Middle of June is here. The last couple weeks of stellar fishing at Thrasher Rock are now upon us. By the end of June the coho should be showing up off W. Vancouver. The Capilano has already seen 1100+ coho come in to its system.
The marine forecast is for 10-15knots on Friday and variable 5-15knots the rest of the weekend. Great weather to go out and catch a chinook and some of the coho that have been getting caught early this year!
The weather in the Merritt region looks great for Sat/Sun so get out there and spend a day on the lake with Dad for Fathers day!
Be sure to keep an eye on the elevation level of lakes this weekend. As June marches on you can target higher elevation lakes and continue to look for great chironomid hatches or mayflies, damsels and other hatches that will be in full force or just starting.
John Kent Feature Fly
The Interior Special
In 2005 mid May I got a phone call from a friend who was on Day 1 of 14 at Dragon Lake. He described a particular natural chironomid and asked me to design something and Fedex them up to him. His results were so fantastic that I made the Dragon Lake Special part of my commercial lineup.
I have had so many amazing days with this pattern on so many different lakes all across Western Canada. The fly has had too many name changes with the most recent being The Interior Special. It just flat out works so next season I will be providing stores with this pattern in three sizes.
It absolutely amazes me what you can do with two colours of thread, silver wire and a silver bead. Add to that a good shiny coating and this pattern outfishes some of the more intricate patterns in my box. I just had two amazing days with this pattern teaching a novice flyfisher to fish chironomids. We found a good spot on the lake that consisted of actively emerging naturals, good numbers of fish and a good mud bottom that was sparsely dotted with weeds. Young Jesse, who was on his third day flyfishing, let alone chironomid fishing, landed 15 and lost about the same number fighting them close to the boat.
At present I only sell this pattern in one size but after my results that will change. Have a look at The Interior Special and give ’em a go
At this time of year in the stillwater season it is about selecting a lake, doing some research if needed, hitting up a lake you know well and matching the hatch. Water temperatures, hatches and a steady barometer will be your friends.
When fishing chironomids remember to be very active at all times. If you see them coming off the water try to catch a life one to match the color. Match the size. I usually go one size larger than the hatch I see coming off. Change your depth if you are not getting hits. Last weekend I was fishing and we were getting fish in 17-18ft of water with our indicators set at 14-16ft of water. This stopped working for me so I went into 11ft of water and set my indicators at 8 & 9ft and immediately got two nice fish and missed a couple other short takes!
Check your lake stocking reports, bathymetric maps, batteries for your fish finder so you can always read the lake contours and water temperatures and remember to do the most important thing this weekend in order to have success, WET A LINE!
Capilano has see a good number of coho show up already and anglers have been having luck hooking some at the cable pool. These fish seem to shooting right up the river so it may be another 2 weeks before they start stacking up off W. Vancouver.
Upper Pitt River
It is that time again…time to head to the Upper Pitt River! We hit the river last week and the fish are IN – so it’s time to book your trip! The Upper Pitt River is unique in the fact that it is jet boat or helicopter access only. Anglers must travel across Pitt Lake and jet boat up the river to gain access to the best holding water. The end result is a very productive and isolated river, allowing anglers a truly remote and tranquil experience, all within the logistics of a single day from Vancouver.
With a temperamental lake and a demanding river, this system is not easily navigated and is best left for the very experienced jet boat operator. Pacific Angler guides have over 25 years of experience operating jet boats and guiding clients on rivers up and down the coast. One of their favorite places to be in the summer is the Upper Pitt River with its un-crowded waters, summer temperatures, and eager fish.
The char in the Pitt River are a fantastic species to pursue on the fly as they readily grab large streamer patterns and are often concentrated in shallow water. This makes them ideal targets for anglers of all skill levels. As the season progresses we start to encounter the sockeye that show up later in July and all through August. The sockeye that enter this river are some of the biggest in the world, and these large, chrome fish put up an excellent battle on a single hand or Spey rod. There are still some char around as well and it is not uncommon to get char and salmon in the same day or in the same run.
We recommend booking 1-2 anglers on this trip. On a typical day we depart Grant Narrows Boat Launch around 6:45 am and fish on the river from 7:45 am to around 4:30pm, having you back at the boat launch at approximately 5:30 pm. The daily rate includes a full day of guided fishing, expert single hand or two handed casting instruction, and any gear that is needed, such as fly rods, Spey rods, waders and boots. If you would like to learn more about this amazing fishery or book a trip, please call Bryce Franks at Pacific Angler, 604-872-2204 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Tonelli: The place to be is still over at Nanaimo down to Thrasher Rock. When the winds have allowed, we have been running over to these areas and have had great success for chinook, coho, and lingcod. There is a mix of chinook inshore and offshore as well as some large schools of coho offshore of Nanaimo. This has created some exciting fishing and there has even been a few halibut caught by anglers fishing closer to the bottom while trolling the inshore waters for chinook off Gabriola.
The best depths offshore have been 90-180 using glow flashers and green onion flashers and a 6 foot leader to spoons like the Green Glo, Irish Cream, Kitchen Sink, and Homeland Security. Hootchies with some glow and green shades have also been working well with a 32 to 40 inch leader.
Inshore try fishing these same lures but concentrate on water that is 120-200 feet deep and keep your gear generally close to the bottom. Productive depths have been 140-180, or a little bit shallower if you are up in 120 feet of water.
There have also been some nice fish taken on the Shimano Wawing. Originally designed as a vertical jig that gives an erratic motion when retrieved rapidly through the water column, this lure has found a new home when trolled med/fast to fast behind a flasher with a 6 foot leader. Fellow guide David Korsch has been using these with some good success so we gave them a try as well and the fish seem to like them and so do we! They are now a regularly stocked item at Pacific Angler and have a permanent place in the tackle boxes of the Salty Dawg and Chain’ Tales. These lures dance back and forth with a life like action that the chinook seem to find irresistible. I have noticed the key is to troll a little on the faster side and try using a non-slip loop knot to give the lure more action. This knot combined with a fast troll really produces a deadly life-like erratic action that triggers a lot of strikes!
Very soon we hope to see some coho stacking up off W. Van so we can start doing some 5 hour charters. The Capilano has already seen a lot of coho show up in the river so all signs are pointing to a good return this year. In fact they have 1,100 fish in the hatchery already and it is just barely mid June. Usually we see this fishery pick up in the third and fourth week of June. We have been out on a few trips looking for these coho but so far it has been fairly quiet. The fish don’t seem to be stacking up too much yet, rather they are heading straight into the river and making it hard for the ocean anglers to have any chance at success. This will change soon as the river gets lower and lower and more fish show up. If you are going to head out for coho this weekend, keep your gear shallow (in the top 40 feet of the water column) and try white or UV white hootchies with a 28-32 inch leader behind a Green Onion flasher and troll fast!
Eddie Matthei: Well it’s been another week filled with adventures! We’ve had a real mix of windy almost unfishable weather and flat calm sunny days. For the most part fishing has been good except on those days that were difficult to troll due to a combination of waves and strong tidal currents. However it did give me the opportunity do a little bottom fishing and to check on the local fishing on the days I couldn’t run across the Georgia Strait.
Bottom fishing for lingcods and rockfish (snapper) is very good and it’s seems the prospects for halibut are definitely improving. Over the week I now have a half dozen reports of halibut caught while trolling for salmon! A good friend Oliver on “Hooked Up” landed a 40lb Halibut yesterday while trolling a small spoon close to the bottom. Various spots like Thrasher Rock, The Grande, and up to Entrance Island are all producing fish.
There are also more fish going past the 20lb mark and even a few in the 30lb plus range. The Spackle Back hoochies in regular and Double Glo as well as an assortment of spoons in the 3″ to 4″ range are working. The spoons that are working for me are the Homeland Security, Irish Cream, Green Glo, and especially the Kitchen Sink. My experimental Ricker Double Glo which I haven’t lost yet is still working as well.
There is a big Fishing Derby at Silva Bay this weekend and it should be a lot of fun as they always are. They winning fish is out there!
On the local scene I fished the freighters and Bell Buoy but it was slow for me that day. I also fished the Capilano to Point Atkinson and although I didn’t get a coho I saw lots of bait and I had 1 hit. The next day another fellow guide reported 2 hits that also resembled coho hits. There’s already coho in the river so they’re definitely here! I also got a report of a spring taken off Fisheries.
On one of those windy days I went to investigate Hole in the Wall after a report of a 15lb’r taken there. I found bait near Bill Point and had one of my anchovies stolen after a good rod shake! Another fellow guide came to join me and and had a double header in the same area. They lost one but managed to box a legal fish.
We’re very close to having our local spots turning on and we’ll have good options for when mother nature blows us off the Strait. Crabbing is as good as it gets but get them while you can. The commercial crab boats are already out dropping strings of crab pots all over the place so start watching for their floats while you’re trolling.
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, Dimitri, Andre, Eddie and Bryce