Ok, you can put the waterwings away now. For the time being, it looks like the rain in the forecast will be intermittent or showers at the worst. Not like the deluge we recently endured. So, lets stalk the rivers. They will be falling into shape nicely with the cooler temperatures at night even a little rain will not spike the water levels.
It is time to get your river gear whether it be fly, spoon, float ready to go. We got our full shipment of Rio products in yesterday so we are stocked on leaders, versa-tip systems and everything you will need. Fly section is loaded up and we are stocked up in the gear section as well!
The local saltwater fishing has slowed a bit as the rain drove a lot of the fish into the rivers. However, this week has traditionally been a HOT week for local chinook and coho fishing and this change in the weather has river levels dropping so the fishing should pick up again this week and next!
Our courses in the fall are starting to sell you quickly. Please check out the variety of courses coming up and call the store to book your spot! Full details at the end of this fishing report.
The following trips are booking up FAST! If you are interested in doing a raft, jet or walk’n wade trip this fall with us, please call 778-788-8582 and book now!
BOOK YOUR RAFT/JET OR WALK’N WADE FALL SALMON TRIP!
This fall Pacific Angler will be taking our guests fishing on the Squamish, Harrison, Fraser and other river systems for bullet chrome coho, chum and trout!
Raft, Jet & Walk ’n Wade Packages Include:
- A full day (approx. 8 hours) of guided fishing
- Instruction on single hand casting and spey casting
- Instruction on fishing techniques for fall salmon (gear and/or on the fly)
- Any fishing gear that is needed including waders, boots, rods/reels
Contact Bryce @ 778-788-8582 / [email protected] to book your fall salmon trip!
Stillwater: Not a lot of new information on the lake fishing so just remember that if you want to avoid the crowds, lake fishing can be extremely effective at this time of year. Douglas Lake Ranch’s lakes are continuing to put out gorgeous fish, 7 1/2 Diamond, the Merritt-Nicola valley lakes etc. Leeches, bloodworms (with this cooler temp), dragon flies, damsels and scuds are the patterns of choice and always take a quick look around the shoreline to see what trout food is cruising around so you can match color/size!
As we slowly transition from this past September’s epic pink salmon run to the fall, species-specific fishing is in a transitional period and phase where pink salmon are pretty much done and coho will start to pick up. With reports of coho trickling into the lower Fraser in mid-September, we can start to get ourselves ready for the upcoming weeks ahead and prepare ourselves for the next few months.
A good place to start during this transitional phase is to think outside the box and fish for fun, and not numbers. Fishing is fishing and should be enjoyed as that. The lower Fraser river plays a host to many small and medium course-species that are often over looked but are great fun on ultra-light gear during the in-between days that make up this part of the year.
Species such as pike-minnow and peamouth chub are a great fish to angle for while waiting for the coho and springs after the pinks have phased out.
Tackle for these fish does not need to be anywhere close to complicated and one can easily head to the river with just their rod and a few small items tucked into their shirt pocket- eliminating the need to carry around large tackle boxes. A 6 foot spinning rod with 5-8lb test line is all that is needed along with a few small hooks, a few split shot and a couple floats. Take along a small container of bait and you’ll have everything you need to enjoy a few hours on the water after work.
For those anglers who prefer to fly fish, small nymphs and streamers also work well matched on 3-4wt rods. These smaller fish are a lot of fun on light fly gear and can help cure that itch we can all get.
Another fish that a lot of people don’t often think about when they talk about the lower Fraser River is the dolly varden.
Dolly varden are found through-out the entire Fraser River system down to, and including the brackish tributaries right at the mouth that lead out into the ocean.
If you happen to have saved any roe from the pinks this past September, or aren’t afraid to dig in the dirt for worms, bait that is cast and sat on the bottom has a good chance of being inspected by these anadromous char. Once coho start to enter the river in significant numbers, they can be target by bar fishing from the usual haunts.
Medium action spinning and level-wind rods connected to a bottom rig is a good place to start. Finished off with a spin-n-glo and some cured roe is a good bet.
Casting spoons and spinners on a rising tide from easily accessible areas in Ladner, Steveston, and Richmond can often produce decent action when timed right with incoming waves of fresh coho.
Be aware that there has been zero retention of coho salmon since September 3rd and that this will continue into the 4th of October. From October 5th until December 31st there is a 2 fish retention limit, both of which must be hatchery marked.
Tight lines and loops,
With the pink salmon having done what they can to contribute to ensure the survival of future generations, their once silvery green bodies that were laced with sea-lice are now helping to feed the bull trout that inhabit the length of the Squamish.
These voracious char will be keying in on eggs that have been disturbed from their beds as well as decaying flesh. These high-protein foods that make no effort to flee are an easy meal that don’t force the char to expend a lot of energy.
Natural flesh patterns as well as single eggs such as glo-bugs nymphed under an indicator or high-sticked through typical bull trout water should produce their share fare of fish for those willing to put time in on the water.
Pegged beads are another option that imitate the available food source at this time of the year. Small to medium sized sculpins in natural colour patterns as well as big meal-ticket flies swung through boulder strewn runs can produce violent strikes.
The coho and chum are in the river system as well and it is all about watching water levels, clarity and finding them in the slower water, back channels and pools!
The Squamish was blown out after the heavy rain but was coming into shape nicely yesterday. Just before the rain a large bump of fish moved through the upper river. During our trip yesterday we saw less fish in the standard holding water but still managed to grind out a successful day.
We also saw quite a few moving fish in the upper river and heard good reports of fish moving into the lower river. We hit fish consistently with Andre’s arrow in white & chartreuse and larger purple rabbit patterns.
With conditions improving it should be good fishing over the next week.
Jordan, Andre and Matt
The birk fished great Oct 1st & 2nd and was in perfect shape even after all that rain! We used pale peach beads with indicators and caught a good number or whitefish, bulls and rainbows.
Very few insects were hatching and we had no luck on drys or standard nymphs. Come down to the shop and we can show you the best way to setup you egg indicator rig.
Though we caught good numbers the fish were picky and the presentation had to be right.
Ryan & Matt
As expected, the cap was high and unfishable last weekend and into this week. Things have dropped into shape nicely!
Last week’s high water event surely brought some fresh fish into the system. Spoon and spinner fishing is effective in the deep canyon pools, characteristic to the Capilano. Spoon and spinner fishing can elicit some pretty incredible grabs from chinook and coho! The fish in the cap really turn on when there is some decent flow to the river, which shouldn’t be an issue with the weather these days. Get out there and please be careful navigating the slippery canyon.
Harrison River: Coho, chum, chinook and left over pinks are in the Harrison now. We have reports of good fishing above the bridge and it is just about getting on the water and finding the fish. The Harrison may still be a bit high for wading but a boat will get you over fish for sure!
Chilliwack / Vedder:
Fresh fish keep pouring into this river system. Our friend Andrew has been putting in his time up there and doing quite well. As is the case with most anglers, you need to explore in order to get away from the crowds and find spots that hold fish without standing shoulder to shoulder with the next angler.
The water clarity was not great but there were enough fish around that you could still hook a few. Everything from coho, jack chinook, chinook and even some fresh pinks are still showing up!
Be courteous, respectful and remember that its fishing! Andrew has been doing well on the fly either casting/swinging or even high-sticking it in smaller sections with results either way!
Skagit: No new reports from the Skagit. Check out last weeks report for what has been working if you plan on going in that direction this week!
The mouth of the Cap has been slow since the last report due to a huge amount of rain than allowed the fish easy passage up the river. However, the forecast is much better this coming week and the river is now dropped back down and we should see some more coho and chinook sitting off the mouth this week.
Flashers and anchovies fished close to the bottom should do the trick when these fish show up. Check out our guide journal from October 2012 and you will see there are some nice fish that we caught last year as late as Oct 15th.
There has also been some good action down at the Sandheads (S. Arm of Fraser) for coho, chum and the odd chinook. We were down there yesterday and had a lot of action and manages to put a few nice hatchery coho in the boat and release a few nice wild ones. 20ft to 70ft on the riggers was good and anchovies or white hoochies were both very effective.
Calm waters and tight lines,
Pacific Angler Upcoming Courses
FLY FISHING FOR SALMON IN RIVERS
Cost: $225.00 (before taxes)
Date(s): October 15 (Theory @ Pacific Angler 6:30pm-9:30pm)
On-the-Water: October 19th or 20th
Fly fishing for salmon is one of the most exciting fisheries in the Lower Mainland. Let us teach you the techniques and the hot spots to give you a well rounded foundation. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Coho on the fly in the Lower Mainland
Date(s): October 23 (Theory @ Pacific Angler) 6:30pm – 9:30pm
On-the-Water: October 26th or 27th
Fly fishing for coho in rivers is one of the most challenging yet rewarding fisheries in the Lower Mainland. Your instructor will teach you the techniques and strategies used to fish effectively for these acrobatic fish. You will then put theory into practice during a day on the water featuring demonstrations and person-to-person instruction.
INTRUDER NIGHT WITH DIMITRI
Cost: $30.00 (before taxes)
Date(s): Wednesday, October 9th @ Pacific Angler 6:30pm – 9:30pm
The Original Intruder Fly Tying Demo Night is back! Often imitated but never duplicated, our original intruder fly tying course is back once again. Dimitri will be demonstrating the techniques he uses to tie this effective pattern. Dimitri will show you how to use Rhea, Ostrich, Amherst, Polar Bear, and the latest materials to make intruders that no steelhead or salmon can resist. This is a step-by-step course.
A material list will be included. Each student is entitled to a 10% discount for the duration of the course.
Pacific Angler is proud to be your source for fishing education. Call Pacific Angler today, 604-872-2204, to book your spot. All classes have limited availability.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce