Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means it is Salmon Festival time in the Alberni Valley and areas of Barkley Sound. The Derby takes place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday with fishing beginning each day at 6 am. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this popular Alberni Valley and area event. The derby closes on Labor Day Monday at 3 pm with the final weigh-in. The Derby headquarters once again is once again at Tyee Landing. Any potential winning fish for each of the three days must be weighed in at Tyee Landing. There are fantastic prizes with the winning fish and the top three salmon for each day winning prize money. The largest salmon will win a lucky individual $10,000 with daily prizes for the top largest fish valued at $5.000, 2,000 and $1,000. The cost per rod for 2021 is $50. Some of this money will go to “local” enhancement.
The Alberni Valley and much of Barkley Sound has experienced very warm and dry weather conditions during the summer. The Chinook and Coho are waiting for fresh wter before entering the many streams, creeks and rivers. There has been minimal migration into the Somass River system. In Barkley Sound fresh Chinook and some Coho are moving in with the late August and early September migration. Many of the salmon migrating into the Sound will migrate up to the inlet and into the Somass system.
The best fishing at this time is in Barkley Sound. The Alberni Inlet over the past three weeks has also experienced some excellent Chinook fishing. The inlet has experienced some commercial fishing which has slowed the sport fishing over the last few days. However fish will continue migrating and the inlet should fill up with salmon in time for the derby. Barkley Sound has been fantastic and the fishing has been “World Class”. Swale Rock, Pill Point, Wittlestone, Beale and Little Beale, The Bamfield Wall, Austin, Meares, and Assets have all been fantastic sport fishing locations and should remain this way for the next few weeks. The salmon in the sound have been feeding very hard during much of the day and of course on tide changes the bite is even better. The salmon are in fairly shallow water in the sound and Inlet. Fishing between thirty and fifty feet is not uncommon. The best lures in the inlet have been the Octopus hootchies in the O-2, O-16, purple haze and the AORL 12. The best leader length for these hootchies has been thirty-eight to forty-two inches. Anchovy in the inlet was a very good choice at the beginning of the season and still is a great choice but many sport anglers are have success with hootchies. In Barkley Sound bait in a variety of teaser heads is working the best. Army Truck, green haze, and the herring aid seem to be a great choice with the leader length being six feet. At this time of year green gold and purple gold flashers are by far the best. With approximately 140,000 Chinook salmon returning to West Coast Vancouver Island the Derby weekend should have some great results. The number of five year old’s returning are approximately 17% which means there could be some nice sized fish landed during the derby and into September.
For More information
Contact Doug Lindores
1 888 214 7206