Friday, August 25, 2017
We were meeting Rod at the Castlegar Sports Center and Fly Shop at 12:00, so we caught up on chores, doing several loads of laundry. We were worried Castlegar RV Park and Campground wouldn’t be the same since Dale sold it two years ago. We had so enjoyed his company four years ago. We quickly found out it is in great hands with Wylie and Kim Orser, the new owners. We haven’t met Wylie yet, but Kim is wonderful. Soft-spoken and very pretty, her stories surprise you. She likes to fish, recently going out with a friend sturgeon fishing. She told the story of going cougar hunting with a friend, whose cattle were being ravaged by cougars. She also likes to ride horses, but will have to sell her horses, maybe taking it up again when they get more established here. She and Wylie worked the oil fields in Alberta for years before moving to Castlegar.
We packed up our gear and headed into town. Josh, Rod’s son, was tying flies as we walked in. He is a handsome young man in his 20’s with an accent like his dad. Trained as an electrician, jobs are tough here right now as several industries have shut down. He is going Vancouver next week to investigate a job offer. Meanwhile he has been helping at the fly shop all summer. The two of them tie around 100 flies on an average day and receive requests from all over Canada and the U.S. to replicate or develop new patterns that friends and customers have dreamed up.
The Sports Center and Fly Shop has just about anything anyone would need to be successful fishing the Columbia or any other river including the best guide around. Rod knows the Columbia like no other and his mild manner and reserve disposition make him an ideal teacher anyone wanting to learn. We bought the traditional $100 worth of trout flies, some bear spray for our next stop, loaded our equipment into Rod’s truck and headed out for a day of fishing towing his 16-foot boat with a 30 horsepower engine.
What a unbelievably magical day! The horrible heat we had been experiencing for the entire trip had been run out of town by a cold front the night before and we now lavished in mid seventies temperatures with just enough wind and cloud cover to make being on the river about as pleasant as possible. To make it even more pleasurable, we got into the fish while drifting nymphs with large yellow indicators in the rapid current. Greg caught ( this is Kelly guest writing) the first rainbow of about 18 inches and we alternated catching trout of all sizes for the rest of the day ending up with a total of around 20. Rod provided a great lunch and much appreciated advice regarding casting and mending of fly-lines.