Tyee. A chinook salmon over 30 pounds. Tyee means Chief in the local native language. In late summer the famous Campbell River chinooks are arriving in from the North Pacific and linger near the Campbell River mouth before heading into the river.
Fish in the traditional way in a rowboat with light tackle for big fish. This is truly sportfishing, participating in the rules of the Tyee Club of British Columbia that began in 1924. This is the fishing that first put Campbell River on the world fishing map.
The equipment is pure and simple. The rules are clear. Fish from a rowboat. You handle the rod, put out the line, and you must hook the fish and bring it to the net yourself. Your guide is coaching you, while rowing behind your back. Rods lengths must be between 6 and 9 ft. Line not stronger than 20 pound breaking strength. Weight less than 6 oz. Artificial trolling lure with one single hook. And the hook is barbless.
If you are in the right place, at the right time, and lucky, the rod tip moves. The bite is light. You strike hard, keep the rod up, let it run. The salmon streaks away, pulling hard against the reel drag, while you hear “Fish On” called out past your ear. Keep the pressure just right. Nearby boats part and make room for you to fight your fish into the current.
If you can meet that challenge and catch a chinook salmon over 30 pounds you can join the Tyee Club of British Columbia. Talk about an exclusive club!
It is a wonderful, quiet, and relaxing experience to go for a row and fish this way. Pay keen attention to your rod tip. Relax, if you can.