With just a few days left on the driest May on record since 1937 we’re looking forward to June and some of our summer time fisheries!
With the warm dry river the Capilano River has been off to a slow start to the season. With little on the horizon for river fishing we have been up scouting the Pitt River via jet boat this week and its looking like it will shape up to be a great season.
Those fishing lakes in the interior had to contend with some unstable conditions the last few due to the thunderstorms in the Merritt area. Local lake fishing continues to be a good option for fishing close to home.
On the saltwater we’ve been out at the Hump and over at Thrasher all week. The Hump has been consistently producing fish for us and while Thrasher was a bit slow last weekend it has really picked up as the week progressed. Coho fishing off West Vancouver should be picking up any day now being that the Capilano River is quite low.
Speaking of coho we are getting ready for beach fishing. In preparation for this challenging and rewarding fishery, we are offering two specific beach courses, a fly tying course in late June and a techniques course in July. These courses are designed to teach you everything you need to know to be a successful fly angler on our local beaches. Details below in the course section.
June is almost here and we have a few spots left in some of our most popular classes hosted this month. We know July seems a long way off but don’t miss out on planning ahead and taking Andre’s beach fishing course. This course sells out every year!
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon – one spot left!
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: June 3, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
On the water: June 13
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 10, 17 and 24
Time: 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: June 16, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Casting Date: June 20, 2pm to 5pm
Tying Beach Fly Patterns – 1 spot left
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 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: June 23
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
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 29
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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, July 14 or July 22 Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
The next fishery on the Chilliwack system will be red springs starting July 1st.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record the water level on the Capilano continues to be quite low. There is a very small amount of rain predicted for early next week but again likely not enough to bring the river level up. Coho will still move in to the system but in very few numbers. 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 fisherman. Fly fishing using the Type 6 Full Sink technique with fluorocarbon leaders and tippet can be quite productive in these low water conditions.
We have been getting out on the Pitt River quite a bit over the last week and the fishing has been very consistent. If you are in river fly fishing withdrawal this is a great system to hit this time of year. It is high enough in elevation that it does not blow out with snow melt during freshet and during this time of year the river turns a beautiful glacial blue color unlike most other streams in the lower mainland that will turn greyish brown. With this change, sea run bull trout move out of the Fraser across the lake and into the upper Pitt River system. We use sink tips, and single hand fly rods in the 6-8wt range or lighter Spey or switch rod set ups in 5-7wt.
One of the fun things is that these fish are fresh from the ocean and pull a lot harder than the standard bull trout or Dolly Varden char. The other thing that makes the Pitt interesting is that it is helicopter or jet boat access only. You need to travel 45 minutes across Pitt Lake and then up the river. It is varsity level jet boating and not for the faint of heart or anyone new to boating on shallow rivers.
The best ways to access the river if you don`t have a jet boat or helicopter is to give us a call. We run our 18 ft Jet boat up every week and would love to get you on river. Give the shop a call or call out booking line 778-788-8582. It is an amazing trip.
This system fishes well all June and through July. If you are heading up with someone else don`t hesitate to come down to the shop and we can give you a heads up on river changes and make sure you have the right flies.
The Pit River is 100% catch and release single barbless fishery and because of its pristine secluded nature treat the river and the fish with the utmost respect. Also be very careful when boating the system. Big boats are not recommended and always be mindful of your own safely as well as the safely of others when boating shallow rivers.
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 will re-open on Monday 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.
The last few days lake fishing was unstable due to the thunderstorms we had around Merritt. In order to have good days of fishing on the lake you want to see a steady or rising barometer. This is the time when the temperatures are in the high 20s and you will notice damsels hatch. 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. As 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 a May fly hatch in the afternoon if the sun gets covered or on a cloudy day as these do not like sunlight.
In the evening you might hit a caddis hatch while on the lake, and if so, it could be the most exciting fishing you will experience. So make sure you have your damsel, caddis and May fly both in nymphs and dries.
Roche, Peter Hope, Glimpse, Harmon, Kump, Tunkwa, Marquart are fishing well. Lakes in the Cariboo region should start fishing well soon as well. If you want to have a shorter drive check out the lakes around the Coquihalla summit.
For an even shorter drive don’t forget the local lakes. Rice, Lafarge, Como, Buntzen, and all the other local lakes are fishing well. We encourage people to take the introductory angler in their life to one of these stocked lakes. It is a great way to get people into the sport based on how willing the fish are and proximity to the city. Drop by the shop and we can give you some tips and set you up with the right gear.
Pacific Angler Guide Ryan has been fishing the Whistler Lakes and things are starting to heat up there. We’ll be checking in with him throughout the season.
This past week had trips out at the Hump as well as Thrasher. The Hump has been consistent and had produced fish on all of our trips this week. The water is a little dirtier in this area due to the Fraser River water coming out of the N. Arm. As a result, the fish tend to be a little shallower and we have been hitting fish from 90 to 140 on the downriggers. Over at Thrasher the water remains very clear. The weekend was tougher fishing, but we still managed some nice chinook on all our trips. As the weak progressed things really picked up and we had some great fishing, including some double headers.
In both spots we have been using a combination of glow flashers, spoons, hootchies, and bait. The chartreuse glow flasher has been one of the best all around and we have also done well on the Green Onion Glow, Purple Onion Glow and Kinetic Glow. For spoons, the Pesca Leprechaun and Clupea have been good in 3.5 and 4.0 and the Kingfisher Homeland Security, Yellow Tail, and Irish Cream in 3.5 and 4.0. For hootchies, white UV and glow green have been good.
One thing to note is we did catch 2 wild coho off the Hump this week. That could mean some Cap coho are starting to show up as we usually see numbers build off W. Van through June.
Crabbing continues to be excellent and we are dropping traps on all our trips.