Caycuse River, Vancouver Island
The Caycuse River flows into Nitinat lake. The river offers summer and winter runs of steelhead. The river is open only to fly fishing above Hatton creek. This is a real pretty river, lots of areas to fish. The fly fishing on this river is quite exciting and when you hook into a big one, its a real thrill. We like to release all that we catch in this river.
The river at one time had great coho and chum salmon runs but due to logging, along with habitat destruction and over fishing, the runs have been greatly reduced. The Ditidaht First Nation are working at repairing the damage done to these runs and have excavated and improved an old side channel of the river to create rearing habitat for young coho salmon, chum salmon, pinks and steelhead. The project is intended to rebuild severely depressed stocks in a watershed impacted by logging.
Education and awareness is an important part of the project. I must give a big hand to these folks, they are doing a great job.
If you are fishing or hiking along the river, please remember this is black bear country. Try to avoid the rivers during salmon spawning as the bears tend to be along the river. Only visit the river if you are comfortable with bears around and know how to deal with possible bear encounters. There is a possibility of seeing black bears at any time of the year here, as well as cougars, wolves, black tail deer, raccoons, pine martins and squirrels. You could a variety of birds along this river, song birds, game birds, and the birds of prey that hunt the forests both in the daytime and the night hunters like the owls are all present here.