Heat warning in effect! We have more great weather this weekend with no clouds in the sky. Obviously, a heat warning comes with its issues but we will take it over classic Vancouver rain. In the past few reports we have been talking about how the heat affects our fisheries and the theme of this week’s report will be much the same.
A number of our fisheries are doing really well with the heat. More importantly the lack of rain is making for a very solid beach fishing season at the mouth of the Capilano. It is also translating into good coho saltwater fishing because fish are not going up the rivers yet. We have an update on the beach fishing and some intel about saltwater coho fishing in the saltwater report.
The heat will make lake fishing in general a challenge and we don’t have updates this week but if you’ve been out give us a shout and let us know how your trip was.
While this heat could cause issues for the rivers later in the season right now the Skagit and Thompson trout fisheries are looking good. Rivers are dropping and hatches are happening. Matt is out at the Skagit this weekend and has an update on the trout river fishing front below.
Interestingly enough the Squamish and its tributaries are fishing better than normal. The river is historically too dirty to fish effectively this time of year but the heat has beaten the snow pack down and there are areas where fishing has been pretty decent. It is still not a “go to” fishery this time of year but guys are catching fish and having fun. Jordan has an update in this week’s freshwater section of the report.
If you’re heading out to the valley there have been noticeably more chinook getting caught on the Vedder. It is worth the trip but still not a high number fishery. We have also heard that sockeye are throughout the system. These fish are all catch and release but can add a little excitement when targeting chinook. Alex has more intel in the Vedder River report below.
On to the report!
Vancouver Chinook Classic 2018
There are just a handful of spots left in this year’s tournament. Don’t hesitate to register for this year’s Vancouver Chinook Classic! This event sold out last year and we expect it will again this year. This is the premier, nonprofit catch and release salmon derby fundraiser for the Pacific Salmon Foundation & Sport Fishing Institute. We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water again this August – fishing and having fun in the sun competing for the large cash prizes!
Date: Sat Aug 18th & Sun Aug 19th 2018
Venue: Pacific Gateway Hotel & Deckside Marina (previously known as Pier 73 Marina)3500 Cessna Drive Richmond
Prizes: 1st place $15,000 2nd place $7,000 3rd place $3,000
Entry Fee: $300 + GST per person
Registration: To make registration easier we have created an online registration process. Register online here: https://www.decksidemarina.com/registration-form
- Entry into 2018 Vancouver Chinook Classic
- Complimentary moorage
- Breakfast Saturday & Sunday morning
- Dinner Saturday night
- BBQ and awards ceremony Sunday afternoon
- Drink tickets
- Discounted room rates at the Pacific Gateway Hotel
If you have any questions please give us Deckside Marina a call at 604-970-4882 or email [email protected]
For more details have a look at tournament website www.vancouverchinookclassic.com
Thanks to all who participate, donate and support! We welcome all anglers from novice to expert and look forward to seeing everyone again soon – let the fun times begin!
Your VCC Derby organizers,
West Coast Fishing Club
Pacific Gateway Hotel
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
The heat wave continues and along with it more promising Vedder reports. The last week of July is typically when better numbers of fish show up in the river and this year seems to be following the same trend. We are hearing more consistent reports of anglers getting into a fish or two or at least seeing a rod bent out there. Sockeye numbers are on the rise too so be sure to handle them with care as they are strictly catch and release.
Water conditions remain favorable and should continue to get lower and clearer as we progress into August. Now is the time to get out for these red chinook as in a few weeks the majority of them will be past their prime and we will have a momentary slump until our Fall salmon fishery kicks off.
Come on in to the shop to get geared up for this tough but rewarding fishery!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano is ditch low and this makes fishing challenging. There are good numbers of fish in the river but they are getting stale. Ultra-finesse presentations are key if you want to hit the river but honestly we would recommend fishing the beach until we get some rain or they open the dam. Come down to the shop and we can show you some of the ultra small presentations we recommend. Always keep your eye on the water levels because they sometimes open the dam even if there is no rain. If this happens fishing will be awesome but we do not expect it to happen any time soon.
Squamish River Update
The past couple weeks have seen the Squamish and it’s tributaries start to shape up. Though still high, anglers who are careful and experienced have been able to find some nice water and fish. There are always bulltrout, rainbows and cutthrout in the system but it is usually too dirty to fish this time of year. It is still not a “go to” fishery but it is worth the trip right now if you want to explore. Swinging sculpins or fluttering spoons has been the most successful methods so far, with a few guys nymphing pockets and finding fish. Just a reminder the river is 100% catch and release and a bait ban is in effect.
As for colours, most of your standard issue sculpin colours in whites and olives have been good. Have a range of sizes and match larger patterns to dirty parts of the river and scale down when you find areas with clear water.
The same can be said for fishing spoons and from the reports anglers have been focusing on silver and gold spoons that have lots of “thump” with a bright coloured highlight such as chartreus, green, blue, or orange.
Just remember to be careful and if you are exploring remote areas, to always go with someone else.
Skagit River Fishing Report
I am taking my 2 year old daughter out to the river this weekend for her first dose of the Skagit’s mosquitos and epic scenery. It will obviously not be a hardcore fishing trip but I am excited and I will have good intel for you on water levels and hatches in next week’s report.
From the reports I heard this week the river continues to drop. Friends managed to cross in a couple spots that I could not cross two weeks ago but they also noted that the crossings were a challenge. This tells me the river is still high and we are not at optimal levels quite yet.
Nymphing was the go to from the reports I heard but some fish were taken on the standard #12 grey parachute style dry fly patterns. A few guys ran into bulltrout on the lower river and swinging olive, black or white streamers or nymphing large black stones produced fish.
If you are heading out I will see you on the water!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORT
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well it’s the last week of July and it really does fee like summer with hot days, NW winds, and some coho off W. Van. This past week saw some good action from the Cap Mouth up to Point Atkinson but there was hot and cold days for sure. There are definitely some schools of biting fish and definitely some schools of non-biting fish, so it can be frustrating. We have had good success on white hootchies and anchovies and productive rigger depths have been 30-65. The numbers of fish along West Van will build in the coming weeks as more fish move in from the offshore waters of Strait of Georgia.
Speaking of the offshore fishery, we are still having decent action off the Hump when we had the conditions to get out there, which hasn’t been as much as we would like. On the choppy days the fish have been shallow from about 15-55 on the riggers and on the calmer days or when the sun is higher a little deeper has been better from 25-75. White and UV white hootchies have been very productive with purple UV flashers like UV Purple Kinetic, Purple Onion, and Purple Haze working well when combined with the white hootchies.
There has been some good fishing over at Gabriola and Nanaimo as well. I have been reporting on this for almost 2 months now, so if you are a regular reader you know the drill. Fish down deep, close to bottom with glow flashers and glow hootchies. The problem has been the wind, and the NW has done a good job of keeping us off these waters. When we have made the crossing it has been worth it with big chinook up to the mid 20’s. I am not sure how many times we will get over there in August as the Fraser chinook are on the way and so are the sockeye, so lets take a look at these two fisheries.
The Fraser chinook are around but it is typical late July fishing in that you hear of a guy who got 4, you go out and you get no bites. That is typical for this time of year as small pushes of fish show up and head up the river. If you are there on the lucky tide you get fish and if not you don’t. Fishing will get more consistent as we get into August, but for now you will have to put your time in to find these fish. We have run into a few random ones while fishing out on the Hump on our shallow rods, so they are around, but be prepared to put in some time. If I was looking for these fish in local waters I would concentrate around the Bell Buoy on the flood tide and my riggers would be in the 30-75 range with bait on all 4 rods. I will report more on this fishery in about a weeks time with some pictures of our preferred flashers and teaser heads but you can’t go wrong with a chartreuse glow flasher like a BC or Phantom paired with a chartreuse glow or green glow teaser head.
The big question we keep getting asked is are we going to have a sockeye opening this year? The answer to that is looking like yes more and more each day as the data starts rolling in. The 50% probability estimate is 13.8 million fish and the data we are getting now is showing the early part of the run is tracking at about a 75% probability. That means if this trend continues we will get more than the 50% 13.8 million and we could be looking at something in the 15-20 million range. That would be nice but even if we get the 50% probability number that would be great as in recent years most runs have been coming back lower than the 50% number, usually around 35%. So although nothing is certain at this point, it is looking pretty good. When they will open it is hard to say. Some think as early as August 4th and I was thinking maybe the 18th but now I am thinking maybe the 11th. Keep in mind just because it is open doesn’t mean the fishing is immediately red hot. You need a lot of fish around to have consistent fishing and that usually happens mid August with some of the better fishing later in the month of August. I will report more as the data comes in over the next few weeks.
I am taking a week off starting today to pursue one on my other passions, chasing steelhead on the Spey rod. So I will be up on the Dean swinging flies so good luck out there this week and Lars, our Booking Manager and one of our guides, will be writing next weeks report. I will send him any sockeye info I get to keep everyone in the loop.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Beach Fly Fishing Report
We have big low tides smack in the middle of the day this weekend. Normally this is not when we want to see low tides. In the perfect world the low is first thing in the morning so you can reach the fish when they are fresh and rested. That said with numbers being quite strong it is still worth looking at and you will not need to get up early. In the morning gear fishing will be more suited to the high tide because you can cast father but fly fishing throughout the day is not a bad option.
Andre will be hitting the water more after the tides shift and we will have more details in next week’s report.