Todd Oishi is a big fish in B.C. fly fishing.
Oishi, a Maple Ridge resident, won the individual and team tiles at the 2016 B.C. Provincial River Fly Fishing Championship in Princeton, July 9-10.
Oishi caught 76 fish – whitefish and rainbow trout combined – more than anyone else, for 117 points in four sessions along the Similkameen River to win the individual title.
Fish longer than 10 inches count for two points, those less but longer than six are worth one. For winning each session, he earned one point towards the team-low aggregate.
Oishi was part of Team Cormorant, along with Chris Puchniak, John Nishi, and Rob and Colette Stroud, which also came first.
More than 700 fish were caught and released by 27 competitors during the two-day event. It rained heavily on the Saturday, but was sunny on Sunday, when Oishi reeled in 52 of his 76 fish.
“The Similkameen River is truly a world-class fishery and spectacular place to cast a fly,” said Oishi, who in June won the B.C. lake fly fishing championship.
Oishi runs 12 different fly fishing competitions in B.C. a year. He won the overall B.C. title last year, for the third time, and sits third in the current standings, although he missed one competition.
“So there’s still time to catch up,” he said.
Oishi has been selected this year to compete at the Commonwealth Canadian championships, to be held in Quebec in August.
He will also compete for Canada at the world champions in Vail, Colorado in September.
Oishi has been selected for the national fly fishing team 14 times since he started competing in 2005, including this year. The Canadian National Fly Fishing Championships are in October, in Merritt and Princeton, an event he is also organizing. He’s still looking for volunteers.
Oishi has won six gold medals and three bronze at national events, and is a former national champion.
As well, he coaches the western division team of Canadian youth fly fishing and is recruiting new members – ages 13 to 18.
In the past five years as coach, he has sent eight kids to the world youth fly fishing championships.
“The calibre of these kids is pretty impressive.”
He shares with them tips about technique and leading, as well as tying flies – skills he honed growing up in Maple Ridge, fishing the Alouette River and Katzie Slough.
Oishi makes his own competition flies, some of which have been published in magazines and on websites.
His newest initiative is as president of the southwestern B.C. chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, and again is looking for volunteers (innovativeflyfishing.com).
• To volunteer for the 2016 Canadian National Fly Fishing Championships in October, contact Oishi at firstname.lastname@example.org.