Another heat wave has been sweeping the province and with it a mix of fishing conditions. We saw some ok pink fishing up Sea to Sky earlier in the week but, unfortunately, on Wednesday the heat pushed things back into a completely dirty state. That said, there are fish in the system and Alex has an update in his report.
Sterling tunes in this week with a little Interior Lakes update. It is too hot for good fishing, but September is just around the corner and when things cool down, we should have an excellent Fall Interior Lake season.
The Chilliwack/Vedder has slowed considerably this week and we are now waiting for the first pushes of pinks and then the following fall coho, chum and chinook. Be sure to have a read of Gavin’s report on this fishery below.
Last, but not least, on the freshwater front we have a Skagit update. Matt is up on the Skagit today so we’ll have a more detailed report next week along with a video version of the Friday Fishing Report.
On the saltwater front, we continue to hear good reports off Bowen for pinks and some have pushed into the North Van shoreline off the pink apartments. Across the strait continues to prove very productive for chinook when the weather allows you to get there!
On to the Report!
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
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
It has been such a bizarre start to the Squamish pink salmon run this year. There are decent numbers of fish in the system, but a lot of anglers are getting hampered by the terrible water conditions. While the clarity has been improving marginally, we did see a spike in the water levels on Wednesday that appears to have put us back to square one with zero visibility. We will see if it clears up by the weekend, but this heat wave may keep things high and muddy.
If you are planning to head out there you will want to be prepared. Having ample lures or flies in your tackle box is a good start. Besides pink, the other colour to throw is a translucent lime green or chartreuse. Don’t be afraid to throw that translucent lime green when everybody else is tossing pink especially in the dirtier water. Since the Squamish runs more of a cement or clay colour as opposed to brown sludge that bright chartreuse does stand a chance of being seen still.
Over the next couple of weeks, we are coming into peak season. I am still hopeful that the main push is going to show up any day now. If you do plan to go over the next few days, be prepared to fish big and to fish shallow.
Please remember that pinks are catch and release on the main stem Squamish. Fishing for pinks is not permitted in the tributaries.
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
All good things come to an end. While this year’s exceptional summer chinook fishery on the Vedder has been reminiscent of stories we hear from old timers, it has nearly come to its end.
Most fish in the system are now dark and starting to deteriorate. There is still the odd late fish that will push through, for those that are up to the challenge. Although the water levels have been low and clear, we do have some rain in the forecast for the weekend which is promising for the weekend warrior. While most anglers have been focusing their efforts on the big deep pools with good flow, do not neglect the skinnier water. With high fishing pressure and an urge to swim upriver, a lot of fish will push out of those well-known deep pools and find themselves in smaller pockets of water with the protection of shadows and surface ripples. Covering water effectively will be key. Downsizing to a single egg, yarn tie or small Colorado blade are good bets. This time of year, we do see a by-catch of Chilliwack and the endangered Cultus lake sockeye, so make sure you properly ID your fish before bringing them to shore. Please treat these fish with the upmost respect keep them in the water at all times.
During this short but quiet transition between the summer chinook fishery and the fall salmon fishery, it makes for a great opportunity for parents to take children out for resident rainbows, bull trout and whitefish. Targeting these fish are rather simple and rigging looks much like our salmon fishing setups but mini sized. Small 8-15g floats with split shot and size 8-4 hooks baited with live worms or deli shrimp work wonders.
For the fly guys, this is an excellent time to whip out the 4-6wt fly rods and run an elk hair caddis through some riffles or nymph a stonefly in some pocket water. Large stretches with few anglers make for a fun outing. These fish aren’t too picky and will hit most flies on the first pass if presented properly. Elk hair caddis, Tom Thumbs and Adams in size 10-18 will be your go-tos for dries. Hares ear nymph, stone fly nymphs and caddis pupae if nymphing, are what makes you wake up every day.
Hope you all get a chance to get outside and enjoy the calmer scene on the river while we wait for the pinks to show up. This historical happening is usually around the first week in Sept with the early fall chinook and coho getting good around the 20th of September.
Skagit River Fishing Report
It looks like it will hit 35 degrees today in Hope so it will be interesting to see how it affects the fishing. This week things held because of the cooler temps and the rain last week but with the weather forecast we can expect to see an increase in temperatures this weekend. As this report is released, I will be up the river so I will take some temperature readings and will report back next week. If you have any please keep sending them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
From the reports we had earlier this week nymphing is still taking the majority of fish but watch for hatches late in the afternoon with the heat. We also had some positive bull trout reports on smaller olive streamers.
I’ll have a more detailed report for you all next week from my time on the water.
If you are heading out remember this system has a 100% catch and release single barbless regulation and make sure to release all fish with care and speed especially when we are seeing these increasing temperatures.
I will tune in with more info in next week’s report after I am off the water.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
It has been a while since my last report and that’s mostly due to not a whole lot changing. The good news is that the nights seem to be getting cooler around the Cariboo. I got the chance to get up to highway 24 last weekend and noticed that the water was starting to cool off at nights. That being said, all the fish seemed to be sticking deeper as the majority of action was around 30-40 feet deep. The trout just don’t seem to be ready to make the move shallower quite yet. That might be 2 weeks from now or it could be 2 months from now. It’s really tough to predict when these changes happen. I’d argue that it’s a lot more manageable than what we were seeing in July
Saying all that, it all comes down to the weather. We’re supposed to be experiencing more heat waves and Kamloops and 100 Mile House are both expected to have consistent 30-degree weather. Hopefully, we get a bit of a break from the heat to allow the lakes to cool down a bit and allow the fish to move shallower.