Wow, what a week! Epic weather and great conditions. A bunch of guys hit the Skagit for opening day and though conditions were not ideal, a good number of fish were caught. Matt had some time to do some scouting, so check out his report for pictures and all the details. If you are a Skagit fisherman make sure not to miss the feature product section, Matt has gone over some of his favourite Skagit gear and all the essentials are on SALE! .
Ocean fishing picked up quite a bit as well. We had reports of fish back at South Bowen, Thrasher Rock produced some solid late season fishing and guys are starting to look at the North Van Shore line. The weather bodes well for them shutting off the dam and more fish stacking up at the mouth of the river.
Andre has been out scouting the beaches for pinks but as expected nothing yet. This can change any day so be sure to keep an eye on Andre’s beach reports.
Lastly the Vedder is now open. We have not heard many reports yet and expect it to not be good for another few weeks but if you are interested in fishing for chinook check out the details in the Vedder River report section.
The Vancouver Chinook Classic is a 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.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the tournament and 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!
Don’t have your own boat? Experience the Vancouver Chinook Classic on one of our Grady White boats outfitted with the best tackle and fully guided for $1,000 per day (non-inclusive of angler fee). To inquire contact us on our charter line at 778.788.8582.
More details on this not to be missed tournament weekend here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
There are a few spots left in Andre’s ever popular Beach Fishing Course sign up today – don’t miss out!
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.
Dates: July 10 or July 18
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
What’s in Matt’s Skagit Pack – Feature Product Edition
All week we had friends and clients asking what to bring to the Skagit. Check out the list below of what I bring in my pack. All of these items will be on sale at 10% off today through end of day Thursday July 13th.
First off, let’s start with what pack do I use? My choice is the Simms Large Waypoints sling.
Why? I can pack a lunch, I can bundle up a second layer and I can pack 2 beers, a water and 3 rods. As I have talked about in previous blog reviews my shoulder sometimes gets tight because I over pack with this bag but on the Skagit I feel it is worth it.
Dr Slick Hook File, Simms nippers (placed in front Sling Simms retractor for easy access) and Mitten Clamp style forceps with cutting edge for doctoring flies and needle for clearing hooks
Nets and Net Accessories:
Net – For a net there are pretty much only 2 great options. If you want classic, the Moby Brook is what I use. It will handle a 7lb bull trout but is not too big for 12-16inch rainbow. Moby Nets are beautiful, classic pieces of fish art but are extremely functional. The second option, though beautiful is more of a modern looking piece. Fishpond nets take a page from high-end tennis rackets and are easily the lightest highest performance option on the market– They have a number of sizes. Take a look at the Nomad Hand Net or the Nomad Native Net if you are looking for a Skagit net that can also handle a large bull.
Magnetic Net Release – This is a must for the river fisherman who wants to catch and release. I have tried the Dr Slick, Fishpond and even the cost affective Angler brand. They all work and are all good options. That said the Fishpond looks pretty sweet. (I don’t have it but kind of want it)
Dry Fly Floatant – I take both powder and the liquid style. I find the powder is better for super wet flies or very small flies while a combination of both the liquid and powder is the ultimate for medium to larger dry flies.
Split shot – I take BB #1 and number 2 shot. This gives me a range for different water speeds and conditions. Also 2 packs give you some redundancy. When you spill an entire pack into the rocks, the bottom of your pack, or the left foot of your waders (This seams to happen to me at least once a season) you have a back up.
Indicators – most of you know that I love “Thing A Ma Bobbers” and I will always have 3-5 of these in my pack but if you are really into nymhing have a couple smaller options for longer casting, slower water and spooky fish. Fish Pimps are what are in my pack right now but any of the smaller options will work.
I carry an entire wallet but in honesty I could get away with just my tippet stack (see below). That said tapered leaders are nice. They will tangle less because there are less knots to catch. For dry fly fishing I love them and carry 3 X 5lb mono leaders in my pack. If you are nymphing and know my custom nymphing leader setup, then you are good with some homework and a leader board but if you don’t want to build custom leaders then pack a couple full fluoro leaders for nymphing (2 X 5lb fluoro leaders) They sink better and the fish will have a harder time seeing them.
Note: If you want to learn about my custom nymphing, leader come down to the shop and the guys will show you or keep your eyes pealed. We have had so many guys asking that we will be releasing a video soon on the basics of building a nymphing leader.
You will need at a bare minimum 5lb mono tippet but having versatility is key. I carry 3.5lb, 5lb , 6lb and 10lb mono in my kit. I also carry 4lb, 5lb and 7lb fluorocarbon. I carry a spool of 10lb indicator leader and then something heavy (like 25lb mono) for building butt section. Though all the spools are an investment, I can pretty much build, fix or jerry rig anything I need out of the water.
One of my best additions this year to the pack has been the Fishpond Headgate Tippet Holder. There is nothing I find more frustrating than a stack of tippet spools that end up in a tangled mess. Though the simple Simms black bungee style holder or the Loon Tippet Stack are way better than the options that we have seen in the past, when the spools spin they are still awkward and tangle prone. The Fishpond Headgate Fly Fishing Tippet Holder is a game changer. It is super easy to load, the spools spin freely and never jam up and it has a great built in line cutter that actually works. I can honestly say I have reduced my tippet stack tangles by half. As an added bonus it fits 7 spools. If you look at my list of tippets, I carry 7 key sizes and if you put a few odd ball sizes at the bottom of your pack 7 is the perfect number to have at hand ready to cover all your bases.
Fishpond Face stick – Again for those who know me I am white, pasty white and though I love the sun I get cooked if I am not careful. I always load up on 50spf in the morning but breaking out the sunscreen and getting my hands all oily and smelly when the hatch is coming off is the last thing I want to do. Again a great addition from fishpond is the Face stick. I love this thing. It is super small and packable but with little effort, and no greasy hands I can re apply or touch up the Sun protection and be back fishing.
Simms Patch Fly box – This has been another game changer for Skagit style fisheries. On the river I change flies fast and often. I want a large selection of flies but messing with a bulky fly box, or multiple fly boxes can slow you down. When a hatch is on I can’t stand wasting time digging through packs for fly boxes. The Simms patch fly box is perfect. It velcros on to the front of my pack so it is super easy to locate. I still carry my big box and other secondary boxes, but I can put a few key flies in the little Simms box and when I am changing flies it saves digging through the pack to find the right box to put flies back into. At the end of the trip I can re organize what is in the smaller box. If you using the Simms patch style holders or the brim of your hat I recommend you try the patch box. It has made my life way easier and I loose way less flies.
Ok Guys, I know what is a bunch of information. If you have any cool ways to organize your packs I would love to hear about it in the comment section below. This is just what I have found to work for me and it is always a bit of a work in progress. With new products, old forgotten products and even a little magivering ingenuity you can really get your pack set up right to maximize water time.
See you in the shop or on the water!!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
We are finally starting to see more typical seasonal water levels at the Cap, which spells good news for the beach fishers in the coming weeks but warrants a change in attack plan for those that prefer the freshwater portions. With the river becoming little more than a trickle at this point there will be very few spots to drift fish, which brings lure fishing and fly fishing into the spotlight.
There won’t be as many fresh fish entering the river under these conditions so catering to the ones already in the system means finding a way to trigger them while they stage in the deep pools. One way is to irritate them by buzzing spinners and spoons over their heads. Good choices are Mepps and Blue Fox spinners as well as Gibbs Croc spoons and Gibbs Koho spoons. The other technique that can be super effective is to fly fish with either little flash flies or small olive streamers such as a wooly bugger or leech. To get down to the fish, it is highly recommended that you fish these on a type 6 or type 7 full sinking line.
This is a tough fishery but those that are putting in the time and footwork have been getting rewarded so give it a go and don’t get discouraged by a skunk or two.
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
The Chilliwack opened last Saturday but we haven’t heard too many solid reports yet. Chinook salmon will be in the system throughout July, but things usually pick up more in the coming weeks. As we suggested in last weeks report, swing big blue and chartreuse flies or fish roe and Colorado blades under a float. If you are heading out remember the daily quota for chinook salmon in July and August is four fish per day (only one fish over 62cm). The daily quota of hatchery-marked rainbow trout at any size under 50cm is four fish per day. ALL sockeye salmon, wild trout and char have to be released with care.
Skagit River Fishing Report
When I drove the Crows Nest last weekend we stopped at Sumallo Grove to check out the river. As expected it was high but fishable. As you can see from the pictures this means there are spots to get in the water and fish effectively but those spots are limited. Crossing the river is possible but there will be spots you just can’t reach without a boat. The river had a beautiful blue/green tint and though this is dream steelhead and bull trout conditions for swinging flies, blue water is usually cold water. Though I saw a few mayflies, cold water usually means limited hatches.
We had a number of reports that confirmed what I saw. There were no “hot” reports but anglers who covered water and had experience with nyphing found fish. From the reports, the usual suspects, Prince Nymphs, Golden Stones and Hares Ears worked. This is also the time of year that check nymphing can really pay off. Heavily weighted small nymph imitations can be very productive when the fish are less concentrated by low water. Is it worth heading to the Skagit? Absolutely. Is it prime time? No. If you want that, wait at least 2 weeks. Depending on the weather we should start seeing consistent hatches and better access.
If you’re heading out be sure to check out the Friday Feature Product section for the list of what I bring in my pack. All of these items will be on sale at 10% off today through end of day Thursday July 13th.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
I went out two days in a row last week to do a scout and see how things were on the beach. There were a couple of long time regular patrons on the beach and after talking to them it was apparent that not much has been seen yet in the estuary. I stayed for three hours waiting patiently for a sign of fish but unfortunately I didn’t see a single fish. This could change overnight so it is a matter of doing regular check ups. I went to Furry Creek as well but the pinks were not there yet, hopefully the next report will be a much positive one with lots of pictures.
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing picked up nicely this week with some great action off S. Bowen from Cowan Point to Roger Curtis as the herring and anchovies moved back in and the chinook came right along with them. Hot depths were in the 50-100 range on the downriggers. Anchovies, herring, spoons, and white UV hootchies were all producing well.
There was some good fishing at Thrasher this week as well, a little late in the season for this spot, but hey the fish are there and we aren’t complaining. As usual, the hot weather means some pretty big winds, so it has been tough to get across. There have been a few windows though, and those that had the right days off did well fishing deep on the structure.
There is also some big chinook getting caught up Howe Sound. As mentioned in last weeks report, anytime after Canada Day we start to see some of these mature Squamish fish get caught around Hole in the Wall up to Sunset.
We have also been fishing off W. Van for coho and haven’t had any consistent action yet, but we know they are around because the Cap has its fair share already. Eddie was out on a 5 hour trip the other day and actually got a really nice chinook on a white UV hootchy while fishing for coho. This seems to happen quite a bit in July, so be ready.
So all in all there is a lot going on out in the ocean with all sorts of spots producing fish. Enjoy this amazing weather and have fun out there!