Every culture has its legends, and every sport
has a culture. In the world of fishing, legends are moulded by time and experience. And they
embody a vast bank of knowledge that people who share their passion only dream of having
access to. Unfortunately the best fishermen are also often the best liars.
My name is Captain Quinn& . (Music)
I ve been fishing my whole life and sometimes I think to myself or I wonder if I ll ever
get bored of it? And I ll ever hit a point where it just stops interesting me, or stops
exciting me. And I ll lose my will to keep engaging in this activity, but then I meet
people and I talk to people that have been doing this their entire lives. They ve been
fishing up here 30, 40, 50 years like Fred Philpot, Boy Clay, Rob Brown. They ve creates
lifestyles that allow them, if they choose to, fish every single day. And they ve been
fishing their entire lives. They know these stretches of waters in and out. They ve caught,
they ve probably stopped counting how many fish they ve caught. How many days they ve
spent on the water. And when I talk to them and when I fish with them they still get excited.
Like, it s their first time fishing. And I think that that really is a true testament
to how dynamic this activity is. This sport. I fell really grateful that I am engages invested
in soothing that can provide me excitement for the rest of my life.
THE FORESTER My name is Fred Philpot. I was born in Duncan
British Columbia. I grew up there. Until I finished high school and university and the
summer of 1961 and I came back here because there we so many big fish and I loved the
country. So that s why I m actually here in terrace. It s not the success rate that keeps
me fishing, it s the fact that I like to be here. I love my house and my property. I can
walk down the back and sit and look at the Skeena River. Like even now get my shelter
of the trees and just look at the ice and marvel at the country that we live it and
how it changes from spring to summer and fall to wither and so on.
(Music) You still have those glasses?
I kind of reveled in being able to do that where I could walk out my back door and not
have to drive anywhere. Go down to the rive and catch& well catch everything. Sockeyes,
pinks, cohos, steelhead and walk home again. There s quite a feeling of satisfaction in
being able to do that. It s not a journey it s part of your life and part of your backyard.
Totally. What s your favourite fly to fish with. Do you have one?
I prefer a waking fly. Or a little trout fly. Probably my favorite is a little catis trout
fly that Rob showed to me. The day I hooked that 30 pounder that I was telling you about,
that I think was thirty pounds. I was fishing with rob and he was fishing behind me and
I hooked five fish that day one of them was the 30 pounder. He hooked and played thirteen
fish. Fishing behind me on that little wee catis fly. They were feeding on catis flies.
They were rising and it was an amazing lesson in fishing for me. So I guess that s my favorite
fly. Wow. That 30 pounder. It ended up getting
away in the end didn t it? Yep, I had to swim for it because it went
out into the pool on me and down the next set of rapid into the pool. I waded out. I
had my wetsuit on because we d been fishing with them. I didn t have waiters on that time.
So I kind of swam and paddled and floated around the logs and then back down the beach.
While fishing the fish? While fighting the fish. And I got it. And
the fish was pretty tired by that point. So I had him played out and he was laying on
his side in that much water. He was dry and Rob was going to go down and measure girth
and length because it was huge. And then the fish just rolled and the fly went pechooo.
And I said fish is gone Rob. And he thought he d catch up and it went flop flop and wiggled
and so on. So we agreed that it was conservatively 25 pounds and Rob said it could have easily
been 30 pounds. There was no way that much fish is probably 2 pounds.
Yaaaa. It sound like that was the inspiration in the final scene in a River Runs Through
it. You floating down the river with the fish. THE ROD BUILDER
I think a lot of people out there in this world dream of making their hobby or their
passion their job. I think that s a goal for a lot of people. It doesn t always work out,
but in some cases it does. For me it has, and I feel very grateful for that. I m and
entertainer and I share my passion of fishing and the outdoors with people and it s come
around to that s what I do as a job and a passion. So when I m out here I m doing both
and that s very exciting. With Bob Clay, he is recognized around the world for his craft
in making bamboo spey rods. And that was born out of his passion for fishing and getting
out here and connecting with the environment. So I find that incredibly inspiring and you
know, it does sound cheesy to say, but if you do pursue your passion then things do
have a way of falling into place. My name is Bob Clay. I live here in the Kispiox
Valley which is north of Hazelton BC. And Hazelton is where the Skeena and the Bulkley
join and the Kispiox comes in just a little to the north. And the Kispiox is known for
its big steelhead, sort of the last strong hold of wild steel head. Bamboo is something
that takes you back. Like for me when I first started fiberglass was the thing. But the
older guys were using the bamboo. And just to look at those rods took me back in history
a little bit. Because back in history it s what they used. And they are also very beautiful
to look at. He may have never fished a bamboo in his whole life but he sees one and goes
ohhh ya that s what they used and it brings you maybe to that Atlantic salmon river or
that steel head river of yester year where they were using that type of thing. It brings
you back to your roots. So that s why they use it and also it s a very beautiful material
it s got a sole in it that we look at graphite, which is an inert material and it really doesn
t have that soul. Wood or bamboo if you look at it you can see the grain of it the beauty
and it s a bit 3D and then there s also who made it and so those people can connect that
fishing rod to who made it. You know if it s me or another or builder it s someone who
you may think well they put all their knowledge and everything to make that the best fishing
rob that they could. So this is your workshop
Right This is where you make your bamboo rods. And
on the walls are thousands of photos of steelhead. Mostly steelhead, because this is where I
live. Most of it s the Kispiox, there s some other river in there. People that I ve known
over the years. Friends.
Friends, people that I ve guided, people that I ve met over the years. Like I was saying
before, the kids got to meet people from all walks of life coming here for one reason.
The fish That s right
Bamboo. Why bamboo? Man is always looking for better
and better materials so he started looking at all the different woods that he had. And
as he got to go around the world that opens up a new door. There s all these other woods
around the world and bamboo they thought man that s an incredible strong, it s actually
stronger than steel by weight. No way.
Yep, by weight. So if you are going to make something out
of wood this is actually the strongest and lightest wood to make it out if period. That
s it. I read in a national geographic that bamboo
makes up 99 percent of the giant pandas diet. Right they don t eat this kind of bamboo.
There s a thousand different types of bamboo. Is there really?
So there s a lot of different type of bamboo. So this bamboo is not wild.
So you don t have problems with giant pandas eating your clients products
Right What kind of warranty do you offer?
So this bamboo is it comes from a region of China and it s the strongest.
How many rods have you made? We I think like 400 and something now. So
I usually make. Like this year I made 30 rods, next year I d like to make 24 and then the
year after that I d like to make 18. So I m sort of not making as many now because I
m getting to be semi-retired. You re going to be using the more.
Ya exactly. Well they say that anglers go through and
evolution. First they want to catch any fish. You know like I haven t caught a fish before
I want to catch anything I don t care how big how small it is. So they re after anything.
And then they want to catch a whole bunch of fish and then they want to catch that fish.
Today might be the day that I ll catch the world record. And their tunnel vision hey.
And then they don t enjoy the other things around them as much eh?
Yes. To me it s all about the experience. So if
I catch a fish that s a bonus. I like catching fish just as much as anybody else. But I try
not to think about a big fish. Because you know like one of the biggest fishes ever caught
in a river was the first steelhead a guy ever caught, so like what does that say. He just
happened to be at the right place at the right time.
And what abbot the social element to it too. When you are fishing with someone or doing
anything outdoor there s and honest sort of pure interaction that takes place that you
really get to appreciate that person and yourself. Right. They say a good fishing partner is
hard to find. I don t know if you ve found yours yet? Like I can go fishing with besides
my wife and my kids there s a few people that I really enjoy going fishing with and I can
t really sort of pout your thumb of it. Like what it is. But there s something special
about being with that person and you really don t care what the hell happens. It s just
you re out there enjoying the day with that person. It s really neat.
THE WRITTER I don t have many idols. Spice girls, backstreet
boys , Ariel from the little mermaid. And Rob Brown. Ummm, Rob Brown. I didn t know
this but he actually grew up on the lower mainland. That s where I m from, South Coast.
And he migrated up this way just as many other people who love fishing have. And he s become
an icon for younger generations to idolize. He s really good a fishing he catches a lot
of fish. And he has a lifetime of stories shaped around that. And in those stories a
bank of knowledge. People like me are thirsty for.
My name is Rod Brown I was born in Eastern Vancouver I moved to Burnaby as a kid. As
a young man I was hired for a job in south Hazelton and that brought me up to the Skeena.
That was 38 years ago now. Devoted angler. I love fishing. I like cross country skiing
in the winter. I like not having very many people around and I like rivers and mountains.
I don t know, I guess we are hard wired to be outdoors and I just love being outdoors.
Years ago I wrote a little piece or maybe it was a letter to the editor of the local
paper and they came back to me and said can you write a regular column. And I started
doing that. I studied English in university and I ve always been good at writing or at
least that is what my teachers taught me. And ya it just seemed logical. It was essentially
writing a fishing diary and I just started writing for magazine and newspaper and I continued
to do it for the last 20 years. Living up here, when I went through stressful times,
everyone goes thorough stressful times in their life to varying degrees. Umm fishing
saved my life. I just went out there by myself or with a friend and I got into fishing and
I calmed down and eased my troubles. It s great therapy. For stress. The best days I
ve had have been out in the winter by myself on snowshoes or skis just going in and maybe
hooking one fish or maybe none. You know seethe tracks of animals and stuff. And in the spring,
you know, when everything is broken up and the winter has finally ended and you catch
your first cutthroat trout. You put yourself back in the nature al cycles like fish are
feeding on mayflies and mayflies are hatching, bats are feeding on insects at night and you
come in and you become part of the equation by hunting the fish. You introduce yourself
in that environment as a predator. But you don t kill any fish or you might kill one
or two, but being involved in the natural cycles is really energizing and good for a
person I think. This is what I m absolutely fascinated by
you and you fishing stories is that you established a baseline from when you moved up here 40
years ago. You know what the fishing trends have looked like as an effective fisherman
I m sure you ve become more effective than you were when you first started. And your
ability has changed, but you have it mapped out. From 40 year until now.
That s true. That s tremendously valuable to the science.
Ya. It always has a positive bias. That s true. As fishermen tend to over exaggerate.
We know that. (Music)
(Laughing) Big black mouths they get hey?
Ya, some of them are like footballs they eat so many eggs.
And so will you get bulltrout in here too? Bull trout and dolly s
Long and skinny. Very long and skinny
She does have the spots. Of course I ve got my catch and release tool
in my pocket. (Laughing)
Now I have to ask. You obviously, your Rob Brown. You ve obviously heard of Rodrick Haig-Brown.
I do Another fishing legend of his time. No relation?
No no no. You re big into music. No relation to James
Brown? No no, you can tell that by skin colour.
What about Charlie Brown? (Laughing)
Actually, I never liked Peanuts so there you go.
(Music) Right in the side eh. Look at that.
I feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with fishermen
that I consider iconic in the community. Fred Philpot, Rob Brown, Bob Clay. I ve learnt
a lot from them and it s been inspiring hearing their stories that the shared with me and
picking their brains about the finer details of fishing that one would collect after spending
a lifetime fishing these waters. My only hope for myself and my children is that we also
get to look forward to a life time a fishing opportunities in this beautiful watershed.
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