Fraser River - Dean Werk
There is nothing like this fishery in this area. It is still like untouched, untapped. It’s the First Nations culture here, the history here is just so deep. Forging relationships with some of these guys up here, the First Nations guys, you know it enriches my life. It makes me feel really a part of our environment and what we have here. It encompasses to me the best place to live on earth. This is like, this is “wow’. We have it all, we have the steelhead, we have the salmon, and we’ve got this incredible sturgeon too. It’s the bonus fish.
The water is high, we’re almost at the peak of the fresh end, but that’s the cool part of this fishery especially up in this area, the Chilliwack, and all up through Hope and Yale, all the way up into the Big Eddy through Sawmill Creek. You can fish this in high water, it’s complicated water, but for the most part, the fish still bite. Some days they bite better than other places. The biggest population of sturgeon is in the first 225 km of this river.
The Fraser River – wow. A very powerful river in terms of how many fish species travel up this river in a year. It’s staggering. In a big year, there could be 16 million salmon traveling up this river. And that can be the feed for all these sturgeon as well. My family from growing up, my grandfather owned a farm on the Vedder River. I fell in love with fishing. I used to have to come home to do some chores. But after the chores were done on the farm, I was allowed to go fishing. It was right in my backyard.
My dad was a big sport fisherman. I got my first centerpin in my hand when I was 5 years old. The first fish I caught was like 7 feet and I’m telling you, I was automatically hooked. I knew that was going to be a lifetime of catching big fish and chasing fish. And being able to catch and release that fish and to know that he swims away and he’s fine – wow, pretty cool! To be caught another day. This to me, to share this with people from all over the world... most people come here and they’re like wow, we’re lucky we have a big team of guides. They are good, they are passionate. I try to hire people with heart and passion, who are like me – I seek those people out. But our adventure, my adventure that I see is passion, and love, and caring for not only the environment, but these species as a whole. What we can do for the future is watch this and hopefully have it here forever.