June 28, 2016

Meet our Fishing Advisor, Brian Chan

Brian Chan is a local legend, known for his fly-fishing skills and extensive knowledge of trout ecology and entomology. Living in Kamloops for the past 35 years, he managed the stillwater recreational fisheries in the Thompson-Nicola region as a provincial fisheries biologist, and spent thousands of hours on Interior lakes honing his fishing skills. Brian loves to share his knowledge of fishing through articles, books, and seminars. He is often a host or co-host on fishing shows, including Sport Fishing on the Fly, BC Outdoors Sport Fishing TV, and GoFishBC on Shaw TV. Brian is also a Fishing Advisor for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, and a regular contributor to our gofishBC newsletter and blogs. We gave Brian a series of get-to-know-you questions, and here is what he had to say:

1. Q: How old were you when you started fishing?
A: My dad started taking me salmon fishing in the ocean at a very young age, probably four or five years old, judging by some of the old pictures.

2. Q: What was the first fish you ever caught?
A: Most likely a coho salmon.

3. Q: What did you catch it on?
A: Dad was a moocher, anchored boat, and fishing live herring or herring strip.

4. Q: Most memorable fishing experience?
A: While I have had some incredible fishing trips on both local and international waters, I still think my most memorable fishing experience was catching my first rainbow trout. I was nine years old, fishing from the shore of Deer Lake in Burnaby, B.C. It was a rainy, late-fall day, and my dad had driven my fishing buddy and me to the lake to fish from shore while he sat in the car and read the newspaper. We fished with spinning rods, red-and-white plastic bobbers, and big dew worms. Incredibly, my bobber went down, and I can still see it in my mind some 50+ years later. I landed the fish, which turned out to be a hatchery broodstock that was released into the lake from the Abbotsford Hatchery. An epic day of fishing! Here is a picture of me and the fish.

5. Q: What is your favourite fish to catch?
A: I would have to say rainbow trout.

6. Q: Bucket-list place to fish, or species you still need to catch?
A: Kamchatka, Russia, fishing spring-fed rivers for very large, resident rainbow trout.

7. Q: What’s the most random thing you bring in your boat?
A: A golf umbrella, in case it rains!

8. Q: If you could go fishing with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
A: Looking to the future, it would be taking grandchildren out!

9. Q: What is your favourite fish recipe?
A: Smoked kokanee using a dry brine of 80% brown sugar, 20% pickling salt, and a tablespoon of Montreal Steak Spice. Mix ingredients together, and sprinkle on split kokanee fillets – layer of fish, layer of brine. After eight hours in the fridge, rotate the fillets to make sure brine is well-absorbed.  Rinse, and pat dry fillets, prior to putting in the hot smoker. Five to six hours later, enjoy!

Author: Jessica Yarwood & Brian Chan, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
Photo Credit: Brian Chan