July is starting off where June ended – warm and windy!
Both the Chilliwack and the Skagit opened on Canada Day. Water levels on the Skagit are looking good and we’ve had some solid reports from the river. Lakes, both local and in the interior, have been subjected to a long hot spell, making fishing a challenge. Check out Max’s report below for some non-trout options if you’re planning on exploring our local lakes.
Andre spent some time on the beach this week and was rewarded with a nice fish. The season appears to be shaping up well! Our saltwater guides have been battling the northwest winds all week, which have hampered any efforts to get across the straight. Luckily coho fishing has started to become more consistent and we have been into coho on most of our trips along W. Van. There has also been some decent action up Howe Sound around Hole in the Wall and up to Sunset Marina and we have hooked chinook and some early pinks and even a few coho. Jason’s full report is below.
NICHOLAS DEAN LODGE – PRIME TIME SKEENA STEELHEAD DATES
Join us in the best week of the fall steelhead season, mid September, to swing flies for steelhead on the fabled waters of the Skeena and its tributaries. If you are a prime time only kind of guy, look no further as this is the best week for fly fishing for steelhead and especially for skating dry flies. We will be staying and fishing with Nicholas Dean Lodge in Terrace. Simply put, the accommodations and food are excellent and you won’t find a better group of guides. What makes the operation at Nicholas Dean Lodge unique is their 30 plus years of guiding experience and the rivers they have rod days on. They have the rights to fish the main stem Skeena, and tributaries like the Kalum and the Copper as well as numerous others secret rivers where I have been sworn to secrecy as well as some special places out towards the Nass. I have fished with this lodge before and these guys know where to go in low water, medium water, and high-water. That means regardless of the conditions they know where to go and have the rafts, jet boats, helicopters, and rod days to make your steelhead fly fishing dreams a reality.
These prime time September spots do not come up very often, in fact almost never, so grab them while you can and hold on to them for life! Spots will be filled by email enquiry so they can be dated, and then Jason will phone and book the trip. So email Jason at [email protected] and book your steelhead dream!
Trip Date: September 13-19, 5 days, 6 nights.
Trip Price: $4,550 CAD plus GST.
Included: Accommodation, 5 guided days, food and beverage with meals, Pacific Angler Host.
Not Included: Transportation to Terrace, Licenses, and Gratuities.
Looking to get try out beach fishing this year? Join Andre for his Fly Fishing on Beaches course. The first two courses have sold out, but there are still spots available in the July 22 class. There are also a few spots available in Matt’s introduction to Fly Fishing course. If you’ve been trying to get into our most popular classes, Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon, don’t miss out on our final date of the year. Details below on all of these great courses below.
Fly Fishing on Beaches
This single evening 3hr seminar will cover the basic principles needed to be an effective beach fly fishermen in BC from Howe Sound to the east coast of Vancouver Island. Topics covered will include rods, reels, fly lines, flies, tides, and techniques. Andre Stepanian, the instructor for this course, has been chasing salmon on our local beaches for over two decades. Remember, east coast Vancouver Island has a pink salmon run every year and last year the Capilano had 12,000 coho!
Book this course early as we sold out all 3 courses in 2014!!
Dates: July 6 SOLD OUT, July 14 SOLD OUT – Spots left in the July 22 course, 6:30pm to 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.
Seminar: July 20, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Casting Date: July 26, 2pm to 5pm
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Seminar Date: August 12, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
On the water: August 14 or August 16
Once again we have to report that the Capilano remains very low and fishing has been slow. We’ve heard the odd report of coho making it up to the cable pool at night but the reports have been spotty. If you’re heading out to give this fishery a try be sure to check last week’s report for some tips on catching these early coho.
Please remember: ALL steelhead(adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
The Chehalis sees a small run of both summer chinook and steelhead so definitely worth getting out and fishing it. We haven’t had a chance to get up to the Chehalis and fish, if you have drop by the shop and share your report.
The Chilliwack is now open to fishing, there are usually a few fish around on opening week but they can be tough to find. Float fishing roe, wool, and blades are the preferred baits of choice for the conventional angler. Swinging intruder patterns as well as Popsicle patterns in blue, chartreuse, orange, and black will do the trick for fly fisherman. Check out last week’s report for Sam’s “how to” on the Chilliwack.
Skagit River and Thompson River
The Skagit is now open and from all reports it is in good shape and fishing well. Historically this has not been a good week for water levels but this season’s weather is obviously way off the norm and water levels are good.
From the opening day reports we heard of some grey mayfly hatches and descent nymphing on golden stones and hares ears. We also heard some great streamer reports of guys running sink tips and olive sculpin style patterns for both bull trout and rainbows.
Focus on floating lines and nymphing rigs for the rainbows with hares ears, golden stones, black stones, and prince nymphs. We have a great selection in stock. For bull tout use sink tips or carry a poly leader to add to your floating. Fish olive, black or purple streamers.
We recommend 5-7lb fluorocarbon leaders or at least fluorocarbon tippet for you nymphing rigs but 4 ft of 8lb maxima off your sink tip is perfect for your streamer set up. If you do not have a poly leader or dedicated sink tip line use split shot and a longer leader but know that a poly leader is the most effective. Also make sure to have lots of dry flies in your box. Last week we were sceptical of big hatches but with this weather and the reports we have heard, be prepared with mayflies and caddis patterns. Don’t forget olive parachute patterns, grey parachute pattern as well as stimulators and simple Adams patterns in a variety of sizes from monster size 8s all the way to #18.
We are hearing some good Thompson reports from the last few weeks and it is also time to head up to this great trout stream. For this system lean your fly selection toward larger golden, brown or black stone flies and large hopper patterns.
Looking forward to hearing the reports from the weekend!
The scorching heat we have been experiencing across the lower mainland is a friendly reminder that urban trout fishing can be tough in sunbathing weather. Trout fishing is now very slow for the most part in and around the city.
Fortunately, trout is not the only game in town! Bass fishing can be very productive in the summer months, and even Deer Lake in Burnaby can produce some exceptional specimens. Deer Lake also holds some impressive carp; which have been rumored to take flies! Although carp fly fishing is not common practice in British Columbia; it is extremely popular in other parts of the world. The curious and well rounded anglers in the lower mainland who are looking to try something new and challenging are not totally alone. There is a vast amount of information out there on the subject thanks to carp enthusiasts across the globe. With rivers so low, and trout lakes so warm; give this fishery a try!
Carp and bass offer exciting summer fishing opportunities for both fly and gear anglers. They are not stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society, so you will have to do some exploring to find where these fish are. Although carp are not held with high regard locally, they are a real challenge to catch on a fly rod. When hooked, carp put up a strong and persistent fight!
Whistler/Pemberton lake are a good option to try. Small trout are plentiful in most lakes in the Whistler area; Green, Alta, Lost, and Nita, to mention a few. The odd 18” trout can be encountered, and some lakes also hold big char. With this heat, morning and evening usually offer the best fishing.
The heat wave we are having brought the water temps from 65 degrees to over 75 degrees. This put a damper on even high elevation lakes that were fishing well such as Hihume, Island, Calling. Again if you are still wanting to fish lakes there is always a chance in the early and late part of the day when it is the coolest temperature. If the heat wave gives us a break then the lakes I mentioned will start fishing well again. We’ll be keeping an eye on the weather reports!
Beach Fishing West Vancouver
I was out on the water Monday to Wednesday this week, with Tuesday being the most productive day out of the three. I hit 3 fish and landed one and like last week I had to change flies numerous time to get a bite. A lot of other fishermen where into fish as well with both fly and gear.
The full moon helps with the low tides and also aids the salmon to navigate towards their native system. There were a few different pods of fish anywhere from 1.5lb to 6lb. It is safe to say that the beach fishing is well on the way now with the arrival of pink salmon in 2 weeks time. This week the tides are low in the afternoon, so get out there if you can, it will be tougher under the bright sunlight but you can still catch fish under these conditions.
See you on the beach,
June was the warmest on record and I would have to say it was probably one of the windiest as well. The NW winds have been punishing of late and kept us stuck in the harbour on many more days than we had hoped. Looks like the chinook at Gabriola and Nanaimo will continue to be safe from much angling pressure, as I am writing this report it is gusting 28 at Entrance!
Luckily it is right around this time of year the coho fishing starts to get more consistent and things are right on schedule as we have been into coho on most of our trips along W. Van. There have been a few days where we have been into double digits as we intercept aggressive biting schools of coho that have just moved in. Other days they are the sounder, you know they are there, but the bite seems to be off. We have been doing well on Yamashita hootchies with a 28-32 inch leader in White UV Pearl (OA12R) and Double Glow Pink Dot (OG77R). Basically any white, white UV or white hootchy with a bit of pink or red on it will get the job done. There have also been some good catches of fish on small Apexes in white, white and red, and pink. Try fishing these with a 5 foot leader off your flasher or run a dummy flasher and then the Apex on its own. The most productive flashers for us have been the Oki Tackle Green Onion, Purple Onion, Purple Haze, Green Haze and Betsy.
There has also been some decent action up Howe Sound around Hole in the Wall and up to Sunset Marina. We have done some trips in this area this past week and we have hooked chinook and some early pinks and even a few coho. If the NW winds and ebb tide make it too rough to fish W. Van then try fishing up Howe Sound as it is usually a lot calmer. Getting there can be a bit tricky during a NW and ebb tide if you have to get past Point Atkinson, but take your time, go slow, and before you know it you should be in some calm water as you approach Horseshoe Bay.
This area usually picks up for chinook after Canada Day so this is a good place to go if you are looking or are willing to search the waters for a bigger fish. Bait is the name of the game for the chinook, so make sure you have some anchovies or herring brined up. Productive depths are usually somewhere from 60 down to 150. Shallower on darker days or early in the morning and deeper on sunny days or later in the day. Try a Purple Onion Glow or Green Onion Glow flasher with a 6 foot leader to a glow green teaser head with an anchovy or herring in it. The pinks will be more than happy to grab your bait as well so make sure you have enough to last the day. If the bait runs out try a Pesca 3.5 or 4.0 Gut Bomb spoon with a 6 foot leader to the same flasher.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Jason, Eddie, Dimitri