With the ocean lapping right next to you and only oars to power the pursuit of the biggest chinook salmon around, fishing doesn’t get much more authentic than this.
“[It] takes us back. Way back to nearly 100 years ago,” Norm Lee with the Tyee Club of British Columbia in Campbell River.
Taking fishing back to basics and its the odds of catching the revered fish are what people travel from all over the world to get a taste of. Roger Gage started fishing for Tyee (chinook) 40 years ago with his dad.
“When you put in more work for it and you put in more time, you appreciate the reward or you appreciate the result a lot more,” Gage said.
The photos of the lucky people who have caught big chinook salmon smile down in the Tyee clubhouse. The club has been open for 95 years.
Fisherman still use oars in the Tyee Pool, which is just off the shore of the Tyee Spit. They also use a single barbless hook, light rod and line and if they are blessed to get a bite.
“The excitement just explodes when that fish comes through the gate and it doesn’t matter if it’s a big fish or an undersized fish, the excitement is just unreal,” Bob Goodwin, weighmaster with the Tyee Club, said.
The Tyee fishing season runs from July 15 to Sept. 15, which means this Sunday is the last chance all year to catch a big one and get your name in the history books.
Twelve have been caught so far.