Welcome everyone to the post long weekend report! The weather last weekend was amazing and so are many of the reports we are hearing! The interior reports were awesome with the warm temperatures getting fish active in most of the go to lakes. Chironimids were hatching as well as damsels and even mayflies. Andre has more details in his report and though it is warming up fast we still think the fishing should continue to be awesome for the next couple weeks.
Saltwater anglers also saw some amazing weather with calm seas. On Sunday the straight looked like glass. The big tides made finding the fish a little challenging but we still had good reports. The good news is the tides are not as severe out and the bite came back on. Check out more details in the Saltwater Report below.
On the local front we are seeing some great trout fishing on the stocked lakes, the bass reports are still coming in and everyday we hear more cool reports about guys and girls thinking outside the box and hitting the underutilized fisheries around the lower mainland. Whether it is the backside of a stocked lake that no one can get to, a cutthroat slough, a bass pond or even a carp spot, one of the tools we are seeing both fly and gear angler use to explore these niche fisheries is a float tube. They have come a long way from the days of donut style boats. With this in mind Matt and Jordan have a short article on what you need to know if you are thinking about getting a float tube to access these cool fisheries.
Good luck on the water!
CLASSES + COURSES
There are still a couple of spots at the tying table for Andre’s upcoming beach fly patterns tying course. Don’t miss out on getting ready for the upcoming season. Matt also has a couple of spots left in next week’s lake fishing course. Call us today at 604.872.2204 to sign up!
Tying Beach Fly Patterns
Join Pacific Angler for a 3hr evening seminar of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt, fly selection is critical while beach fishing.
These flies are often not commercially available, so successful beach anglers learn to tie their own patterns. Your instructor will walk you through each fly pattern step-by-step.
This Tying Beach Fly Patterns course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: May 28, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes
This course will give you an in-depth look at the fundamentals of fly fishing lakes. We explore equipment, techniques, major insect hatches and ideal lakes to begin with. You will learn all you need to plan your next successful lake trip to one of BC’s 5,000 lakes! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Cost: $45.00 + GST
Dates: May 29, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano is seeing better numbers of fish coming in. The water remains at a solid level, allowing fish to shoot up into the upper pools. We consider now until the river drops in the summer to be prime time so it is a great time to start fishing this river.
These fish move in small schools and tend to zip straight to the hatchery and usually hold at Cable Pool or the immediate deep pools below the Cable Pool.
If you are a drift fisherman you can easily target the moving schools by drifting roe or colorado blades. Find slow moving water or pocket water for best results. Using 20-30 gram clear float can produce, as it is less likely to spook the fish.
For the fly fishermen, the Cable Pool is the best spot. You should be equipped with a fast full sinking line with only a 4-6ft non-tapered fluorocarbon leader. Swing or strip with fly patters like Cap Bugger, mickey finn, etc. We are fully stocked with Andre’s cap bugger and you should pick some up before they are sold out.
Please do release all steelhead and wild coho that you run into.
Have fun and stay safe out there.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
We are at the end of May and there are soaring temperatures and bluebird skies. Trout fishing has been hot in the Interior (See Andre’s report) but for those that don’t have time to head that far out the local stocked lakes have been fishing very well. A few of them like Rice, Green Timbers, and Como were heavily stocked this past week with thousands of rainbow trout so there are lots of fish to go around.
With the warmer water and sunny days it is best to fish in the morning or in the evening when it isn’t too hot and bright and the fish are active. In saying that, it is still very possible to catch them in the middle of the afternoon but it can be challenging. I personally like more active fishing when trying to entice these stocked trout so that means casting spinners, spoons, or small flies (leeches, carey specials, doc spratleys). However, fishing a stationary target like powerbait off the bottom, worms/krill/eggs under a float, or a chironomid under an indicator are all very effective and can catch trout when they get sluggish and don’t want to chase down something in motion. As always, don’t be afraid to experiment as the fish change what they want on a day-to-day basis, sometimes even hour to hour.
One of the best ways to circumvent crowds or to get to where the fish hang out mid-day is to invest in a watercraft of some kind. There are lots of options but one of the best in terms of portability, convenience, and ease of use are inflatable float tubes. Jordan and Matt have a feature this week on these stellar watercraft so be sure to check that out!
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
We are having a really warm May this year so the lake fishing started early and the temps went up faster than usual. Lakes at 3600 ft and up to 4000 ft are fishing well now with temps rising up to 60 degrees and above. I would start looking at lakes that are 4000 ft and up like Hatheume, Plateau and many more. Unfortunately Minnie Lake had a winterkill this year but there were good report from Stoney Lake in Douglas Lake Ranch. Fish were caught on chironomids along with lots of damsels hatching. Roche, Peter Hope, Glimpse, Harmon, Kump, Tunkwa, Marquart, Lundbom, Knouff, Community, Courtney, Corbett, and Bleeker Lakes continue to fish well. Cariboo lakes are worth a try as it usually starts heating up from the first week of June onwards.
Chironomid fishing is still the most productive way to fish but this is the time of year when the temperatures rise to high 60s the damsel nymphs start hatching so make sure you have damsel nymphs in different sizes and colours.
The way to fish damsel nymphs is by using a floating line with a long leader. You want to station yourself close to shore and retrieve the fly towards you. The damsel nymphs tend to swim to shore and crawl on weeds before they hatch to its adult stage. If the water is too choppy sometimes it’s best to use clear intermediate line to keep the nymph under the surface.
You will also notice Mayfly hatches in the afternoon if the sun gets covered or it is a cloudy day. Mayflies do not like excessive sunlight. To fish more efficiently throughout the day and catch all the hatches you want to have two rods setup; one with a floating line and one with a clear intermediate line ready to go. This way there is no lost time when changing reels or spools back and forth. Another tip I will give you is to organize your fly boxes so you are not struggling to find a specific pattern. Put chironomids, leeches and scuds, dragons and damsels and caddis in different boxes and label them. The more organized you are in your vessel the less frustrating it will be when racing to change presentations.
FEATURE – FLOAT TUBES
In the mid 90s float tubes were a standard in almost all fly fisherman’s arsenal. The Interior lakes were one of the most popular options for fly fishing and with a relatively small investment in a float tube you could be on the lake. Since then many hardcore lake guys graduated have into larger prams and inflatables and we saw float tubes fall out of favour.
We feel that things are changing. With increased populations in the Lower Mainland, gas prices that are kind of crazy and increased pressure on more accessible fisheries, guys and girls are thinking outside the box and exploring more remote or overlooked fisheries. Whether you are a bass fisherman, an ultra light trout fisherman or a fly fishing angler, float tubes are gaining popularity and once again providing a packable cost effective way to hit some amazing fishing.
Float tubes have also come a long way from the round tire bladders of old. In this article we are going to look at what you need to know if you want to gut into a float tube and then how you will want to set it up, weather you are catching trout in a high country lake by Squamish or hunting cutthroat, bass or even carp in some of the more urban locations around the lower mainland.
First off, what boat should you buy? When it comes to quality, Outcast float tubes are our absolute favourite to look at. In the past we have seen companies come and go in the inflatable watercraft market and there are many stories of anglers purchasing boats only to find the next year that they cannot get service, accessories or spare parts. Outcast is one of the oldest and in our opinion best watercraft companies in this market. We have owned and guided numerous Outcast boats. Our main guide raft is a 14ft Outcast that is over 10 years old. We have thrown it off cliffs, dragged it over hundreds of log jams and it is bullet proof. Their float tubes are the same. They last a very long time and if you have an issue, you can trust that Outcast will be there to support you with a solid warranty and replacement parts.
The design of the Outcast float tubes has also become the standard in the industry. Like we said, gone are the days of the round donut tubes. Outcast makes a “U” designed tube. This is way better than the donut style because you sit further out of the water and the “U” design moves much faster across the water when kicking.
Outcast has 6 options to consider. Their Fish Cat series is the most popular. They have a PVC bladder to keep cost down and come in a Standard version with a foam seat, a Deluxe version with an inflatable seat and a Max version that is 20% larger for larger guys. For most anglers these are the models we recommend looking at. The Standard is $329.00 CAD and the Deluxe and Max come in at $429.00 CAD. The major debate between the Deluxe and Standard model is the inflatable seat on the Deluxe. This offers better packability, a more comfortable seat and they ride higher in the water.
For the more determined angler Outcast also offer the Fat Cat series. As the name implies these boats have a higher 300lb rating but also come with a urethane bladder. Urethane bladders are way longer lasting. This is the same bombproof bladder that is in our raft – the same raft that we put through the paces in our guiding operation.
If you are going to fish more than 25 days a season we recommend looking at these models. We special order these boats in so come on down to the shop if you are interested.
Now its time to look at accessories.
Fins – They have also come a long way and outcast has two options, their Standard and their Power Kick fins. Both work well but the speed you gain from the Power Kick fins is noticeable. If you are kicking way back into a secluded part of a lake or slough it is worth the upgrade. Standard fins cost $54.99 CAD and the Power Kick fins are $144.99 CAD.
Anchor – Out of all the things you want on the boat an anchor is important, not only for fishing but for safety. Wind can blow you around and if you are getting blown in a direction you don’t want go, dropping anchor is a good way to get a leg break. We recommend a minimum of 5lbs with a 50ft rope. It can be as simple as tying the rope to a strap on the boat and throwing the anchor overboard or setting up a more involved anchor mount system.
Rod Holders and Rod Leash – Both are highly recommended. Scotty makes a great strap on adaptor for their standard fly rod holder. This is the easiest way to quickly add a rod holder to your boat. It lashes around the point of the U. This same system can be used for a number of Scotty accessories or rod holders.
They also sell a rod leash that is not a bad idea if you are packing two rods. You can easily zip an extra rod into the pockets on the side of the tube but many rods have been lost over the side so having a safety leash if you are prone to mess ups is not a bad idea.
Fish Finders – You can quite easily strap the Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy to your tube as well and if you get really into chironimid fishing or targeting structure this is a game changer. Again there is a mount that lashes around the boat and supports the Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy sounder.
There are many more options to deck out your float boat but the wonder of the Outcast boat is basically with fins, the boat and a pump you are in the game. For under $400 CAD before tax with the basic model you can be fishing water that you could only dream of when fishing from shore.
We expect more people to be using these boats over the coming seasons and we are excited about the unique and overlooked fisheries that can be explored. If you have a spot that is just out of casting distance or a cool spot that is unexplorable from shore come down and talk to us at the shop we can get you set up!
Matt Sharp + Jordan Simpson
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
The fishing locally definitely picked up this week. If you read last weeks report you will remember we talked about the new moon and big tides. That has passed and this weeks tides were not as severe and the bite came back on.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the Fraser as we are getting a lot of calls about the dirty water form the Fraser plume. Many anglers are assuming you can’t or won’t catch fish in these conditions. This is not true at all, I was out in the dirty water yesterday off Gabriola and we were well into the double digits for hook ups. This dirty fresh water floats on top and underneath the fish can still see. It often brings the bait and the fish up. The hot depth in the morning yesterday was 101 on the rigger and 137 a little later on in the day. If the water was clear we would have been fishing 175 to 225. So don’t worry about the dirty water, it is actually normal for this time of year, just adjust your depths accordingly. I think more people are noticing it this year as we have had some 1 in 100 year flood events and all that water is making its way into the Fraser and now into the Salish Sea.
Okay, back to fishing. Locally it was decent this past week with fish off Cowan to Roger Curtis and the Hump. Productive depths have been 80-120 for the most part. If you didn’t see my leader boards on Instagram or Facebook last week, here you go, this is what we are using.
Over in the Gulf Islands the fishing also picked up once the big tides and long weekend crowds dispersed. We had some awesome days there this week. A lot of anglers got tricked into fishing the structure this past week, perhaps a little too early, and the fishing offshore was very good. There are also fish on the structure, so it is a tough call, but there were some big number days from Nanaimo down to south Gabriola in 350-800 feet of water. Spoons and hootchies in the above picture with green and chartreuse glow flashers were hot. Think Lemon Lime, Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, etc.
Crabbing is decent but there has been a lot of traps stolen lately, so keep an eye on your gear. Commercial prawn season is open, so we aren’t setting our traps at the moment.
See you in the shop and on the water,