It feels as though fall is here and with it salmon season is ramping up. It looks as though we will see solid weather for the rest of the week and then some possible rain early next week. This is all good news for fishing.
On the saltwater front good waves of chinook are pushing into the Fraser mouth and Capilano every day. Some tides have been challenging but pretty much every day has turned on at some point and our boats as well as a number of customers have been putting up good numbers. For those of you who enjoy fishing the Cap be sure to read Jason’s report below and provide your input to the Port of Vancouver in their ongoing consultation re: the future of that fishery.
On the freshwater front Alex has been out to the Vedder and reports that all 4 major species of salmon are pushing up the river. We had good coho reports as well as some chinook reports. The pinks are getting coloured but they are still biting. Check out his report for details.
Guys are finally hitting the Fraser bar fishing and also sturgeon fishing is picking up. We have more details below on that front as well.
The Skagit should be fishing well right now. We have not heard any reports but with cool nights and relatively warm days the fishing will be good. Matt has all the details in his report for this week.
On the Capilano we are hearing of some fish every time they open the dam and we are also close to the time we want to starting looking at the Harrison and Stave. We have details on all these river systems in the freshwater section below.
The Squamish is in transition from pink season to chum and coho season but we have already heard some early coho reports and the Trout fishing has been very solid. Matt hit the water for some scouting and though scouting and casting was the focus they hooked a number of good fishing. Check out Jordan’s Squamish Report for info.
CLASSES AND COURSES
There are still a few spots in our Fall Salmon River Fishing Course this coming Monday so give us a ring to sign up today. Also, due to popular demand we have opened another Introduction to Fly Tying Course this fall. Details and new dates are below.
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners and Spoons
This 3hr evening seminar covers float fishing, spinner fishing and spoon fishing; the three most productive techniques to catch BC salmon in a river.
Dates: Sep 25, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying 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 fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: October 16, 23 and 30, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
If you missed last weekend’s Fall Salmon Sale don’t despair! We have extended deals on some great reels and spools. There are also some awesome deals on clothing still to be had. So come on in and enjoy the savings.
Okuma Epixor and Trio Spinning reels 30% OFF!
30% OFF Epixor 25 Spinning Reel – 1 in stock – Reg. $114.99 Sale Price $80.99
30% OFF Epixor 55 Spinning Reel – 1 in stock – Reg. $114.99 Sale Price $80.99
30% OFF Trio 30 Spinning Reel – 1 in stock Reg. $149.99 Sale Price $105.00
30% OFF Trio 40 Spinning Reel – 1 in stock Reg. $159.99 Sale Price $112.00
Sage discontinued Fly Reels & Spools 25% – 40% OFF!!
30% OFF Sage 4640 4wt Fly Reel – 1 in stock – Reg. $490 Sale Price $343.00
30% OFF Sage 4650 5wt Fly Reel – 1 in stock – Reg. $520 Sale Price $364.00
30% OFF Sage 4660 6wt Fly Reel – 1 in stock – Reg. $555 Sale Price $389.00
40% OFF Sage 4640 Spool – 2 in stock – Reg. $210 Sale Price $126.00
40% Off Sage 4650 Spool – 1 in stock – Reg. $235 Sale Price $141.00
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
We had some rainy days over the past week, and there was only a little change in the river. However, that little boost in the water was able to help some of the fish schooling in the mouth to enter the system. We had amazing fishing over the last couple days however report is that the fish are already spooked as they are evading floats and lock-jawed. But not to worry! Try the clear floats as they are much less visible and will eliminate the shadow. Try to use fluorocarbon as well to maximize your chances.
The coho in the system can be targeted by twitching jigs and casting smaller lures. If you look what’s happening underwater you can see these coho chasing smaller fish that are following them around. Try to mimic their movements and colour. Vibration is also key in making these fish interested, which is why we recommend size 2 – 3 blue fox as it emits the most vibration.
The water level is low again and perfect for swinging some streamers and other smaller flies. Mickey fin, Wooly Buggers, and Small streamers in blue, olive, copper or black might do the trick; also check out Andre’s Coho patterns
Keep checking for water level, If Kayakcam or Wateroffice site is down you can check the real-time water level at http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/water/conservation-reservoir-levels/seymour-capilano-river-levels/Pages/default.aspx
Be safe out there,
Squamish River Fishing Report
With the weather shaping up nicely for the next week, the Squamish River is in great shape to start scouting while also wetting a line. We’ve heard some good reports of some coho already making their presence known in the Cheakamus system, as well as some bull trout in the main-stem Squamish. A few anglers have also reported some early coho in the lower sections of the Squamish. This time of year is one of my favourites as the coho will generally be quite willing to play and provide a lot of fun for those using medium action spinning or fly rods. There have been a few reports from those who are twitching jigs that these fish are quite curious, with those anglers finding success twitching 3/8oz to 1/2oz jigs in deep slots and pools. Alongside the coho, chum salmon also show up soon and when targeted lower down, are often bright and strong. These chum salmon are just a few kilometers from the ocean and are strong, bright, acrobatic, and put up a great fight. Swinging orange, chartreuse, or purple (or a combination there of) flies is often a great idea. Not to be outdone by flies, those who drift will find success by short-floating jigs of the same colours. Higher up, these salmon do get a little worn and torn, but with that, comes the next target: bull trout.
Behind the groups of spawning/spawned-out pinks and chum, sit the trout and char. Bull trout, rainbows, and cutthroat trout will all set up camp downstream of these fish as they deposit and drop eggs, as well as slowly rot- sending chunks of high-protein flesh downstream and into the faces and mouths of hungry trout. Targeting these trout with lighter fly rods and light float fishing set ups prove to be a lot of fun, and often at times can produce non-stop action. Drifting a single bead or egg imitation (artificial only) under a small clear-drift float or indicator is one of our favourite ways to target them. That being said don’t be scared to swing a sculpin or drift a flesh fly as well.
Small spoons and spinners are also a great option for those fishing with gear, with some of our favourites being K3 and K4 wobblers if thumping metal through a run or pool. If you’re curious on how to get set up for either fly fishing, twitching, or drifting beads (on both fly or float rods), come on in, come say ‘Hi’, and any one of our friendly and dedicated staff can give you a hand.
Tight lines and loops,
Vedder River Fishing Report
With each passing day there are more and more fish coming into the Vedder. The water is still very low even after that dump of rain we had this week though it did seem to trigger a good push of fish to move in. Pinks are spread throughout the system at this point and there are a few coho trickling into the upper river as well. That said the majority of the action is still in the lower river from the crossing bridge and down. A good number of clean jack and adult chinook are staging down there, which can make for some entertaining fun. The first few chum are also showing up. Either time or the next big rain will spread out the fish but for now it is still worth focusing your efforts down low.
Drifting pro-cured roe still reigns supreme for the drift fishers especially at first light for coho and chinook, though there are other options that should not be discredited. Colorado blades can stir up fish after the sun hits the water and finesse presentations such as Jensen eggs or small wool ties that resemble single eggs can sometimes get more pressured fish strike. For the spin casters, twitching jigs can be dynamite for both coho and pinks, while spinners and spoons will attract chinook. Fly fishing can also be very effective with small and sparse flies for coho or pinks and bigger streamers down deep for chinook.
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison River is shaping up nicely with the water level at 9.1 and descending which enables you more river access. I don’t see any rain in the forecast for the next 2 weeks so fingers crossed you should be able to walk to the back channels and fish more areas than just around the bridge. The last 3 years was tough with all the rain. Let’s hope this year we can actually fish this river consistently without a boat. I haven’t had a chance to go myself since the river dropped from summer freshet but I will scout the river soon and see if there is any early coho. Fishing for coho is good until the first week of November but the best fishing is typically the last two weeks of October. If you are fly fishing use sparse flies and fluorocarbon tippet especially if the river is low and clear. If you find coho sitting in the back channels you want to cast and strip the flies, if you fish the main stem Harrison for coho that are moving up you can swing flies for them as there is more current.
Fishing the back channels is a hunting game and the main stem is a waiting game so it all depends which one you prefer and all we need now is a good number of coho to show up. The chum should show up in numbers soon and swinging flies with sink tips in the main stem of the river or float fishing pink and purple jigs is very effective.
If you like to learn about this fishery please come by the store and I will help you as this system is totally different than all the other local rivers.
Fraser River Fishing Report
With the opening of the Fraser salmon fishing opportunities, lots of anglers were able to get out there and enjoy the fishery. There are lots of salmon moving through the Fraser to get to their tributaries, and there are many ways to get these fish.
We urge that everyone uses selective methods of fishing so that we won’t harm any of the sockeye population moving through the system.
Bottom bouncing is not a selective method of fishing and it should not be practiced during a year like this when we have very low sockeye return. If there continues to be people bottom bouncing we might even lose the privilege to fish the Fraser.
Bar fishing is a good example of selective methods that can be used to target chinook. Using a big Spin-n-Glo and a heavy enough weight to anchor it down might trigger bites from the chinook that are passing by. It is also a great community fishing experience as people will set up their rods on the bar and sit down having conversations waiting for the bell to ring.
Other options are to take your lures out and toss them around high tide, as they will push in with the flood. Try to use flashier lures, as freshet hasn’t gone down much yet.
There is also coarse fish and sturgeon that can be targeted. As for the coarse fish, try to fish on the bottom with a worm, shrimp, and some homemade dough. On a good day, you’ll be able to get non-stop action from these small fish on ultra-light gear. Sturgeon can be targeted, both on boat, and on shore with heavy enough gear. Try uncured roe, lamprey eels, salmon head and any smaller bait fish that’s around in the Fraser area. Don’t be afraid to try the lower tidal Fraser as sturgeon fishing has been amazing this year.
Please do remember there is bait ban in the Fraser and the retention for pink, and coho is closed. Enjoy your day out in water and let others enjoy as well.
Skagit River Fishing Report
Well we are hitting prime time and I wish I was not stuck in the shop! With cooler nights and warm days you will see the best fishing of the season. It can be a gamble this time of year but the reward is high. If the weather is cold and windy, fishing will be challenging but when you have a cold night mixed with a settled day the fishing should be at its best. Overcast is fine and sometimes even better than a sunny day but sun or cloud, as long as it is settled is perfect and now is the time you want to head out. When more challenging weather hits in mid fall the fishing is way harder. Get out now and enjoy what is left of the season. Fish will be more aggressive and the hatches more defined. Grey mayflies in a range of sizes, yellow and grey caddis as well as green stoneflies should all be in your box. If no hatches are coming off and the weather is settled nymphing is a no brainer but also have smaller McConnell style dry flies, gnats and large stimulators in your box if the fish get picky.
I have not been out but am wishing I was, so any reports are welcome. We only have a few weeks left of this fishery and now can provide some of the best fishing of the season.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
It’s that time of year where we look forward to some of the bigger white chinook showing up in our local waters and so far so good. We have had some good catches this past week off the Cap, as the low-pressure system mid week seemed to concentrate the fish off the river mouth.
Some productive trips at the Cap this week! Can’t beat fishing close to home.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Port of Vancouver is paying close attention to the boat traffic off the Cap Mouth and is currently in meetings with and taking input from different sectors. We don’t want this fishery to close. I will be in some meetings over the next few weeks to represent all of our rights to access our local waters and this fishery. You can help by being aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for freighters and cruise ships leaving and approaching First Narrows. Get out of the way well, well in advance and move up the shoreline, west, towards Ambleside Beach. I have been told it is not so much boats fishing off the Cap Mouth they are concerned about, more so the reaction time of anglers fishing in this area when freighters and cruise ships are approaching. They want us to move a lot sooner than we generally are. Don’t wait until they are right at the bridge and sounding a horn before you move west. It should go without saying to stay close to the shoreline, and also, don’t fish past the green marker.
This is an amazing fishery that we all get to participate in with thousands of coho and chinook salmon returning to our doorstep every year. If you would like to let the Port of Vancouver know how special this fishery is, you can do so by email. Please take the time to do this, it is very important they hear from you and they are now accepting input via this email address.
Okay, back to fishing. It has been good down at the South Arm as well. A little spotty on some days, but this is normal as the chinook this time of year roll in one tide change go up the river the next. The orcas have been down there a few times a week as well, so that can make it a bit hit and miss. There are still lots of chinook on the way as I was in Sooke on Monday and they were catching some white chinook in those waters that are headed to the Fraser.
Bait is always the best this time of year and productive depths have been 35-75 on the riggers at South Arm and just off the bottom at the Cap. We have covered productive flashers and teaser heads in depth on many reports, but if you don’t have a Green Onion Glow, Salty Dawg, Madi, or Chartreuse Glow in you tackle box, you should. Rhys Davis glow green and glow chartreuse teaser heads are the go to this time of year for your anchovies and herring.
See you on the water or in the shop,