Pacific Angler Outlook
Wow, I can’t believe September is almost over. The story of the month has been the unseasonably warm temperatures and absolute lack of rain. I wish I could say that this is going to change. While the Vancouver forecast is calling for some rain and cooler weather I don’t expect the rain to do too much to the rivers. I do expect the cooler weather to make some river systems drop.
These cooler temperatures are actually a good thing for the glacial rivers in the Lower mainland and Sea-to-Sky Corridor. For the Capilano, Vedder and Harrison Rivers this will only make the rivers lower.
The Pacific Angler staff are hearing mixed reports from the beaches. The salmon are staging along the West Vancouver shoreline. When we get a big push of water they will shoot up into their respective rivers. The local saltwater salmon fishing has been tough, overall, for the last couple of days. However we expect this to change with the new moon phase and hopefully a new wave of fish migrating to the area.
The Pacific Angler team checked out the Squamish River this past week. The river was still high and the fishing tough. It is still a bit early but with the expected cooler weather we should start seeing this fishery to start producing some fish.
There are good reports of chum salmon fishing in the Harrison and the Pacific Angler staff expects Stave River but because of the access issues we have not heard detailed reports.
The Skagit and Thompson Rivers are still fishing well and we have a number of friends heading up over the next couple days! This is a great time of year to check out this amazing area as there can be some good hatches and not as many bugs.
For a detailed look at River, Saltwater, and Lake fishing please read the reports below. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff at 604-872-2204 or better yet, drop by our store at 78 East Broadway.
River Fishing Report:
For a detailed look into the local river scene read the river fishing report below:
Chilliwack River: The month is almost over and we are still fighting low water conditions. We need rain. Fish have been pushing through in small bumps at night. First light and last light are the key times to focus on. There are still lots of eager jack springs around mixed with adult Chinook. We are still seeing small groups of Coho chum moving through. As a side note, watch for late running Cultas Lake sockeye, they can be mistaken as coho from time to time. The first good rain will bring a big push of fish into the river so keep your eyes on the water levels and weather forecast.
Chehalis/Harrison River: The Chehalis is still low and clear, and generally unproductive. There hasn’t been much happening this past week. There will be some opportunity once the fall rains start. Because guys are hunting for good fishing in the low water we have heard some good reports of Cutthroat fishing on the Harrison. We have also heard of decent Chum fishing in the Harrison bay area. This fishery is probably the best option if you are fishing in the Harrison area.
Fraser River: We have been hearing good things from the Fraser River. The odd red Chinook is still trickling through, but the river has filled with the Harrison white Chinook salmons. Sturgeon fishing has been descent. The guides are admitting that catch numbers have been lower seasonal norms but another monster came out of the river last week so it is still defiantly worth getting out. There is a note of caution, there are fall steelhead and upper Fraser River coho salmon migrating through the river this time or year, so make sure to identify your catch prior to landing.
Squamish River: We scouted the upper river on wedsday and though we only caught one bulltrout we did see a number of Coho jumping in the main stem. The fish were moving fast and would didn’t find any in areas that we could target them but this should change soon. There is a warning that we found a number of log jams that require portaging and a steady hand on the oars to avoid danger. We checked out the Ashlu and Cheakamus Rivers both look to be in good shape and we have heard of salmon in both rivers. All wild fish are catch-and-release, and there is a strict bait ban on the river and its tributaries at all times.
Capilano River: The ‘Cap’ is low. Until the rains come, there won’t be much opportunity for fishing. There is a bait ban on the Capilano River in the fall, until November 1st.
Thompson River: The Thompson is closed at the end of this month but there is still good fishing for rainbow and jack Chinook. Fewer adults are coming through now. Trout fishing has been good. The fish are a little more finicky now, being the end of the season and seeing pressure. But the further away you are from the road the more eager the fish get. There is a lot of fishable water. It’s a good time to go and explore, and maybe catch a fish of a lifetime.
Skagit River: The river is still fishing great with decent reports coming out every day. The big fat rainbows have been a little picky but the bull trout are lurking as always, and have been feeding heavily. Come on by the shop and ask the guys for some advice on some flies, tackle, and techniques.
Skeena Region – Nicholas Dean Lodge Report
What a difference September 2012 has been relative to September 2011. Warm, sunny weather well into the third week of the month, and rivers for the most part in great fishable shape has made the start of our Fall season a standout. I mentioned in my last report that guests had experienced some excellent dry fly fishing for Steelhead, and this has certainly been the case since then, as well.
While it may not be the most productive way to fish in terms of putting pure numbers ‘on the beach,’ so to speak, it sure makes up for in excitement when you see a big nose materialize from the depths and come down on your fly! When fishing waking dries, here’s a couple pieces of advice:
1) Choose flies that are buoyant and easily visible on the surface. It’s important that you track where your fly is and how it’s behaving around that current seam. If you can’t see the fly easily and are focussed on searching for it, you’re likely going to be looking elsewhere when that Steelhead sucks in your fly.
2) In relation to 1) a good waking dry fly will stay on the surface easily without excessive false casting, and this comes down to materials used and fly design. Foam, deer hair and elk hair are great materials to work into your fly, but consider using a Grantham Sedge style pattern that is built on weed wacker cord (Google this pattern and you’ll see what I mean) or one that is tied on a tube. We’ve been using hitched tube dry flies tied by Jesper Fohrmann and Per Fischer at Fishmadman.com and you could say that they’ve been a little successful…
3) When a fish takes your fly, patience is the key word! “God Save the Queen” or whatever phrase you’d like to use is fine, just make sure you give the fish a chance to turn on the fly before setting it home.
Coho Salmon fishing has been a little on the slow side and overall numbers have been down compared to previous years. The “Northern” Coho, those large fish that tend to show up after mid September and through into October should be around very soon and will be pushing 20 lbs. With rain forecast for the rest of the week and over the weekend, this will likely bring in more fresh Coho and Steelhead.
Largest fish landed this week were: Steelhead – 20 lbs, Coho Salmon – 14 lbs.
Chad Black, Operations Manager, Nicholas Dean Outdoors
It’s hard to believe what a difference a week makes. Last Thursday Pacific Angler head guide, Eddie, had his best charter of the season…hooking 17 chinook salmon in a 5 hr morning charter. Fast-forward to today and the fishing has been tough this past week with our guides having to work hard for every bite.
Being the optimistic angler I am this could change any day with a fresh wave of fish and a change in the tides with the new moon phase. It will simply be a matter of time before these fish push through and being on the water when it happens has the potential to produce the best fishing of the season. I recall from last fall, the Salty Dawg did exceptionally well at the beginning of October and especially when we had overcast, unstable conditions.
Looking at the Vancouver forecast for this weekend we could see the fishing picking up with a bit of a change in the weather patterns. The Vancouver forecast is calling for a mixture of sun and cloud on Saturday and then cloudy conditions for Sunday. You can then expect rain on Tuesday but then we are back to sunny conditions on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if this weather has an impact on the fishery.
As well, the tides show a low slack tide mid day throughout the weekend. Make sure to concentrate on both the low and high slack tides throughout the day. Yes, this means early morning and late evening fishing.
The Straight of Georgia Marine forecast is also looking promising. Make sure to check out this resource before you head out on the water as conditions on the ocean can change rapidly…just press here – Straight of Georgia Marine forecast.
Both Eddie and Jason will be out on the water this weekend, so they hope to see you out there…happy fishing!
The local beach fishing has been tough this past week. A few of the staff were out this week but without any success. It will simply be a matter of time before this fishery picks up again.
A good customer of the store was on the Island this past week fishing around the Campbell River area. Overall, he reported that the fishing was tough but he managed to hook into a couple beautifully chrome coho salmon. Check out the picture below…that’s what it is all about. Congrats Chris and thanks for the picture.
Happy fishing and don’t forget your stripping basket.
BC Lake Fishing Report:
Not much has changed in the lake fishing scene. The staff have heard of some customers heading out to the lakes this weekend so we are expecting some good reports for next week. This is an under-rated fishery for us coastal anglers as we typically focus salmon fishing. If you are heading out to the lakes this weekend or week please do not hesitate to call the friendly Pacific Angler staff at 604-872-2204 or drop by our store on 78 East Broadway.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavours and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water.