.com). Back in the harbour, local shops will clean your catch, filet it, freeze it and pack it for shipping or your flight home for a few dollars a pound.
The day before my expedition, Heffelfinger and his guests caught their limits of Chinook salmon in the first two hours. In Victoria, it’s easy to fish in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and have your catch cooked for you for dinner by one of the local chefs. Business is good. And that makes Adam Heffelfinger one lucky man.
19 Lotus Street
Victoria, BC V9A 1P3, Canada