Great fishing and more great weather is in the forecast this week! Pink salmon fishing reports have been constantly coming in from the Squamish, Indian Arm and the beach. We would like to see higher numbers and we are not seeing the spectacular fishing that previous cycles have brought but we are still hearing great reports and it is worth getting out. Alex as well as a number of the staff have been getting out and we have a detailed report from Alex below.
The big news has been the saltwater. We had a successful derby last weekend and though we had some wind to deal with on Saturday morning things settled out and fishing was very good with lots of fish getting called in. Jason has all the details from the derby and he also has an outlook for the weekend. Fishing has been very solid with lots of chinook showing up off the Bell, T10 and Sand Heads. The north shore has been slower but guys are still hooking coho in the morning. Don’t miss out on Jason’s saltwater report for all of the details.
Sean and a couple of other good friends and customers were up on the Thompson River this last week fly fishing for trout and though they hooked a good number of fish there was some wind and lower numbers of Grasshoppers observed in the fields and river’s edge. It is hard to make any assumptions with only a couple days on the water but we are curious if the fires have had any effect on things. Check out more of Sean’s observations in his report this week.
Sean also hit the Skagit on his trip and had some great fishing with big dries and some solid nymphing. Matt is planning a trip in the next 2 weeks so be sure to check back for more details then!
Hope everyone enjoys the weekend, plays safe and gets out for the last few weeks of summer!
Vancouver Chinook Classic Wrap Up
Let me start off by thanking all of our volunteers who help make this event possible and a big thank you to all our sponsors and donators as well! The event was a huge success and we enjoyed seeing a lot of regular attendees as well as some new teams.
Saturday morning was a rough one with winds in excess of 25 knots NW into a big ebb tide. Luckily the forecast held true and by Saturday afternoon the winds backed off, the fishing was on, and we had a great sunny end to the day with lots of nice fish caught and released. The dinner, silent auction, live auction, prize giveaway, and party on Saturday night were a blast and a great way to end an eventful day on the water.
Sunday made up for the tough start to the sea conditions on Saturday, as it was pretty much flat calm all day. The first place fish from Saturday afternoon held on to win, but fish that were caught on Sunday bumped the second and third place fish out. In true tournament fashion, it’s not over till it’s over and this held true once again this year as in the final minutes out on the water the bite turned on and lots of boats hooked up! As it turns out some of the fish were lost at the side of the boat, lost to seals, or just weren’t big enough and the standings from Sunday morning didn’t change but it was an exciting end to the event!
This year was a sell out, so if you are planning on attending again or would like to attend for the first time next year, you will want to register early as next year I am sure we will sell out again.
Again a big congratulations to the winners of last weekend’s Vancouver Chinook Classic! It was a close one but our catch and release cash prize winners for this year are:
- $15,000 1st Place – Marshall Thompson, “Wet Paws” – 22.46lbs
- $7,000 2nd Place – Bernie Fahlman, “Chasin’ Tails” – 21.45lbs
- $3,000 3rd Place – Gary Higo, “Bob Dolphin” – 20.70lbs
CLASSES AND COURSES
September is almost upon us! We have a great line up of September classes and courses for those of you thinking about getting ready for your favourite fall fisheries!
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon and steelhead.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs.
Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: September 19, 26 and October 3, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates – Seminar: September 20, 6:30PM-9:30PM
Dates – Casting: September 23, 10AM – 1PM or 2PM – 5PM
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners and Spoons
This 3hr evening seminar covers float fishing, spinner fishing and spoon fishing; the three most productive techniques to catch BC salmon in a river.
Dates: Sep 25, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
Redington Crosswater Waders
15% OFF – SIZE LARGE ONLY!! – FOR THIS WEEK ONLY!!
Regular $175 – now $148.25
This is a great deal! The Crosswater Wader is our go to entry-level breathable wader. With 3-layer construction, built in gravel guards and high-density neoprene feet it is the perfect wader for someone getting into the sport or as a backup.
If you have been enjoying summer fishing and want to keep going into the fall, waders will open up a world of opportunities that you just can’t access without them. If you have friends who go out fishing with you but haven’t made the jump into waders let them know about the deal! This is a great price that you probably won’t see again. So, if you are a size large or know someone who is, make sure not to miss out. Come down to the shop, tell the guys you saw the Redington Cross Water Waders in the feature product and we will make sure you get the deal.
Sale in effect August 25 – August 31, 2017
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The water at Capilano River is very low and crystal clear, as we haven’t been seeing any rain.
However, with the release of the Cleveland dam about a week ago some pods of fresh fish were able to enter the system. With the low water, a lot of fish will be trapped in deeper areas of pools. Water is very slow with the low water so rather than drifting it would be much more productive casting smaller lures. With bigger lures, there is a high possibility to spook these fish, try switching things up by downsizing. Try smaller crocs and size 2 – 3 blue foxes or other similar sized spinners to trigger some bites. Fly fishing with smaller presentations such as cap buggers and small blue, olive or white streamers can be quite effective.
Be safe out there,
Squamish River Fishing Report
A number of the guys at the shop (including myself) have been out on the Squamish in the last week or so and coupled with continuous reports, we’ve gotten a pretty solid picture as to what’s been happening up Squamish way. Without sugar-coating it, up until this point in time the numbers of pink salmon entering the river has been acceptable at best and downright poor at times. To put it into perspective it is definitely possible to put up double digits on the right day and in the right spot, but many anglers are grinding for a handful of hookups. We are still hoping that the bulk of the run is late but it is not looking that way.
We have to remember that for the last 2-4 cycles we have been blessed with massive returns and even with poor returns this season the fishery is still extremely productive and fun for anglers of all skill levels. Being able to drive 45 mins and hook into salmon with relative ease is pretty special.
First light has been decent as well as incoming tide when more frequent schools of fresh fish are pushing into the river. Flies, hardware, and drifting setups have all book been producing. While sometimes they do seem to prefer one over another, it changes on a daily basis and the more important factors in your success is being confident in what you are presenting and presenting it in the right spot. I personally have been having decent success swinging Prime Lure and Gibbs spoons but know many people who have been taking them on the fly as well. The typical winner is a pink or chartreuse (or sometimes a combo of both) streamer fished on a sink tip and Andre has tied a bunch of pink flies in these variations that are specifically for the river. We have also touched a few on colorado blades and jigs under a float.
The 2017 run has not been comparable to the amazing 2013 run and on the best days may not rival even 2015 numbers, but keep that in mind and you won’t be let down. Fish what you are confident in and fish hard; you will be rewarded. If you have any questions or need tips on being successful on the river this year, come talk to us at the shop and let us help!
Thompson River Fishing Report
As I have for the past few years I made my annual Thompson River trip in the end of August. We battled through the heat and wind and even though fishing was a little slow we still got into fish. The water was a little higher than is has been the past few years which made access limited in spots where you need to cross side channels. The first day fishing was tough as we were battling a very strong upstream wind.
The key to success was punching through the wind using a slightly heavier line like the Rio Grande or a light Spey rod. I fished mostly with hoppers and California Blondes but I found the hoppers to be slightly more effective. I even fished a streamer deep when trout fishing was slow and got into some whitefish which may not be for the trout purists but it helped make something out of the slower days. Remember if you are planning to head out bring lots of water and sunscreen and play fish quickly as they will get easily exhausted in the heat.
Skagit River Fishing Report
We have heard some mixed reports over the last week. Sean and a few friends managed to hit some great large mayfly hatches when they were at the river but we heard that a few days were much slower with no real hatches coming off. This is normal for this time of year. The fish are smart and if there is not a hatch going they won’t be fooled easily. Nymphing and swinging flies is key when there are no hatches but if you are spending a couple days on the river or can talk to anglers that have been on the water the day before ask about what was hatching. If a big hatch came off the day before and there is nothing hatching during the day that you are out, use the same fly that matched the hatch the day before. Even without a noticeable hatch sometimes you will find that the fish have become hard wired to hit what they were eating the day before.
Sean saw some larger grey mayflies coming off and another one to have in the kit is small yellow caddis. We heard of these hatching over the last few days.
Good luck out on the water. I will be heading up soon and will have more intel after my trip.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
The tides are not going to be in our favour until Thursday to fish at Ambleside. Until then, sleep in, tie flies and get ready for the bigger coho that are going to show up including the arrival of the Capilano River chinooks. I am not hearing positive reports from Furry creek anymore so it is safe to say that fishing for pinks off the beach is slowing down. We are still hearing ok reports of fresh fish hitting the river so there could be some good days left at the beach but they could be going up the other side of the sound rather than Furry Creek side.
The coho fishing at Ambleside is very tough right now so you have to be really attentive and practice your site fishing in order to catch coho. I hear mixed reports from a lot of people. Some are saying that they have not seen or caught one yet and I totally feel your frustration but just because you don’t spot them it doesn’t mean they are not there. There are a few guys who have really put in the time this season who are making it happen. Look at the picture of Enrico with a beauty coho off Ambleside, since he took the course 5 years ago he has become an obsessed beach fisherman and in the past month he is averaging one to four hook ups every time he is out there so you need to put in the time to get rewarded. If you have just gone out twice and expect to catch a coho right away you will have to be a very lucky angler.
This is the first picture I have posted this year and the reason is to give hope to all of you that have not hooked a coho. Don’t stand in one spot and cast continuously, move around and really look hard for any surface activity. When a pod of coho goes by you, cast your fly ahead of the direction they are swimming. When talking to the lucky few anglers who are catching fish they are all saying the same thing. This season has been all sight fishing with hardly any jumpers. There is still the odd pink getting caught as well but the majority have pushed trough Cates Park all the way to the Indian River.
Good luck and see you on the beach,
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing was solid this past week with the focus being on chinook salmon. There were good numbers of chinook taken from the Mile Markers, the Bell Buoy, the North Arm, T-10, and South Arm all week.
The when and the where really depended on the tide. With the full moon there were some huge tides and this really pushed the fish around and distributed them to all the spots just listed. You can analyze it all you want, and certain tides do push fish into certain areas, but at the end of the day you never really know where they are going to be and you need a bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time. As Derby Master in the Vancouver Chinook Classic I was able to see where all the fish were hooked this past weekend and I can report that it was pretty spread out along all the spots, with perhaps a little bit more productivity out off the South Arm, but there was some also hot bites off the North Arm as well.
I was out on a full day trip on Monday and we hooked 4 nice chinook from the Bell to the North Arm, then headed to the South Arm for the afternoon and were into multiple fish there as well. Meanwhile some other guides I know hooked fish at the Bell and North Arm that same afternoon, so that is an indication that there are some good numbers of fish around. These fish move around a lot with the tide and obviously are here to go up the river, so be prepared for here one day and gone the next action, but usually the last few weeks of August and first two weeks of September offer consistent fishing.
The best thing to use is bait, and lots of it. I saw dozens of fish hit the cleaning table this week and not one had bait in its stomach. So why use bait you say? Well these are mature fish that aren’t feeding aggressively so the best way to get them to bite is the real deal. Anchovies and herring. We have been going through 24-36 pieces of bait a trip with chinook bites, pinks, chinook jacks, dogfish, etc, so be prepared. You can catch fish on spoons and hootchies, but for the most part the bait guys will catch a lot more fish. On the top rods, UV green and UV purple teaser heads have been good. So have chrome green and chartreuse teaser heads. On the deeper rods the glow teaser heads have been productive. Any teaser head with some glow, glow green or glow blue in it has been doing well. If you follow us on Instagram you will see that we have been dying our baits in green or blue cures that really make the bait stand out in dirty water and these baits have been very productive. Productive flashers have been Madi, Lemon Lime, Salty Dawg, “Club Dub” with a glow stripe, and silver or gold Betsy.
There are still coho and pinks off West Van as well, but for the most part we have been too busy chasing chinook to head to this area.
See you on the water or in the shop!