Fall is coming. There is a bite in the air and we have the first big storm of the season forecast for today. With it, we expect fall salmon fishing in our rivers to really ramp up. Harrison, Capilano, Chilliwack, and systems up the Sea to Sky highway will be worth looking at after things settle with the rain. It will only be a matter of when and if the rain blows out the systems for the weekend.
The Fraser is also one to look at for the weekend. In areas it will close over the next few days but the reports continue to be good. Taylor has details on the closures in his report this week.
The rain is also going to change the saltwater fishing and beach fishing but, we have had good reports this week. JT will tune in at the end of the report with a saltwater update.
Off the water, we are looking ahead to the upcoming Federal Election on Monday. If you’re still looking for some resources on how to evaluate the candidates in your riding be sure to check out some great info from the Sport Fishing Institute of BC and the Public Fishery Alliance in the Industry Events and Updates section below.
Last, but not least, Matt tunes back in with the video version of the report this week and has details on everything from lake fishing to politics. You can check that out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcadzzLABuk
Onto the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
2021 Federal Election and BC’s Public Fishery
Voting day is fast approaching! If you are still doing your research on who you will cast your ballot for, we definitely recommend checking out the great list of questions prepared by the by the Sport Fishing Institute of BC. See this link here for questions and more updates from the SFI or for a quick read of the questions we’ve included them here:
Predictable, reliable, and sustainable opportunities must be supported and allowed to proceed. Mark selective fisheries (MSF) and mass marking (MM) should both play an important role in conservation, abundance and access for all stakeholders.
Here are some key points and issues to pose to all candidates if you are in touch with them in the last days of the election or to look for in their party’s platforms.
Do you and your party:
- Support the use of Mass Marking and Mark Selective Fisheries as a way to provide access to abundant stocks of hatchery produced salmon and avoid wild stocks of concern?
- Expect to move the PSSI forward quickly and to build on it to enforce existing laws and regulations that protect salmon habitat, and invest in habitat rehabilitation initiatives to achieve increased abundance and long term sustainability?
- Support the use of hatchery-based enhancement to either maintain or rebuild salmon populations at a level that will support vibrant, healthy, sustainable fisheries?
- Support the idea of science-based predator control to address the known impacts that predators are having on salmon stocks?
- Understand the importance of the public fishery to your riding, and the impact that a lack of certainty and stability in regulations and access has on businesses and citizens who either support or participate in the fishery?
- Understand that fishery resources are a common property resource, managed by the Federal Government at tax-payers expense for the benefit of all Canadians, and are willing to support the idea that all Canadians should be able to benefit from those resources in a meaningful way?
Make candidates understand that the public fishery is important to you and your community. Make sure candidates understand that fish and fisheries are important to the voters, communities, and the economy of BC.
Another resource to look into is the Public Fishery Alliance (PFA). The PFA has been executing an aggressive political campaign during the current Federal General Election.
Through a series of videos and ads they are highlighting real and workable solutions to sustain our salmon fishery pressing our government to:
- implement a comprehensive recovery plan for chinook and coho salmon that includes restoration and enhancement of weak runs using all the latest technologies;
- immediately commit to adipose fin clipping 100% of the hatchery raised chinook and coho salmon;
- permit the retention of adipose clipped chinook and coho in areas where the proportion of clipped salmon is high enough;
- eliminate the use of wasteful net fisheries in river salmon fisheries & replace them with new selective fishery technology; and
- increase fisheries enforcement sufficiently to stamp out illegal net fisheries.
Check out their FaceBook page to see their videos and be sure to cast your vote for a party that will support the public fishery.
Looking for info on which candidates support mark selective fishing for chinook? Have a look at who’s supported the public fishery and note who has not. Engage your MPs on whether or not they support sustainable opportunities for the public fishery. Details in the PFA’s post here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course is specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. The course is comprised of two sessions; a 3hr evening Zoom seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar Date: September 21
Casting Date September 26
Seminar Time: Zoom Seminar 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners & 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. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar: Sep 27, 2021
Guided Portion: SOLD OUT
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The Fall salmon season is well underway on the Vedder with strong numbers of pinks and chinook in the system. A few coho are trickling in as well. We saw two moderate bumps in the water level and are expecting a more substantial change after the forecasted torrential downpour this Friday. Depending on how much rain we get it could briefly blow out the river but, expect it to come into shape quickly and for the fishing to be excellent afterwards. As of me writing this report there are a few fish trickling into the mid-river now though the majority still seem to be below the Crossing. A high-water event will definitely spread them out.
Anglers have been having success on a number of things but there have been a few more consistent presentations. Roe, beads, Colorado blades, and jigs are all worthy contenders. Fly fishing can be highly effective in certain situations too; just cater your flies and your sink tips to the species you are targeting. If you need any assistance come see us at the shop!
Squamish River Fishing Report
This past week saw another good bump and push of pinks enter the system. There will be a good mix of freshies as well as your usual mid-September zombies, especially with this upcoming rain that is forecasted.
Though it might bump the river and colour it up, it will ironically start to wash down or out the old rotting fish, as well as some of their eggs, providing food for the other fish and animals that rely on them.
This includes bears. Please be careful and aware that bears, both blacks and grizzlies, are wild animals and we are in their houses. Avoiding them on purpose is always recommended, but if you happen to encounter one, you’ll want to make sure you are prepped with spray.
Pink spoons, flies, and jigs are still your go-tos, but don’t forget that they are anadromous fish and chartreuse is still a great colour.
This is also a great primer for practicing your two-handed casting on switch and Spey rods for steelhead season with lots of opportunities to practice not trout-set.
Though not open, coho are soon on the horizon, and prepping for their opening is a great idea. Similar spoons, jigs, and flies you already use for pinks are great, but now is the time to start looking at other colours and techniques. Come on in to the shop to pick from the selection of our favourite spoons, as well as our custom-tied twitching and float jigs from the Coldwater Angler
If you’re looking over your partially stocked or empty boxes from last season, whether it’s a fly box or tackle box it’s a good idea to get on that now and it will help you get ahead of the curve. This also means terminal tackle, not just lures or flies. Do you have lots of indicators or swivels? Floats or stoppers? Gumballs or pencil lead? Now’s the time to get prepped!
Egging for trout and char is also starting to fire off with many anglers drift/float fishing 8mm-12mm beads and bobs. Though often fished under a float, beads are more than fishable on a fly rod and are a great way to practicing your nymphing and mending skills. Instead of a hares ear or stonefly nymph, swap it out for a pegged bead. That simple switch will put you in the game and can often provide a fun and interesting day on the water as both char and trout will readily go after these high-protein nuggets.
When it comes to eggs there are three stages: Fresh (bright and clear), Fresh-dead (bright but cloudy), and washed-dead (solid and milky). We have a full selection of beads and bobs to match these stages from Clear Drift, Trout Beads, and Mad River.
If you’re interested or curious about any of the techniques mentioned above or want to know what our own personal favourites are, come on into the shop and see us, we’ll be glad to show you the ins and outs of everything mentioned above.
Cheers and beers,
Capilano River Fishing Report + Beach Update
Beach fishing has been good this week with water levels staying low in the river. Both gear and fly anglers have been hooking good numbers of pinks and coho. We even heard of the shore anglers pulling on a few springs and the saltwater fleet has had good fishing as well. Refer to the saltwater report for more details on this one.
We do expect all of this to change today (Friday). It will be interesting to see how much water comes but with the first big storm of the season coming in it is expected they will open the dam over the weekend and with the opening many of the fish staging at the mouth of the river will shoot up the river.
So, you will want to watch the river levels. Obviously be very careful of where you are wading and hiking, but if the river spikes it should be good fishing after things settle.
Remember the Capilano has a bait ban from Aug 1 to October 31st to protect summer run steelhead stocks, so stick to artificial presentations. Beads, soft beads, colorado blades on float rods are the best when water is moving but flies, spoons spinners and twitching jigs should also be in the kit.
Good luck and be safe,
Fraser River Pink Fishing Report
While the Fraser pink fishery is past its peak, there are still lots of fish to come, and a few days left to fish for them. The tidal portion of the river closes on the 18th of September one hour after sunset. So, you can fish this Saturday in the tidal portion but not Sunday and the non-tidal closes on the 21st of September, with good fishing for pinks being expected until those dates.
Casting and retrieving spoons and spinners or twitching jigs are the most effective ways to target pinks in the lower river- pink and chartreuse will usually be the two best colours. As a general rule, an incoming tide is preferable, as the fish that are staging at the mouth usually push up with the flooding tide. Of course, having said that, an outgoing tide can be just as productive as it pods up fish on the edges. It all depends on if the fish are actively moving or not and your spot. Bottom line though, paying close attention to the tides is key.
There are lots of good places to fish in the lower, with the Steveston and Langley areas being home to some of my favorites.
Please keep in mind that Gary Point Park is technically part of area 29-9, and as such, was not part of the opening. Also note that there is currently a bait ban in effect when targeting salmon, which means no roe, shrimp, or natural scents of any kind.
While the same methods will certainly produce fish in the non-tidal portions of the Fraser, the quicker current in some areas opens up another possible method – bar fishing. Not to be confused with bottom bouncing, which is completely unacceptable and not okay, bar fishing involves casting out a heavy weight into the current and letting it sit stationary on the bottom while the current works your lure of choice – usually a Spin-N-Glo or something like that. Although not typically thought of as an effective method for targeting pinks, a small pink or chartreuse Spin-N-Glo can be incredibly deadly for pinks, while usually avoiding other species that are not currently open - no big, chrome Spin-N-Glos… remember, we’re targeting pinks, NOT coho nor chinook. Also, worth noting is that the previously mentioned bait ban applies here as well. As briefly mentioned, bottom bouncing is not an acceptable option. The DFO has requested that anglers fish in a selective manner that is less likely to intercept sockeye or coho. Bottom bouncing is anything but selective, and the fishery may be closed early if too many people disregard this request.
Please exercise caution when fishing the Fraser, especially the non-tidal portion. Swift currents can catch unwary anglers off guard and have already resulted in at least one death this year, and many close calls. Stay safe out there.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
It’ll be interesting to see if this weekend’s showers have an impact on the great fishing that has been happening throughout the interior. One thing for certain, is that it’s going to be nasty winds throughout the region making for some tough fishing conditions. Wind always seems to be the bane of anglers as you need to fish with heavy anchor systems while never seeming to get the presentation to sit just right. However, the nice thing about wind is that the fish feel an added comfort with choppier water and tend to be on the move. This also means that fish tend to move quite a bit shallower making it even easier to target them. I’ve written a lot about how to use wind to your advantage in the past. The main takeaway from previous reports is to cast leech and scud patterns either perpendicular to the boat or directly into the wind if you’re a strong enough caster. Wind does an amazing job at presenting your fly so don’t discount the wind drift if you’re brave enough to deal with the surroundings. You’ll start to notice that the fish gravitate towards taking the fly near the end of your ‘swing’ or right when the floating line straightens out meaning that the fly is moving upwards in the water column.
I also love to use the wind when fishing dragonfly or blob/boobie patterns. Use the wind to toss a ton of line out and cover long shoals. I’ll typically focus around shallower weedy areas with quite a heavy sink line (Type 3-6). I prefer to work the fringes of weed beds but I know a lot of guys do extremely well tossing right into the weedy mess. Keep in mind that I tie all these patterns with a floating material meaning that they remain suspended above the marl or weedy bottom. People also fish dragon patterns way too fast since they think that a big bug moves fast. You really want to fight the temptation to strip fast and slow that presentation right down, especially in the fall when fish can be quite wary of sinking lines moving through the water.
Hope those tips help you out there. Be sure to either call the store or come on in if you’ve got any questions about specific regions.
You’ll also want to be checking road safe BC quite regularly while travelling as this bit of rain can lead to potential mudslides with all the fires this year.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Rain, rain, go away. That is the theme of this week’s report. The river anglers will be rejoicing about much needed rains to bring the river levels up and bring in fresh waves of chinook and coho, but the ocean anglers will be shedding a tear. These heavy rains will push some of the chinook and coho into the Capilano and up the Fraser this weekend. All is not lost though, there are still more fish to come for both areas, but we will need the rain to back off and a few more fish to stack up. Prior to the rain we were having some good success at the Cap Mouth, but it’s a whole new ball game now.
It will be interesting to see how the test sets are for chinook in the Fraser this coming week as Sandheads has been slow in general this September in my opinion. Usually, we do see a decent push of white chinook right about now, the question will be if they show up and if they pause long enough for us to get some baits in front of them or if the winds back off enough for us to get down there.
As usual for this time of year bait is the name of the game. We do have a good selection of teaser heads and bait at the shop if you are in need. Bait in the 30-70 zone off the Fraser and bait on the bottom at the Cap. Those are your options this coming week for the odd red chinook, more white chinook, and some hatchery coho. Good luck out there and stay dry!
See you in the shop or on the water,