2014 ThrowBack Article: A beer lovers guide to fishing BC

Apologies to the Nickleback comment but here I delve into the beer scene of 2014.  Things have changed a lot but this all seems to hold true. 
If you are coming to BC to swing flies for winter or summer steelhead, or trying your luck for king salmon on the fly there is one very important thing you should study up on before your trip.  In the end it may be more important than your flies, rods, reels or any other research you have done.  I am of course talking about beer! What to sample immediately upon arrival.
 
Choosing a beer is a lot like dressing for the river: You don’t have to take the weather and water temp into consideration, but you’re going to be a lot happier if you do. Simply put, some beers taste better when you’re on the Skeena in the summer, and some taste better when your fishing the Yakoun in a snowstorm.
The best winter options are generally toasty malt and spice beers. They’re heavier, thicker, and more aggressive than their hot summer counterparts. You probably wouldn’t identify them as “refreshing,” and drinking a couple usually will suffice, but they will warm your soul.  Infact they call malt the soul of a beer. Precisely what you need when your reel is freezing and you are dipping your rod in the water before each cast.
If you are fishing Haida Gwaii with us in the dead of winter you will want to seek out a couple of these strong dark beers that will warm your soul. The best North American Style Dark Lager comes from one of my favourite breweries in BC, Hermann’s Dark Lager (Vancouver Island Brewery (BC)).
In the summer I like to match my King salmon fishing with a hefeweizen beer and hands down the best one in BC is the This is Hefeweizen by Moons under water brewery.  If you can’t find that try King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen, (Howe Sound Brewing Co. (BC).  Granville island brewery has a decent one that is usually pretty easy to find as well.

However if you are going to be camping and will be most likely drinking beer from sun up to sun down you want to get very serious about your choice.  For this type of drinking and fishing you will want a lager, or a light beer and very good ones.  One that is light, refreshing and won’t slow you down.  For this grab a case of steamworks pilsner, and Okanagan spring 1516.  You will never tire of the taste. Another one I love but is hard to come by in BC is the traditional Pilsner by Creemore Springs brewed in Ontario. The one highly fashionable beer that is well worth drinking during all months of the year while swinging flies on any river is an IPA.

A great option in BC is Red Racer which offers a great American IPA brewed by Central City Brewing. Or for English style IPA it’s hands down Devils Elbow IPA by Howe Sound, and Lord of the Hops by Parallel 49 Brewing. These are all serious home runs and should be chilled in a cooler at all campsites.

If you are looking to swing flies for pink salmon and listen to Nickelback you may want to consider some of our great choices for Gluten free beers (I apologize if you really are allergic).

In the Fall a nice brown ale to try is Dead Frog Breweries Nut Brown Ale.  It’s an awesome beer worthy of celebrating with after catching a 20 pound steelhead. Granville island brewing also makes a great limited release Irish Red at this time of year well worth looking for.  If you are on the Sustut the last week of October and the temps are plummeting look no further than Howe Sounds Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout.  This will warm your bones enough to carry on.If you are headed this way be sure to write a few of these down.

Whether the river is blown, or you want to sit on a rock and celebrate after landing a booner, a fine riverside beer is absolutely crucial to your trip.

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