Pacific Angler Outlook
Welcome to the Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report. The staff at Pacific Angler is proud to be your source for fishing information throughout British Columbia.
Last week we spoke of the heat winning the battle against the large snow pack. Though the war is still raging the heat is winning the battle. The Fraser River has dropped to a good fishing level while the Vedder, Skagit, Thompson Rivers and many have started to fish well. While we can expect some amazing river fishing throughout August the lake fishing scene is quite slow due to the warm weather (which is typical for August). For the adventurous angler willing to hike into high alpine lakes there are some good opportunities.
Out in the salt Chuck we have seen a gradual increase in the fishing quality over the last 10 days with a number of hot spots from Point Atkinson to the Capilano River mouth for coho and the odd chinook.
The staff at Pacific Angler is starting to hear the first reports of red Chinook salmon being caught off the mouth of the Fraser River as well. This is exciting as these chinook salmon are some of the biggest of the year. There have also been whisperings that there might be a sockeye opening. We’ll keep you posted on this!
This weekend the Vancouver forecast is calling for sunny conditions and warm temperatures, with daily highs of 24 degrees Celsius. Looking forward into next week you can expect stable, dry conditions with daily high temperatures ranging from 23 to 24 degrees Celsius.
All-in-all fishing is looking up both locally and throughout British Columbia. As predicted, August is shaping up to a great month to get out on the water and fish!
River Fishing Report:
Overall, the river levels throughout British Columbia are dropping back into shape nicely for the month of August. Due to the large snowpack in our mountains and cool and rainy weather throughout May and June the rivers are higher than normal for this time of year. The goods news is that they are dropping and if they haven’t come back into shape yet it will only be a matter of time. Check out this amazing bulltrout caught by one of our regular PA customers.
Make sure to check the river levels before you head out to your favourite river. For a detailed look into the local river scene please read Dimitri Roussandis’s river fishing report below:
The Capilano River has been stuck at a summer low for some time now. All coho salmon in the river are confined to the “Cable pool”. Fishing has been challenging due to the lack of water. First light in the morning and last light are the best times for success. Small spoons, spinners and flies have been the magic item when the fish do decide to bite.
With the river finally dropping to a regular height, the traditional spots to catch salmon have formed again. Prior to this, extremely high water had congregated all the fish in a few spots.
The red Chinooks have been pushing into the river for some time now. The early run fish have spread themselves throughout the river from top to bottom. While some Chinook are coloured, there are still some late running chrome Chinook migrating into the river. These fish will continue to show until approximately the 15th of September when the fall white springs start to roll in. Bigger gear is a must for these brutes. Twenty pound mainline with 12 or 15lb leader and size #1 -2/0 hooks help land the Chinooks in a timely fashion. As for baits, roe is a key to success. Other items that are productive are wool, Colorado blades, Jensen eggs, prawns, and jigs.
The Chehalis has fallen to extreme low water conditions. The fish have a tendency to spread themselves out at this time of the year. Likely spots are either in the canyon starting from the boundary just below the lake, all the way down to the bridge or from the Chehalis campground down the Harrison River. Both Chinooks and summer steelhead occupy the river this time of year. These fish are extremely wary. Gin clear water creates challenging conditions. First light is always the best time to be there for any sort of success.
Use caution when fishing the river, both lower and upper. It has treacherous terrain in both areas. Always let someone know where you will be and when you are coming home. And a can of bear spray is highly recommended when fishing this particular river, which you can purchase at Pacific Angler.
The Fraser River has been higher than most people have ever seen. With the challenging conditions the fishing has been hit and miss. There are lots of Chinooks migrating up river at this time of the year. As the water levels drop and clear daily it will only make for better fishing from here on. More bars will expose themselves, creating a greater opportunity for people to spread themselves out.
The fall is coming quickly, and the white Chinook salmon will start to make their way up the river. They are easy to target with traditional bar fishing rigs. A riverside campfire, bbq, friends and a bar rods in the water makes for memorable times.
The Chinook salmon on the Fraser River require large riggings. 50-80lb braided mainline, 25-30 lb monofilament (for those who are die hards), wire spreaders bars, 14-20 oz of lead, 40-60lb test mono leaders, 4/0-6/0 hooks, and spin n glows in the #1, 0, & 00 sizes.
With the river being at such high levels for quite some time, very few people are attempting the summer Chinook fishery. High water makes it difficult to find holding water suited to the fish. There are a mix of adults and jack Chinooks in the river from opening day July 1 through till closing September 31. Plunking, drift fishing and float fishing are all equally effective methods to target these fish. Utilizing larger equipment in order to control the adults makes for mediocre fights from the jacks, while the opposite relates to targeting jack springs and hooking an adult, which proceeds to have its way with you.
While the Chinook fishing can be hit and miss, there is a great population of resident trout in the Thompson, which are a great time with a fly rod. You can experience world-class dry fly fishing for large and aggressive rainbow trout. If the trout are not rising to your stonefly or attractor dry flies then try a large stonefly nymph (size 4 to 6) with split shot and indicator. This can be a deadly technique.
The Squamish and Whistler area can be a great source of angling especially when it comes to river fishing. While the rivers are dropping into shape some of the tributaries still seem to be in freshet stage (due to the high snow pack and late spring) and thus decreasing overall visibility throughout the larger systems. Examples are the Mamquam and Lower Cheakamus Rivers.
These systems still hold fish at this time of year. However, due to the lack of visibility it is sometimes necessary to use larger streamer flies and use slow figure out retrieve. Dave was out this past weekend on his day off and was able to get into this nice sea-run bulltrout.
Skeena Region Report – Nicholas Dean Lodge
Warm, sunny weather and chrome, bright fish in spectacular northwest BC scenery – that’s what clients have been finding this week on the Skeena and its tributaries. As with last week, water levels have been dropping and Steelhead fishing on the mainstem Skeena has been getting better and better. Best fish of the week was a 30 lb monster, caught by Josh Buck on the mainstem Skeena! Josh is the son of veteran Nicholas Dean guide, Greg Buck, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better angler for his age. This is Josh’s largest Steelhead ever landed, and certainly sets the bar for this season here at Nicholas Dean!
Steelhead numbers at the Tyee Test Fishery – a fishery conducted at the mouth of the Skeena River between June and September to estimate run size estimates for Steelhead and all salmon species – have continued to be high this week. At present, the Steelhead numbers suggest that this might very well be one of the best runs in the last decade – and perhaps longer. If you’ve been contemplating a trip to the Skeena region, this is one year that you won’t want to miss! If you’re interested in an inclusive trip with us here at Nicholas Dean, we’ve recently had three cancellations during the week of October 14 to 20 – a prime week in our Fall Steelhead and Coho season. Contact Dave or Jason at the shop (604-872-2204) if you’d like to reserve your space today.
Sockeye fishing has slowed down compared to fishing in the third and fourth weeks of July, but Tyee numbers have suggested that there is still a good push of fish en route to Terrace. Summer run Coho numbers are also showing up in greater numbers on both the Skeena and Kitimat rivers. While generally not as large as their Fall run “Northern” cousins, these fish are incredibly strong fighters that can often be mistaken for Steelhead in the early stages of the fight, and average 6 to 12 lbs.
Mid-August is primetime on the mainstem Skeena for bright, strong fish on what we call the “Steelhead & Salmon Superhighway.” We’ll be happy to keep you posted on this exciting fishery through next week…
Operations Manager – Nicholas Dean Outdoors
Saltwater Fishing Report:
Overall, coho fishing has been fairly steady with the stable sunny weather we’ve received. The mouth of the Capilano River has been low for a few weeks now which has caused the coho to stack up along the West Vancouver shoreline. At times the fishing can be hard but if you get them when they are biting you can have a great day. For the coho anchovies with a teaser head have been working the best with a 6 ft. leader and standard flashers. Our guides have been running their gear at depths anywhere from 20 to 60 ft.
As said before we’ve heard of the first reports of chinook being caught off the “Bell Buoy” (Spanish Banks & UBC Point) and the mouth of the Fraser River. This is one of our favourite saltwater fisheries as there is always a legitimate shot of catching the largest fish of the season. Again anchovies with a teaser head, 6 ft. leader and your standard flashers are the best. Our guides have been running their gear at 35 to 70 ft in 80 to 100 ft. of water.
The weather for this weekend and the start of next week is looking excellent with lots of sun in the forecast and highs of 24 degrees Celsius. The Georgia Straight Marine Forecast for this weekend is calling for the dreaded northwest winds. Currently there is a wind warning but these winds should diminish early this morning. You can expect winds to range from 10 to 15 knots all weekend. Always make sure to check the latest marine forecast before you head out on the ocean as conditions can change rapidly.
Make sure to check the “Guide Journal” to get the inside scoop from the Pacific Angler saltwater salmon guides and shop staff. Jason updated the journal early this morning. To book a charter for the glorious month of August please do not hesitate to contact Dave at Pacific Angler (604-872-2204).
Beach Fishing Report
For all you beach fishing addicts out there Pacific Angler staff, Andre, has prepared this up-to-date beach report. Please read below:
“The low tides are going to be at dawn starting Thursday Aug 9th. This makes fishing off the beach ideal. It is best to go 2 hours before low tide and fish 2 hours after. If you are gear fishing use 3 OZ-4 OZ Krocs in silver/orange or gold/orange. You can also fish with blue fox spinners #2 as well as blue and white buzz bombs.
If you would like to try your luck fly fishing use a floating line with a leader of 10 Ib. floroucarbon (10 to 12 ft. length). For flies please come to the store as we have a big selection of custom tied flies that we will be happy to help you select, discuss more in detail and how to fish them.
Just a reminder that it is important to use a stripping basket when fly fishing. Otherwise your line is dragged by the current which creates resistance and makes casting long distance difficult.”
BC Lake Fishing Report:
There is not much to report in terms of lake fishing. If you are up for an adventure hiking into high alpine lakes can be amazing. However, for the most part we are in the middle of the summer doldrums for the BC Lake Fishing. The Pacific Angler staff expects lake fishing to pick up once the daily/nightly temperatures start to decrease towards the end of September or start of October.
The boys at Pacific Angler hope you enjoyed this report. If you have any questions or feedback in regards to our fishing reports please do not hesitate to drop by our store at 78 East Broadway, give us a call at 604-872-2204, or simply reply to this email.
Have a great weekend and tight lines,
Matt Sharp & the Pacific Angler staff