Some rain this week is probably a good thing for our fisheries. With Sun this weekend it could be perfect for getting out. The Capilano has been slow this season but with the rain they bumped up the water levels on Thursday and with any luck it will bring in some more fish.
The interior lake fishing season is in full swing. Jason was up in Kamloops this week for a quick lake fishing getaway. At times they had to work and get technical with their chroni rigs but when the hatches came on fishing was hot. Hear a bit more from his trip in the stillwater section along with Andre’s overall interior report.
The saltwater scene is still fishing well. This time of year we are usually fishing on the reef at Thrasher but not many boats have been making the crossing because the fishing off Bowen has been so consistent. We heard a number of good reports off the southwest side of Bowen and the fish were very shallow. Check out Jason’s report for details.
In this week’s edition of the Friday Feature Product we are looking at fishing packs. Specifically sling packs. Matt is mildly obsessed with packs and loves the sling style packs. He had the opportunity to use a couple of the sling packs out on the flats in Christmas Island. If you are thinking about getting a sling pack for river fishing, beach fishing or down south we are well stocked and Matt has all the pros on cons laid out in his review this week. With Father’s Day just around the corner, these make a perfect gift for dad as well!
CLASSES AND COURSES
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.
Dates: June 21 (seminar) and June 24 (casting)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing Trout Streams
Stalking trout on mountain streams defines fly fishing. In this course we will teach you the fundamental techniques for fly fishing trout streams; dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing. This course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt (River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Date: June 20
Time:6:30pm – 9:30pm
Fly Fishing on Beaches
We’ve already had people asking about our Fly Fishing on Beaches course. While these courses are not until July, it’s never too early to start think about beach fishing. Book this course early as we sold out all 3 courses in 2016!!
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 5, July 10 or July 18
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
If you have fished with me or seen pictures of me out on the water I is almost always carrying a sling pack. It usually looks like a walking tackle shop, stuffed to the brim with gear and bristling with up to 4 rods strapped to it at different angles. I have a number of packs for different situations and below I will share a number of cool tweaks that make the packs work for me as well as a very detailed look at the pros and cons of the 4 major slings available on the market. As this is the feature product we will be offering 10% off on all slings this week so take a look at the review and come down to the shop if you think one will fit your needs.
Ok to start off I will admit that I have a problem. Some people like shoes, some collect cool jackets, others collect hats (Jordan) I have a problem with packs. I own or have owned pretty much every major fishing pack that Simms has put out over the last decade. Hip packs, backpacks, satchels and slings, I have tried them all. In the last 2 years we have seen a number of new packs on the market and as always I have to try them in my endless search for the perfect fishing pack.
I will have to say that this year I think both Fishpond and Simms have got it right. The packs available today are honestly better than anything I have seen before. The models do have some pros and cons that you will want to take into consideration when purchasing your next sling pack.
Simms Waypoints Sling Large – Reg. $169.99
I will start off with the pack that I use the most. The large Simms Waypoints sling is close to perfect for my needs. I can carry 2-4 large fly boxes, all the leaders’ tippet and tools that I need, a lunch and a light piece of clothing if I am in a pinch.
Where this pack shines for me is the strapping on both top and bottom. This allows me to pack a rolled up jacket and extra rods. Extra rods might not be critical for everyone but for me it is essential. If I am guiding, I need backups and I leave them rigged with line though the guides and fly ready but broken down into 4 pieces. If I am out on the Skagit I pack 3 rods, a nymphing rod, a dry fly rod and a streamer rod. If I am out gear fishing it is a bait caster and a spinning rod. When I am out on the flats it is a little different because things happen fast and having a rod broken down is not an option. My rods are fully rigged on my back and set up so I can get to them fast. The straps on this waypoint on both sides are perfect for this. You slip the butt of the rod in the bottom strap and then unclasp the top and synch them down. If you want fast access use the bottom strap but then add carabineers, heavy wire padded ties, or the Smith Creek Rod Clip to the strategically placed anchor points and you have a fast draw system that is hard to beat. This will get you in the game when that 30lb GT or permit comes cruising across the flats.
This is my go to pack but it does come with a couple of considerations. The first is weight. I always pack too much stuff and with this pack you can over load it. For me I am accustomed to fishing with it and after a day my back is not sore. Two days or more in a row though and my shoulder/neck starts to hurt. The second downside of this pack is it is not waterproof. This furthers the weight issue because if you wade deep it will be wet and it gets very heavy. If you have back issues or gear you need to keep dry this may not be the pack for you.
Simms Waypoints Sling Small – Reg. $129.99
The second pack to consider is the little brother of the Simms Large Waypoint. This is a great little daypack. It is a little limited in capacity but for the guys who keep it simple this pack is awesome. With its smaller size it is way easier on the back and still perfectly holds all the fishing gear you could want. Unfortunately it does not have a great extra rod option though an aftermarket solution could be jerry-rigged. For the guys with one rod and who like to pack light this is the pack I recommend.
Simms G4 Pro Sling – Reg. $239.99
The new Simms G4 Pro Sling might be the best of both worlds. It is sized right in the middle of the 2 waypoint packs. It packs a good amount of stuff but limits you to keep your packing efficient. This helps a ton on the sore back. It is also made of a completely waterproof material so when you get it wet it does not get all your gear soaked and end up weighing 50lbs.
This pack can also store a rolled up jacket or extra rod with the 2 side straps. It is missing the anchor points that make the large Waypoint Sling so convenient but I understand that stitching water proof material makes a point of failure and with the very cool Smith Creek rod holder seen in the picture below you can turn it into one of the best fast draw rod systems I have ever seen.
The zippers are water resistant. This is both a blessing and a curse. Water proof zippers are always hard to open and close so I like how Simms have done it but there are times when a full water proof construction would be great.
Fishpond ThunderHead Sling – Reg. $259.99
The last pack that I love is the fishpond Thunderhead Sling. This pack is awesome and if you want the best in high a capacity fully waterproof sling then look no further. With water proof zippers and a ton of aftermarket options for the warm water guys this is a highly recommended pack. Another interesting feature of the fully waterproof zipper in a flats environment is that you can swim with it. Though it is not advertised as a floatation device in a pinch if the tide comes up fast or you need to get across a small channel this pack will help for both. If you are DIY fishing and need to pack gear and stay dry this is the pack to look at.
If you are looking to get a sling of have one already comes to the shop and I will show you how I set them up. Make sure to tell us you saw this report in the Friday Fishing Report and we will offer 10% off on all slings featured here!.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The coho fishing on the Capilano has been relatively slow thus far this season, but this is a good time to be optimistic about this fishery as we should be expecting our first big push of fish any day now. Water levels have remained favourable for any fish that are thinking of entering the river thanks to all the rain and snow we’ve had this winter. With the rain they have opened the dam and the river is high. With the levels at their current state (no pun intended), drift fishing is ideal. The most popular bait for drift fishing is a chunk of pro-cured roe, however colorado blades, yarn ties, and either trout beads or single Jensen eggs with a bit of white wool can be deadly too. With this bump of water we might get luck and see the first big wave of fish. Once the water starts to drop below a 2 on the Capilano Kayak Cam (http://www.vankayak.org/capcam/) it is a good idea to start thinking about using lures or flies as these methods will be a lot more productive in the slow-moving pools. For hardware think about Gibbs Crocs, Gibbs Kohos, Mepps Aglias and Blue Fox Vibraxes as they are all top producers. In the fly fishing world, focus on small and olive patterns and fish them on full sinking lines in order to get down to the fish in those deep canyon pools. In particular, come check out Andre’s Cap Bugger, which he specifically designed for coho on the Capilano.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Report
It looks like the temperatures are going to drop in the interior and be combined with a few showers in the forecast. This is good news for may fly hatches as they don’t like the sun. Imitating the various life stages of mayflies, and their movement through or on the water, is best accomplished with floating and intermediate sinking fly-lines. A floating line with a long leader will let you cover any depth, from less than a few feet to over 16 feet. Intermediate and slow sinking fly-lines are also effective in imitating the shallow angle of ascent of mature nymphs. While trout aggressively eat the newly emerged duns that are sitting on the water, there will almost always be more fish gorging on the deeper-swimming nymphs, since it’s always safer to feed closer to the lake-bottom than higher in the water column. The most abundant populations are found in clear-water lakes with abundant marl bottom and shoals. Marl looks like white or yellowish-white sand, it is actually calcium. Effective nymphing patterns include pheasant tail nymphs, bead-head pheasant tail nymphs, Gold Bead Hare’s Ear, and Skip Nymphs. Adult patterns that work include the Parachute Adams, Adams, Lady McConnell, slender Humpies, and deer hair emerger mayflies. We had some good reports not just from Kamloops and Merritt but also lakes in Princeton and Cariboo regions. haven’t heard any reports from lakes at 4500 ft and above but it should be just around the corner.
Kamloops Lake Fishing Report
I had the chance to fish up in Kamloops this past week. It was fun to get out the 4 WT and 5 WT rods and strip some leeches and hang some chironomids. We were in the 4000 foot elevation range and there were a variety of insects coming off. Damsels, sedge, and chironomids for the most part.
The first few days of our trip didn’t see any significant hatches and the fishing was sporadic at best, with a few fish on chironomids just off the bottom, a few fish on leeches fished on sinking lines, and a little bit of dry fly action in the evening. The last day things really perked up with a decent “bomber” hatch of chironomids. We had a pretty good morning anchored up in 13 feet of water fishing a foot off the bottom with indicators and big chironomid patterns in size 8 and 10. The water temperature was in the 62 to 65 F range for the most part. Overall it was a pretty good trip and it was good to see the indicator go down again. I forgot how addicting this kind of fishing can be and plans are already in the works for the next lake trip.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing this past week took a bit of a turn. The previous weekend was good, but as the week progressed the fishing did finally slow down a bit. We can’t really complain though, the fishing had been good to great for a few weeks in a row off S. Bowen, so it was due to slow down. The fish are still around, the trick this past week was trying to find them and battling through the weeds. There were good bites from Gower all the way down to Cowan and if you were in the right place at the right time you had good fishing. I also think some of the fish were on the tidelines but the weeds and wood in those general areas were so bad last week you couldn’t fish the areas effectively. The big winds and high tides will do that. Hopefully this week the debris moves on and we can fish some of the tidelines more effectively. Not much has changed for gear and depths. The bait and the fish are relatively shallow with good action between 60-120 on the riggers, sometimes even shallower first thing in the morning.
We haven’t heard too much over at Thrasher as we spent the week fishing locally. Typically this time of year the best fishing is up on the structure and the offshore fishing slows down. I have talked to some other anglers that were at Thrasher this week and there seems to be a thick layer of algae or plankton starting at 100 feet down. This is a problem, as this time of year we are often fishing close to the bottom. This could be one of the reasons we have heard that the fishing is slower than normal at Thrasher for this time of year. We will have to wait and see how this scenario progresses. In the meantime we will continue to focus mostly on the S. Bowen area, as the catches there have been pretty good. It can be a bit tricky to land on the fish or find the fish on a 5 hour or 6 hour charter as they move around so much, but on our 8 hour and 10 hour trips we have consistently been coming back with good numbers of nice sized chinook salmon.
The longer trips give us that extra time to get on the fish each day. Sometimes we can get on them first thing, but other days they have moved significantly from the previous days hot spot and our fleet of boats, working with other guide boats as well, need a few hours to get on top of them again. The crabbing has also picked up this week with the big males moving in. We will probably see the best crabbing of the year in the next 2 weeks, then the commercial fleet will open up and things will slow down dramatically as we get into late June and early July.