tofino fishing - tofino springtime fishing

Tofino Springtime Fishing

by Jay Mohl, Tofino

When you hear the term 'Spring-time' around Tofino, you have to consider in which context it is being used. For many who are fortunate to live in the Island's most beautiful west coast community, Spring-time often represents the awaited change of seasons and weather conditions.

Many Tofino locals start gearing up for another busy season of tourists, who arrive early to witness some of natures fascinating creatures. Grey Whales, Sea lions and Black Bears, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the majestic coastal mountain landscape are definitely all wondrous things.

The creature that fascinates me the most undoubtedly has to be the 'Spring Steelhead'. Beautiful but shy, sleek and powerful, tactics involve hunting as much as they do fishing. This anadromous coastal creature gets the recognition and respect that it deserves from ardent anglers who ply their favorite waters around Tofino.

Flies ranging from the shrimp type General Practitioner, bright Marabous, large Leeches to single eggs and fry patterns, all need precise presentation and timing. Lures like the Gibbs Ironhead and Koho spoons, or drifted marabou jigs and wool eggs are all recommended arsenal.

Timing is crucial for success. These fast moving silver bullets can come and go while you sleep, with most activity during the spring snow melt and warming temperatures.

Another favorite early season quarry of Tofino fishing is the 'Spring Salmon'. These hard fighting Chinook provide great sport as well as very fine table fare. As they are almost continuously feeding, search the offshore banks for schools of Herring, Needlefish or Sardines to locate larger schools of these feisty 'blackmouth'.

Fished on or near the bottom, gear of choice would be Anchovies or medium Herring trolled in a glow teaser head, as well as pearl white or glow green Hoochies and spoons behind a purple glow or red flasher.

Leader lengths vary from 5-7 ft for natural baits, 38-42 inches for hoochies, and between 4-5 feet for the right spoon action. Don't forget to try a 4-6 inch Tomic plug # 602, 500, 232.

Jason Mohl operates Clayoquot Ventures in Tofino. Visit his company online at or contact him by email at
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Tofino fishing guide Jay Mohl's article 'Tofino Springtime Fishing' from Tofino Time Magazine.

tofino time may 2002

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