Here comes the Sun! If you are debating a day out fishing in the next couple days GO! Vancouver is going to have great weather for the weekend and the thermometer may go over 30 degrees in the interior!! This is great news. Last week had a real mixed bag of weather and with it the fishing was all over the map.
The interior lakes were tough last weekend with shifting weather patterns and fluctuating temperatures. Max headed up and got hammered by the weather Saturday and Sunday but in the end managed to move around, adapt and find some nice fish. We heard of a number of similar reports but early in the week things picked back up. Andre has an awesome report on damsel fly nymphs and how to fish them. This is one of the coolest hatches on our interior lakes and you will want to have them in your box for any upcoming trips. We had a couple customers report seeing damsels. Friend and customer Mark L. has some nice pics from Sawmill Lake where they were trying a combination of chironomids and damsels with good results!
Check it all out in the Interior Lake report below.
On the Saltwater side of things we have been having very interesting fishing. We got hammered by the weather Wednesday and the fish were off in the afternoon because of the shifting weather. Earlier in the week we had awesome reports from the Howe Sound area and just south of Bowan Island. Check out the saltwater report for more details. There are a few things happening out there that we have never seen before!
Also if you missed it last week, please please please sign the petition to keep the Ambleside boat launch open! There was a big response from last week’s report but we need more. Click here to get your name down.
On the river front, guys are starting to find fish on the Capilano. This can be a cool urban fishery over the next 2 months. Check out the river reports below for more info. For other river systems, most are in freshet and will not be fish-able, or open for another month. A few guys will be getting float rods ready for summer Steelhead and chinook while the trout fly guys should start tying up Thompson and Skagit patterns. The Skagit is closed and the Thompson is way too high to fish right now but we have been looking at a number of water graphs and snow pack levels across the region. Snow melt started almost a month early this year! This could mean a great early season on a number of fisheries that struggle with high water in July. This could also cause issues for these same fisheries as they get too low later in the season but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. With this is in mind we are offering our introduction to fly fishing trout streams course on June 21st so you are ready for the season when it starts in July. Check out more details in the course section below.
Introduction to Fly Tying – last introduction to tying course until September!
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: June 8, 15 and 22
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Fishing Trout Streams
This course is comprised of one 3 hr evening seminar where we go over everything you need to understand the different flies and techniques for tackling classic river trout fishing.
Dates: June 21
On To The Report!
The next fishery on the Chilliwack system will be red springs starting July 1st.
The Capilano bumped up with the rain this last week and we have heard of coho entering the system. These fish are typically low light biters this means it pays to be on the river in the dark waiting for first light. If you aren’t a morning person fishing in the evening till dark is another option. Float fishing colorado blades, roe, and yarn ties are all great options for the float fisherman but sometimes casting spoons and spinners will outperform the float. Fly fishing using the Type 6 Full Sink technique with fluorocarbon leaders and tippet can be quite productive in these low water conditions. Andre has brought in his Cap Bugger for the coming season and though having some different options in your fly box is important, this fly is one of the best when fishing the upper pools for coho.
The Chehalis River has been closed for the past month allowing winter run steelhead a break from the pressure and a chance to spawn. It opened on June 1. This system is fun if you like hiking and is a great float fishing river. Summer run steelhead should be showing up soon. When we get some reports in you’ll be the first to know.
We had a couple unsettled weather patterns push through this last week but it looks like the heat is coming! I remember going to Merrit at this time last year and the lakes were done. The air temp was 30 degrees and the water temps were above 70 degrees. This year we are having a normal season with lake temperatures at around 4000 feet and under still not exceeding 60 degrees. Some lakes at 4500 and above have just turned over or are in the process like Hatheume which is at 4600 feet.
It is important to have this info when choosing a lake. These temps will determine what hatches to expect. A lot of people last week were heading out to higher elevation lakes which got snow while others enjoyed a little nicer weather with lots of hatches at the lower elevation lakes.
Another tip I can give you is if you are going to lakes regularly every week, pay attention to signs of upcoming hatches. While fishing on a lake last week with chronomids hatching I noticed a couple of caddis nymphs swim to the surface. If the temperatures are fairly constant this doesn’t mean that there is going to be a burst of caddis hatching all of a sudden, but it indicates that the lake you are on at a given elevation will turn on when the temperatures rise a few degrees. Record your water temps and know that next time your are on the lake if the temp is even a few degrees warmer you can expect the given insect to be hatching. Below is a write-up on damsel flies, a hatch we expect to see over the next few weeks.
By virtue of sheer numbers, damselfly nymphs rank high on the aquatic menu. They are available to trout year-round but they are at their most helpless when struck by the urge to emerge. The most important thing to know about Damsels is they don’t hatch in the surface film. They migrate toward shore in search of something they can drag themselves up on to. This may be downed timber, tules, or reeds sticking above the waterline; rocks or docks; or the shoreline itself. There they shed the nymphal skin to become airborne. If you see these papery, castoff shucks, and the presence of adult damsel flies, you’re in the right place at the right time.
As they make their shore-ward exodus, most damsel nymphs crawl along the bottom. Getting your fly down among the naturals usually produce the best action. In water depths of 4 feet or less, go with a floating line, an unweighted or lightly weighted fly, and a 9- to 12-foot leader. Cast out perpendicular to the shoreline, and let the fly sink for, say, 10 seconds, and then begin a slow, steady retrieve; a hand-twist works well. Inch the fly back into shallower water to replicate the natural insect’s path. Increase the countdown on each cast until you touch bottom, and then back off a few counts to keep your fly snag-free. Use the same technique in deeper water with a sink-tip or full-sinking line.
Some damsel nymphs, however, swim to shore on or just under the surface, triggering a violent, take-and-turn boil when a trout keys in on them. This hit is one of the coolest in lake fishing and if you ever see it you wont forget. My favorite fishing dreams usualy involve take a turn boils.
if you see this happen target these trout with a floating line and an unweighted fly. Damsels appear to swim at a pretty good clip, but if you look closely, there’s a lot of shoulder-shrugging, butt-wiggling body motion, with frequent stops to rest, for precious little forward progress—it’s a lot like me paddling a canoe. Duplicate this movement with slow, 8- to 12-inch strips, pausing between pulls. And stay sharp. Trout frequently grab the fly when it’s motionless.
On gusty days, freshly hatched adult damsels (and dragonflies) may be blown into the water and picked off. But it’s not a bankable occurrence—I’ve witnessed it once or twice in 20 years—and unimportant to fishermen.
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Report
Our boats have been out on the water a ton lately and things have been interesting. We had some amazing shallow water fishing off Bowen island last week with guys catching fish 20 ft below the boat! This is super rare for our local fishery and a result of lots of bait.
Another nice surprise has been the number of coho in the local waters. We have caught them on a number of charters and there have even been a few big ones! Their stomachs have been packed with anchovies so bait works but spoons like the 3 and 3.5″ Irish cream, homeland securities and skinny G’s have been top producers. Though 20 feet is the shallowest we have caught fish, the hot depths are 40′ to 80′.
With challenging weather last week and good local fishing, we did not go across the straight to Thrasher Rock. With better weather in the forecast you can expect most of the guide boats to be making the crossing. If you make it across, add spackleback hoochies into your arsenal. Hot depths there are in the 130′ to 230′ range.
Looking to the weekend we are recommending Hole in the Wall, Tunstall Bay, Roger Curtis, and Cowen Point locally but if the bite has died off there is is prime time for Thrasher Rock. With better weather our guides are all itching to get across.
We have boats out all weekend and we should have more info early next week so as always don’t hesitate to call in and ask for and update or even better call in your report if something interesting happens out there. 604-872-2204. If you want to book a trip call NOW to get a spot! 778- 788-8582