Summer fishing is in full swing. We are going to see another beautiful weekend minus the haze. There might see some wind from the southeast over the weekend and it could clear things up a bit as well as bring more moisture. We are not seeing any real rain in the short term forecast but when we look at the 14-day trend there might be a little rain next weekend. This could be good for a number of fisheries and help dampen the smog. As always with it is hard to rely on a 10 day forecast and we can expect things to change.
For this week we have seen some solid pink salmon reports. There have been some moments of brilliant fishing mixed with some average fishing. This is optimistic but still not as good as the pink season was last cycle.
We are hearing about a few more coho being caught from Ambleside with more pinks mixed in. The trolling fleet has been catching a few coho but not as many as we would like. There have also been times of good pink fishing around Point Atkinson with the odd chinook and coho mixed in but again it has been hit and miss. Take a look at Jason’s Vancouver saltwater Report for details.
The Skagit is still fishing well but she is now getting low. This can make the fish a little picky and you will find that timing hatches is more critical. Take a look at Matt’s report for what he has heard from this week of fishing.
Alex has been out to the Vedder for some scouting as well as fishing the Squamish for pinks. He has a bunch of good details on both fisheries.
Jordan was up at Langara for another run of guiding and the fishing was excellent. We have some great pictures. He caught another steelhead in the salt which is crazy and it’s not his first one. The good chinook fishing up there bodes well and we can hope it will trickle down the coast and we will have a strong end of the season.
Jordan releasing an ocean caught steelhead after a quick picture.
Vancouver Chinook Classic Catch and Release Derby
It’s just over one week until the Vancouver Chinook Classic kicks off! This is THE premier 2-day Catch and Release Salmon Fishing Event hosted annually at the new Pier 73 Marina at the Pacific Gateway Hotel. This is one of our FAVOURITE events of the summer angling season and something we look forward to each year.
The event is sold out but you can put your name on the waitlist in case any of the registered teams are unable to attend!
At $300 per angler (supply your own boat) you can’t beat that for an amazing weekend and a chance at the largest cash prize of any fishing derby in Vancouver!
More details on this not to be missed tournament weekend here!
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
Abel Mooching Reels
The top dog in the mooching world is back! NEW Abel mooching reels are in stock at Pacific Angler.
When Abel came out with their first mooching reel in 2013 it leapt onto the scene as the super car of mooching reels. The first thing that impressed everyone was how silky smooth they were. As one of the guide teams that did some of the initial field testing, we were blown away with how they did not creep in the down riggers and how little maintenance was needed to keep them working flawlessly.
Though it was undeniably one of the nicest reels on the market, as with anything, Abel have found some room to improve the already epic design.
They have beefed up the foot of the reel addressing the odd problem were anglers have dropped or bashed reels into the running board and damaged the foot.
They have redesigned and added double pawls to the click mechanism. This makes the new Abel moochers a little louder than the old model and adds some redundancy. This will fix one of the only issues we saw were the click pawl would get stuck and no longer click. This never affected the functionality of the reel but it was annoying when you had to pop open the reel and click the pawl back in if you wanted to hear when you had a fish on.
They have also updated the handles. After extended use and abuse handles sometimes get packed with salt and grime. This is a reoccurring problem with almost all mooching reels. It is not a corrosion issue and can usually be fixed with a good soak in WD40 but again it is annoying. Abel has a new super cool looking vented handle design. It should help keep water from pooling around the spindle, drying out and jamming things up.
Last but definitely not least they have redesigned the hole patterns, drag knob and back plate. As far as we can tell this is for aesthetics and structural durability – it all looks awesome.
Abel mooching reels are at the very cutting edge of the mooching reel world and their price reflects this. The standard coloured reels – red, blue, black, silver – are priced at $1349. If you would like one of Abel’s famous custom graphics they will retail for $1449.
We have the standard colors in stock and for this week only (August 11 – August 17) we are featuring them on sale for 10% off. This price is for one week only. Come down to the shop tell the guys you saw the feature product in the report and we will open the reel cabinet so you can take a look!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
The Chilliwack is now low and clear and fishing has not been great, though a few red chinook are still being taken. This run of red chinook is relatively small and it is a long river so covering water is key. Due to water levels focus on deeper pools as the chinook will hold there. Fishing first or last light will also give you an advantage. Pro-cured roe, Colorado Blades, and wool ties are the most popular presentations for gear fishers while larger intruder patterns swung through these deep runs may produce a fish or two for fly fishers. Please remember that there is absolutely no fishing for sockeye allowed and this includes intentional catch and release so if you do hook any as a by-catch please release them with care.
We are past the peak time for red chinooks and over the next couple of weeks things will get even quieter on this river but come early September the pink salmon will start to roll in, closely followed by coho and the fall white chinook. More fun is just around the corner so stay tuned!
Skagit River Fishing Report
The river has dropped nicely and you will now have no problem making needed crossings to access water. With this ease of access more areas have been getting fished and the fish are smartening up. You will find that timing hatches, and making sure you are at the bests spots during the hatch are critical. This river is interesting. You can fish a stretch of water, swear there are no fish in it and then come back 2 hours later to find the same water teaming with rising fish. I tend to watch the weather and know that if it is windy I probably won’t have great fishing. I have found that there are a couple critical times of the day you need to be bringing you’re “A game”. Usually this is around 10am, 4pm and right before dark.
We heard of smaller grey mayflies coming off again as well as some caddis. Flies you will need in the box are parachute style mayflies in grey and green. Some smaller yellow bodied caddis and if all else fails orange stimulators can get fish feeding. Mix this in with prince nymphs, golden stones, girdle bugs, hare’s ears and a few 3 inch olive or white streamer and you should be set to cover fishing deep for rainbows and bulls.
Good luck and remember the Skagit is a 100% catch and release single barbless fishery.
Squamish River Fishing Report
Reports of successful pink salmon fishing on the Squamish have been fluctuating but we are finally consistently hearing of decent outings with a handful of hook ups for most groups and when anglers are in the right spot at the right time we have heard of some high number days. Even a couple of guys from the shop have been out with some fish to hand! A multitude of different presentations are working and it is seemingly more a “time and place” thing than a technical presentation that dictates whether there is success or not. The water has taken on quite a bit of colour over the last week or so and has risen a little bit but is still very fishable. Flies and lures have been the big producers thus far with a few fish taken on drift fishing rigs, at least from what I’ve witnessed from my own excursions up there. Larger flies with bead heads have been the go to’s to get down to the fish. Do they have to be pink? They can be, but they definitely do not have to be! While pink is the popular choice, many other colours will produce such as chartreuse, green, and orange. We have a full selection of Pink Salmon flies so come get ’em! The same goes for lures; there are a plethora of options from Gibbs, Blue Fox, Mepps, and Prime Lures that have and will produce.
Drift fishing will soon be extremely productive too once the bulk of the run is in; with jigs, wool ties, and colorado blades being the main weapons of choice.
This is a great fishery for novice, intermediate, and advanced levels of anglers alike and there are enough fish in the system now to give everyone a fair shot.
Come down to the shop to get the latest info and to stock up on your flies and lures!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
The pink salmon are finally pushing through Furry creek more consistently. I guess they were late this year. Your best bet is to fish at Furry creek until Tuesday, any time the tide is 12ft or under you can effectively fish this beach. After Tuesday the low tides are favorable again at Ambleside. At Ambleside the Seymour and Indian River pinks are passing bye but they will sometimes hang out at the mouth of the Capilano for a few days then move on. This is why the fishing for pink salmon was good for a couple of days last week but then turned off.
The coho fishing at Ambleside has been a struggle this season. I have still not caught one. I have been talking to my source and a number of experienced anglers got their first coho last week so don’t feel discouraged if you are the same as me. You will see bigger coho showing up from now until the fall so make sure your leader, tippet and your knots are checked regularly as any fish 10 pounds and over will rip the rod out of your hand in a matter of seconds.
I am optimistic that next week should fish well for coho and with any luck there will be more waves of pinks at both Ambleside and Furry Creek. If you are looking to get away from the crowds it is probably time to start looking at Cate’s park as well for the pinks moving through.
See you on the beach,
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Well we are approaching the half way mark of August and there is a lot to report on, so let’s get right to it.
Let’s talk about pinks. It hasn’t been a red-hot year for us trollers, but the beach guys are finally getting some action. Fishing off the Cap Mouth has been pretty good for pinks and coho. Things are now pretty consistent off Furry Creek up in Howe Sound as well. It was definitely a late start but maybe things will continue later on than normal as because they started late. My friend Trevor is vacationing up around Campbell River and Courtenay in his usual beach spots and things are also unseasonably slow there for pinks. The good news is that he spotted large schools of pinks in the middle of Strait, heading south with good speed, so that is good news for us. This could be more Squamish River and Indian River fish or it could be some Fraser fish as well. Either way, some are on the way, so that is great news. There have also been some reports of pinks off the North Arm of the Fraser, but this is just the beginning of the run, as the Fraser pinks don’t really show up in big numbers for about another week.
Some nice fish for the BBQ landed this week!
Coho fishing off West Van perked up for a few days mid week off the flats but much like the pinks, it hasn’t been a banner year, at least as of yet. More fish will be stacking up off West Van flats and the Cap Mouth in coming weeks and there is no significant rain in the forecast, so hopefully the back end of August is more productive. White hootchies and anchovies have been producing best for these fish.
I just took a look at the Albion test set numbers and the numbers of chinook entering the Fraser is steadily climbing, as one would expect for this time of year. Often the peak fishing is around the 3rd week of August so we do expect fishing to become more consistent as the month progresses. We have been getting some nice chinook at the Bell Buoy lately. Bait is key for these fish and 30-80 on the riggers has been productive. UV and chrome flashers and teaser heads on your top rods and glow flashers and teaser heads on your bottom rods will get the job done. The early to mid component for Fraser chinook this year is weak, but the brood stock year for the later returning fish was quite large, so we have our fingers crossed that we will see some good returns of chinook to the Fraser in the last 2 weeks of August and the first week of September.
There are also some nice fish being caught on the other side. We have a few spots in the Gulf Islands where we have found some bait and some nice big chinook. We can’t get into specifics, as the spots are small, you are fishing extremely deep, and with only a few boats it can get quite crowded. That being said, if we are on 10-hour trip and the wind is light, we have been heading across and dropping our gear down to 220-260 with 18-pound cannonballs and getting some good springs. As the Fraser fishery picks up we will be less inclined to run across as it is a long run there and back and fishing that deep is always a challenge. Productive setups for us when fishing this deep have been glow flashers, double glow flashers, and glow splatter back hootchies in green and blue.
See you in the shop or on the water.