Outdoors

Where to Ski on Vancouver Island

Mount Washington Mount Washington is legendary in North America for its crazy amount of snowfall. An average year will see over 10 metres of snowfall. That’s over 30 feet! Providing choice terrain for those on a snowboard or skis, the runs vary from steep and difficult to extremely kid friendly (including a series of new “Magic Carpets”…

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The Magic of East Sooke Park

Drifting Towards the Elements By Sandy Carter We walk with purpose along the dirt trail and come to a large fallen Douglas fir. I adjust the strap on my tripod so it rests securely on my back and position my camera protectively. Placing both hands on the trunk for balance, I raise my leg up…

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Elk Lake Park

‘Elk’lectic Lake By Jeremy Leete Patiently watching his rod tip, looking for the slightest quiver, Josh awaits his next bite. Fingertips soiled in fish egg slime, he brings his half-smoked cigarette to his lips and takes a satisfying drag. “Any luck so far?” I inquire. “Lotsa bites,” he mutters without turning his head. “These rainbows…

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Freshwater Fishing Locations

fisherman-in-river

With hundreds of lakes and rivers, Vancouver Island offers plenty of opportunities for freshwater fishing. Many lakes are stocked, mainly with a variety of trout including rainbow and cutthroat. The Ministry of Fisheries publishes an annual booklet on freshwater fishing. Available at and marine stores, this booklet tells you what restrictions apply. Note: Some areas…

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The Ultimate Kayaking Routes on Vancouver Island

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a first-timer, Vancouver Island has literally thousands of spots where you can paddle away a day, a week or longer. Before you put in the water, check for water conditions, skill level needed for specific routes, tides and currents. While you can put in anywhere, here are some of…

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A Trout Tale

A STEELHEAD LESSON LEARNED By Dave Hadden Steelhead anglers often develop a certain degree of expertise relative to locating and catching their quarry. This comes about through a combination of factors involving experiences, observations, successes, failures and lessons learned from other anglers. Some anglers, however, seem to be slow learners. Here is my favorite story…

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Free Camping! Top Wilderness Camping on Vancouver Island

The Ministry of Forests and forest companies on Vancouver Island operate a number of wilderness camping sites that are accessible year round for free. These sites do not offer water but they are free. Some sites have firepits, pit toilets and picnic tables. Some have a boat launch and wharf. For detailed location and directions for…

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Fly Fishing

You stand chest-deep in the surf, your right arm upright and weaving like a snake. The wet fishing line glistens as it arcs back and forth in the evening light. With a final thrust you play the out line, landing the fly where a slight ripple on the surface has caught your eye. Seconds later…

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Saltwater Fishing

A brisk February wind blows off the Pacific Ocean as you wander the docks of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The halibut season is under way. Your charter operator helps you aboard the boat, hands you a cup of steaming coffee and points the bow seaward. The halibut, he says, are being caught 20…

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Freshwater Fishing

freshwater-fish-release

Lifting your small boat from the top of the car, you look out over the small freshwater lake, the first of four in the chain called Nanaimo Lakes. The guy at the tackle shop said the lakes, First, Second, Third and Fourth, are good for rainbow and cutthroat trout, and there’s a chance you may…

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