It is an exciting time to be a salmon angler in the Lower Mainland! Coho fishing off West Vancouver has picked up again after last week’s rain. The tides are looking good next week for beach fishing and the Capilano River is back to being dirt low. Chinook fishing in the Fraser turned off last weekend while the water was dirty, but it should have picked up again as the water cleaned up this week. We are finally seeing the right flows in the Skagit and with that has come some great reports. With nothing but hot sun in the forecast for the next week, the aforementioned trends should only continue.
The highly anticipated tidal sockeye salmon opening has been announced! Opening day will be Sunday, August 3rd at 00:01 hours! For official in depth information on this opening please click here.
Some of you ‘pin heads’ out there (myself included) may have noticed that we have added a new reel to our collection of Centerpins, say hello to the Kingpin Zeppelin. This English made, fully machined bearing reel is cut from T6 aluminum which is a medium strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. The Zeppelin weighs in at 10oz and has a diameter of 4 ¾”. The Zeppelin is equipped with marine grade ABEC7 bearings which gives this reel an effortless startup.
All Kingpin reels feature “Defense Standard” hard anodized finishes making them scratch resistant, as reels are meant to be placed on their backplates. The backplate of this particular reel features the “Kispiox” engravings, which is a neat touch that you won’t find on many reels. The spoke design on this reel is a unique and beautiful piece of machining, definitely a reel that turns heads on the river! Not only is it a looker, it is one of the highest performance float reels on the market today.
Come on by and give it a spin!
Labour Day Chinook Classic
The 2014 Labour Day Chinook Classic is your chance to win $25,000 for the biggest chinook released right here in Vancouver!
The last 3 years have been amazing and we were proud to donate $5,000 to the Pacific Salmon Foundation recently.
For more information please visit us online at: http://www.labourdaychinookclassic.com
There won’t be much to say about this river system until the fall. Resident trout can be targeted in the summer months once the water has dropped. These trout are best targeted with nymphs, and streamers, but they will also take dry flies.
Squamish Cheakamus system is a 100% catch and release, single barbless fishery so play by the rules and have fun!
This past week we have had a stream of good reports from the Chilliwack. Focusing your efforts on the upper river early in the morning and late in the afternoon will give you a good shot at hooking some fish. The water is in great shape in the lower and very clear in the upper. Crack out the 15lb fluorocarbon for the pools in the upper river as these fish have seen a lot of gear. The summer chinook season is short, so get out there while you can! We really only have another week or two of decent fishing left before the majority of the fish turn dark and the fishing tapers off.
Float fishing is the most effective method for these fish. Medium-heavy casting or center pin outfits are suitable for this fishery. Don’t be afraid to go big, 30-35g floats with hollow core pencil lead, 20lb mainline, 15lb-20lb Seaguar Blue label fluorocarbon leader, and 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0 octopus hooks. This heavy gear will not only help you land the fish but it will allow you to fish the heavier water more effectively. Productive baits are cured roe, prawns, wool combinations, blades, and spoons. Water clarity will affect the size of your presentation, typically it will hover around 1ft to 2.5ft of visibility most of July, however, the clarity is already greater than 3ft.
Please familiarize yourself with species identification as you may encounter Cultus Lake Sockeye which MUST BE RELEASED WITH CARE.
The Skagit has dropped beautifully and the fishing has been a reflection of the conditions. Good reports coming from Sumallo Grove all the way down to Ross Lake! The water is still far from low, so having a good selection of weighted nymphs is a must for the rainbows. Don’t forget your streamer rod, the bull trout fishing has been steady in most parts of the river. Large weighted streamers fished down and across is the best way to target the bulls. Adding a few strips and twitches throughout the swing can really help to trigger these predatory fish into biting.
Colourful Skagit rainbow
The Thompson has been fishing quite well as of late. Lots of good reports in the last week, especially from Kamloops Lake to Juniper Beach. The dry fly fishing has really taken off recently. Be sure to have a good selection of dry flies, especially hoppers and stoneflies. Come by the shop and check out our awesome selection of trout nymphs and dry flies!
Thanks Anthony for the picture of this great Thompson rainbow!
The Chehalis is of course low and clear. It is getting late for the chinook salmon in this river, however, summer steelhead are present. First and last light are the best times when the water is this low. Don’t forget to sneak up to the pools!
Productive baits for steelhead include prawn tipped jigs, roe bags, dew worms, and krill. Productive baits for chinook include roe, wool ties, and colorado blades.
Once again, the Cap has reduced to a trickle. Float fishing in these conditions is very difficult as the current is too slow in most of the pools to get a proper presentation. Float fishing with bait when the river is at this height is a sure way to feed the hungry smolts! Fly fishing and spinner fishing is your best bet in the low water. Small spoons like Dick Nites or the Gibbs Gypsy are excellent choices.
Please note: ALL steelhead (adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
The most popular method for this fishery is short-floating with light/medium power casting and center-pin rods. Productive baits include cured roe, roe bags, krill, dew worms, and Colorado blades. Fly fishing is also quite effective for the coho. 7-8wt single hand fly rods equipped with full sinking type-6 lines allow you to strip your fly while maintaining a deep presentation. The most effective flies are olive woolly buggers, muddler minnows, and small polar bear winged flies in sizes 8-12.
Stoney Lake is still fishing well! The Damsels were coming off heavy last week in the shallow bays. Indicator fishing olive micro leeches close to the reeds has been the most productive method. Give the guys at Stoney Lake Lodge a call if you have an itch to fish stillwater that just can’t wait till ‘next season’.
The only decent lake report we have heard is from Tunkwa Lake. Tunkwa fishes well throughout the summer months. Try the Coquihalla lakes as well as they are close to 5000ft.
The local lakes are now in their summer doldrums . Trout fishing won’t pick up again until the fall. Although trout fishing is now slow, lakes that hold carp and bass can be fantastic this time of year.
If you are looking to do some lake fishing for trout, the Whistler lakes are your best bet. Alta and especially Green Lake can actually fish better in the summer months. For Alta cutthroat try olive wooly buggers, and muddler minnows in various colours and flash combinations. Don’t be afraid to crack out the big streamers for Green. Large flashy rabbit strip streamers work quite well for the bull trout on the drop offs.
Please remember that Alta and Green Lake are catch and release/bait ban fisheries.
Beach: (West Van)
The good tides for fishing off the beach will start from Tuesday August 5th and last to August 13th however if you are casting spoons or spinners you have a chance to fish off the rock jetty before then. This is my favourite time as the bigger coho start stacking up day by day and swim up and down the shores of West Vancouver. If the low tides are in the afternoon on a bright sunny day try your luck off the boat looking for schools of coho in 40ft of water, I have had great fishing in front of the pink apartments when the low tides were not in favour of beach fishing. I will be out there next week to see what kind of action the ocean brings.
With last week’s rain we had a few days of slow fishing off West Van and I was concerned that we’d “lost” our coho up the river. However, the fresh water seems to have drawn in even more fish. Not only have I had some pretty decent fishing but these newer coho are on average bigger. I’m not finding as much crab larvae in them but they are feeding on 4-5″ herring. I still hit some on white hoochies but I’m getting most of the fish on anchovies, particularly on the clear chartreuse heads but white glow, bloody nose and chrome green and blue also do the trick. Spoons are also a good bet if you run out of bait. Cop Cars, Irish Cream, and Kitchen Sinks would be good bets. Green onion and chartreuse double glows have been a good flashers but I’ve found that running through my selection of flashers finds the ones they like on any given day.
West Vancouver chinook means smiles all around!
We are also still getting the odd chinook but it’ll be a little while still before that fishery really kicks in. Typically from all the boats on the water one or two are lucky each day and hook chinook. This number will progressively increase until the run arrives. I was pretty lucky last week and hooked three chinooks three days in a row! The third fish was a hard fighting 20lb chrome red Fraser River chinook. It took an anchovy at 37′ off the Capilano just as the tide started ebbing. Some anglers are also hooking chinooks at Point Atkinson, Fisheries and Hole in the wall. I had an extended trip and fished Hole in the wall last week and got one in the mid teens but it was slow that day. In typical fashion for that area I heard of a pretty good bite with multiple fish hooked the very next day.
A local chinook salmon about to be released to fight another day
A few guys are prospecting the Bell Buoy and further down to T10 but I haven’t heard of any significant reports yet. I did hear that the Orcas were there on Sunday evening which explains the lack of reports but it does indicate that there are fish around. The tides are getting better, the weather is fantastic and there are fish out there, life is good!
Jason, Eddie, Dimitri, Michael
With the announcement of the tidal sockeye salmon opening, our phones have been ringing off the hook! If you want to get out and experience this incredible fishery, make sure you call us at 778-788-8582 to book a prime time date.
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, Max, Andre, Sam, Eddie, Kathryn