Batten down the hatches! Earlier in the week we were watching the weather report and things looked downright scary. The weatherman has dialed back his predictions on the amount of rain coming but it is still one of the biggest storms we have seen early on in salmon season.
In the short term we have very few options for guys who want to go out fishing this weekend. With 100+mm forecasted Friday, Saturday and Sunday it is safe to say all of our river will be too high to fish and anyone braving the elements should be very mindful of rising water levels. Safety-first boys and girls!
Be aware of where you are wading, be smart and be careful. Better yet come down to the shop load up on fly tying materials or leader boards and spend the weekend getting prepared for when the water drops. After this storm the fishing should be excellent. Fish will be coming in with the high water and we expect the best fishing of the season to come after the water drops.
How long will that be? Watch the water levels, watch the weather and check out the river reports below for a few things to look for on each system so you can hit it just right after the storm.
Another great option if you are set on getting out this weekend is lake fishing in the interior. We are still hearing good reports and the weather looks good. It may rain a little in Merritt this weekend but it will look like a sneeze compared to the downpour hitting the coast.
If you are stuck on the couch this weekend Matt has another detailed product review for you guys to look at! One of our favorite reel companies, Nautilus, has finally got stock on their new reel and we have a full cabinet of the Nautilus X Fly Reels. This is one of the coolest reels we have seen with a high tech, light weight, super strong design it should be on everyone’s list if you are considering a new four to eight weight fly reel. Check out the full report HERE today!
Finally, we still have some great courses coming up this fall. Be sure to get a spot in our Introduction to Fly Fishing Course. It’s the last one of 2016!!
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: Seminar Oct 17 & Casting Session October 23
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 2pm – 5pm
Fly Fishing For Salmon In Rivers
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 catch salmon on the fly in our local rivers. In the 3hr evening seminar you will learn about rod, reel and line, sink tip, and fly selection. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water where you will learn how to read water and swing the fly!
Dates: Seminar: Oct 25 Guided: Oct 29 or 30 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $250.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
PRODUCT FEATURE – NAUTILUS X REEL
If you guys were looking at the Sage X review a few months ago (if you missed it click here) you might have notice in the picture of the rod, there was a shiny new reel.
This was a bit of a teaser. It has been a cool year for the fly fishing industry because one of our favorite rod companies has come out with an amazing new rod and it just so happens that one of our favorite reel companies and also broken the mold or should is say CNC schematics and come out with new reel. Oh, and did I mention they have the same name!
The reasoning behind the two names is completely different and there was no consultation between the two companies, but I think both names are fitting. Sage named the X rod to celebrate their tenth line of flagship rods and Nautilus has come up with a revolutionary frame design that can only be described as an X frame. The other coincidence is that the rod and the reel make one heck of a cool combination.
BUT – this review is not about a rod reel combo it is about a reel.
The Nautilus X Reel has a ton going for it. Nautilus loosely based it on their award winning FWX reels. We loved this reel and have put it through its paces for a number of years. The FWX is still at the top of its class when talking about lightweight reels but it did have a couple small drawbacks. The frame was strong but could get a little wobbly after heavy use. It also had an exposed roller bearing inside the reel. If you take care to grease and clean this bearing it is not a problem but we did see a few get burnt out or rusted.
They have addressed all these issues in the new X frame reel. The frame is not only very cool but when you pick it up you immediately feel that it is solid. I would argue that I have not felt a reel this light with such a solid feel. They are claiming a 35% increase in spool strength. A season of pulling on chum salmon will be the real test and while I still have some reservations about taking any “lightweight” reel into this kind of battle; for coho, steelhead or bonefish I can’t see this reel skipping a beat.
With a completely re-designed drag system with new brake pads, (carbon and teflon) and then completely sealed the one-way roller bearing this reel will hold up better on the saltwater front and see increased longevity in tough freshwater environments. The drag knob is also new and I think it is the best Nautilus drag knob to date. Easy to grab, with tons of range.
The exposed rim design offers a number of great palming options that you won’t find in a conventional fly reel but the angles also allow for rear spool rim protection where the reel typically contacts the ground when the rod is leaned up against a wall or a car.
Lastly we can’t overlook how freak’n cool it looks. I am sure some people won’t fall in love with unconventional style but for guys who want a reel that is a little outside the box and screams performance, you can’t beat the look of the Nautilus X.
As always with my reviews and unboxing’s, I try to be honest with my impressions and test results. If something doesn’t sit quite right or I have questions that need to be proven in the field, I don’t hold back.
My one reservation with the X Reel is the silver finish. I expected a classic clear Nautilus silver finish and in pictures it looked the same as the FWX, NV or CCFX2. When we unboxed the new X reels, I noticed that the finish is matte silver and not as smooth (they call it “Brushed Titanium”). If I have to get nitpicky, I like the old Nautilus finish better and wonder if the slightly rougher finish may catch more on the bottoms of boats and rocks, scratching more easily. This has been one of the reasons I love the half dozen NVs that I own. When they going sliding across the boat deck or get kicked or dropped, the finish has been very durable and scratches are hard to see.
This issue is something that can only be put to bed in the field as the reel bounces on some rocks or goes for a deck slide. It is very possible that I am wrong about the brushed finish scratching more and it will only be a personal preference between the smooth finish vs. matte. I already have one on order and plan to put it to the test. Finishes aside, the dozen or so other massive improvements from a company already pumping out epic reels tip this reel a long way into the thumbs up category.
We have a great stock in the shop right now in black and brushed titanium and some cool custom blue colors. Come down and check them out! If you are looking for a good lightweight rod for trout season or need the perfect ultra light beach or bonefish reel this one should be high on your list. Don’t over look it for 7wt coho rods and we expect it will have no problem handling a few chum when targeting coho.
Nautilus reels are in high demand so be sure to get yours early! These will not last long on the shelf! We have models available from 3wt to 8 wt with prices ranging from $375 – $515 CDN.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Rain, lots of it. The expected rainstorm will bring approximately 100+mm of precipitation to the Fraser Valley. This will blow out the river causing the Chilliwack/Vedder River to be unfishable until the rain stops and the water levels drop. Depending on how high the water gets it will probably take a day or two to clear up and another couple of days to drop to a good level. If you’re looking at the graphs I like to see it a 1.8 meters or lower. I would recommend staying away from any river at this time because there is a risk of floods and the river current will be extremely swift. Even walking the river can be hazardous. As soon as the river starts dropping fishing should be lights out. It will be interesting to see what the river looks like after the downpour as I expect there to be a few changes. If you haven’t been out yet this year don’t worry, as there will still be good fishing into November.
Capilano River Fishing Report
We got some rain this past week and we’re about to get more in droves! The Capilano got the big bump of water it desperately needed and lots of chinook and coho moved into the river. Needless to say there was a positive correlation between the rising water and increased action that anglers experienced. Success was not localized to a particular location as fish spread throughout the system and I heard of fish taken on a myriad of things including Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, Gibbs spoons, wool ties, Blood Dot Trout beads, jigs, and flash flies.
With the torrential downpour we are expecting this weekend, keep a close eye on the water levels especially if you are out fishing. The Capilano River in particular can rise very fast if the dam opens so be aware. If the forecast can be believed, we should have the rain tapering off early next week so by mid-week it should be great fishing once the water starts to come down.
Good luck and stay safe!
Harrison River Fishing Report
I went scouting Thanksgiving Monday and fished around the Kilby area, as I couldn’t access the back channels with the water levels at 9.0 meters. I did see one or two coho move up and I hooked one of them but that was it for the day. To my surprise there were hardly any chums moving up.
With the river level at 9m the only accessible part of the river on foot was the golf course side. Hopefully when the river levels drop after this monsoon the coho will arrive in full force. At the moment river levels are going to go through the roof with 50+ mm of rain each day in the forecast this weekend.
We will have to wait until the rivers settle down until we can get out there and see how the fishing is for the season. Let’s hope this is the last of the big rain for the fall.
Squamish River Fishing Report
We had some very good reports in the last 3 days. The clarity of the river was great on Wednesday and lots of coho and some chum pushed into the river. Sadly, this is going to change completely with the rain. Heck the entire river could change as we expect some very high water with this rain.
We have a pool going at the shop on how high the river will get. It usually sits at 2.2 – 3.5m on the graph this time of year. Will it go to 4m or 6m? It was low Thursday and the freezing level will also play a big role so only time will tell.
If you want to fish this system next week, watch for it to be dropping below the 3m mark after the big rain. This is usually when things come into shape. Look first to side channels and tributaries, then focus on the main stem as the water drops and becomes clear.
Good luck and be safe!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Report
With the rivers rising this weekend it is a good time to head up towards Merritt, Kamloops or the Cariboo region to do some lake fishing before the lakes freeze up. We’ve had good reports coming in from customers who are still fishing various lakes. The fish are getting more and more aggressive as the lakes get colder. They will gorge on anything juicy that crosses their paths so get out there if you can before it comes to an end for the season!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
Well, all good things must come to an end and the sun is gone and the fall rains are here. This marks the beginning of the end for our saltwater salmon season as the river anglers rejoice in the rain as the salmon move upstream on their spawning journeys. There will be a few late chinook off the Cap mouth in the next few weeks and there will be some good pushes of coho down at the South Arm of the Fraser, but for the most part, the bulk of the summer salmon have come and gone. By November it will be all over and we will be doing maintenance on the boats and dreaming about winter chinook season. There really isn’t much more to say, so expect this report and the next few to be fairly brief. I will likely come up with some maintenance tips each week until the winter chinook reports start rolling in. Stay dry my friends…