We have hit the middle of August and it looks as though the weather will be a little warmer this weekend with temps in the high 20s by Sunday and then cooling off a bit next week.
On the fishing front, this will hurt the lake fishing in the interior and we don’t have any updates this week. We will tune back in when things cool off a bit or we get updates of note.
Bass fishing is still a good option in the heat and Alex has a feature on how to fish creature baits that you will want to check out if you are in to chasing bucket mouths.
We had a call last week from the team at the Capilano Hatchery. We have an update on the fishing but there have also been a number of complaints of poaching and illegal fishing methods. Just so everyone is on the same page – intentionally snagging fish is illegal and wrong. In a fishery were there are endangered species like steelhead. This simply can’t happen. Matt has some tips on how to handle it if you see guys doing this in the video version of the report but the Cole’s notes version and what the guys at the hatchery want people to know is that you need to call the Report A Poacher Line. Also note that they may not come out for every call but every call is critical to show the need for enforcement. There are signs posted around the Capilano River and the Recommendations are good for almost any river around the Lower Mainland. Call 1-800-465-4336
We also have updates on the Chilliwack, Skagit and Jason has Saltwater fishing information at the end of the report.
As always, if you want to crack a beer and hear Matt rant about it all on the YouTube Channel click here:
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River / North Shore Beach Report
Another week of early first light mornings. Guys have been having luck in the early hours of the day at first light on the river, especially up higher. Upper river spots have shown some nice fish on both fly and gear. Smaller presentations like a size 1 or 2 blue fox in nickel, twitching jigs, and smaller flies in olive, black or brown would be great to add to your arsenal if you plan on heading out. That being said, the lower half of the river hasn’t had a push of fish in a while. Even with last week’s few days of rain, the river barely bumped up half a foot. As a result, not many fresh fish were able to make their way up from the mouth. Once there is a solid rain, take a look at the river levels online to see if your lower spots are viable to spend your time. As for now, stick to the upper areas and pools where the older fish are holding, and get out there for first light for the best chance of finding fish and getting a spot.
Reports from the guys at the Hatchery mirror this. They said the early component came into the system in good numbers and now things have slowing. T here have also been a number of summer runs caught by the brood team and it is one of the reasons why snag fishing can’t happen on the upper pools of this fishery. The summer runs come in now but will hang out until the September rains before jumping into the hatchery.
On the beach front, the tides haven’t been the greatest the past week or so. There have been low tides in the late mornings to the afternoon, which isn’t the most ideal. Notwithstanding, guys have still been having luck none the less. Last week or so the tides lined up almost perfectly for those early morning trips. There was a lot of luck on Blue fox spinners, and some on buzz-bombs and flies. It is definitely worth spending your time at the mouth as the fish are stacking up out there waiting for a heavy rain before they are able to push up the river. It looks like there are some decent tides for the next few days; although not the lowest of low, there is still a good shot for success!
Looking forward to seeing you in the shop soon!
Skagit River Fishing Report
The Skagit has now dropped into shape nicely making it accessible to all anglers. At each pullout one can easily walk up or down river a few runs now to access newer water. Covering water this time of year is key. Putting in the time to get to areas that are not right in front of the pull-outs can be the difference from an ok day to a good one.
Nymphing continues to be productive throughout the day with your standard prince nymphs, girdle bugs and golden stones being the hot tickets. Dry fly fishing has also started to heat up. In my most recent trip, I hooked many fish on dries and noticed fish beginning to look-up around that 10 O’clock mark. As per usual, grey mayflies are a go-to for this river along with some larger style green/grey drake patterns.
There are also plenty of bull trout in the river now too. Swinging white and olive streamers in anywhere from 2”-4” can usually stir up a few from the log jam or cut banks they love to sit in. In addition, you may even hook an eager rainbow this way.
Looking ahead, I expect to see some more noticeable mayfly hatches in the next coming weeks. So, have your box filled with a variety of dries to help dial in the “hatch” when it happens.
Good luck out there,
Vedder River Fishing Report
It seems that we’ve finally run out of snow in the mountains, because water levels in the Vedder/Chilliwack are dropping like a ton of bricks, to the point where I would now consider the river to be a bit on the low side. It’s still perfectly fishable, but stealth and less obnoxious presentations are going to be key now. As I said last week, a majority of the fish are in the upper section of the river, so consider focusing your efforts up there.
The Red Spring run is pretty much done now. There will be a few straggling fish arriving through August, but most of the fish are either in the very upper reaches of the system, and very dark, or in the hatchery. Fishing smaller versions of the gear I’ve described in the past and focusing on low-light times are going to be your best bet. If you can find a few fish that haven’t been harassed, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get one or two to bite, even if they’re all boots… so, in other words, you do NOT need to floss or snag them. Seriously. It’s not ethical, and willfully snagging fish is illegal. Please call DFO’s O.R.R. line to report any fishing violations you see at 604-607-4186, or e-mail them at DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca with as much info as possible.
It seems like there might’ve been a small push of Chilliwack Lake Sockeye into the system sometime this week, because I’ve heard of more than a few being encountered. In any case, treat these fish very well if you run into them; they’re not very durable, and the run itself isn’t in the best shape. Also keep in mind that the extremely endangered Cultus Lake Sockeye will be arriving very soon, so please- Identify your fish before you start handling it, and if you don’t know what it is… LET IT GO.
While you may be bummed out because the summer runs are almost over, keep in mind the fact that better things are to come… the fall run Chinook, Coho and Chum runs are just around the corner, and the first White Springs should be finding their way into the system in early September. Take advantage of the low water and lull in fishing pressure to scout out spots for the exciting fishery that is less than a month away. You don’t want to be like me and end up frantically looking for good water when the fishing is good. Now is also a good time to get stocked up on gear for the coming fishery before everybody else starts buying everything up. Again, you don’t want to be like me and end up trying to find essential gear in the middle of the season.
Bass Fishing Feature – How to Fish Creature Baits
Creature Baits for Bass
There are a million different bass lures on the market today. We only see a fraction of them here as our bass fishery is not the full-fledged, tournament-ladened multi-million dollar industry that occurs in the States. Nonetheless, it is still daunting to look at a wall of bass lures and to try to figure out which one best suits your needs. Obviously, there is no one magical lure, but there are a few that are more broad in scope and can usually grind out a fish or two on a slow day. To narrow it down even further, one of my favorites is a texas-rigged craw or creature bait.
While not as high tech or as geared toward trophy fish as some of the presentations that seasoned bass anglers use, a Texas rig with a craw or creature just plain gets the job done and is highly versatile for the newcomer to the sport. It s a weedless setup that matches some of the main forage a bass will find in a body of water, typically crawfish or small baitfish. It is easy to fish as you bump it, hop it, or drag it along the bottom through or around heavy cover and structure. It rarely gets hung up but when a fish bites, it typically results in a high hook up ratio. Not only that, it caters to small fish and big fish alike, so that very next cast could be a whopper and not sponsored by Burger King.
Enough praise. How does one rig the thing? It is made up of an EWG hook and any sort of soft plastic, though typically it is a crayfish, worm, or creature. To be honest, it’s a little tough to explain so if this is as clear as the Fraser during freshet, just come into the Shop and we can show you. Below is a step by step:
1. Figure out if your creature has a top and bottom. If it does, you want to keep this in mind as it may affect the weedless abilities of your creature. If there is any sort of groove, I like to keep this on the top as this will hide the hook point even if the hook pops out of the plastic.
2. Penetrate the rear end of your creature with the EWG hook. About an inch in, pull the point back out the back side of the creature.
3. Slide the creature up near the eye of the hook, where the 90 degree bend is. As you pull it over that bend, you will notice it will want to twist. This is good. Twist it so it slides up to the eye of the hook. At this point the creature should be right side up, with majority of the hook underneath it.
4. Bend your creature 90 degrees. This will allow the hook point to pass through at a perpendicular angle to the plastic and will prevent it from getting kinked up. Pass the hook point through the plastic in the area it reaches after you have bent your creature.
5. We are almost done! The last part is to sink the hook point back into the soft plastic. This is called texposing. You will notice that the hook point will want to rest in a particular position and this is where you should aim to texpose it.
Now you’re done! Super wordy I know, so like I said if this makes absolutely no sense just come see us and we can demonstrate. To finish it off, you can slide a bullet weight onto your leader and either peg the weight against the hook with a bobber stop for better penetrating power in heavy cover or just let it slide.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
We had quite an active week on the charter front with lots of local trips and trips over to Gabriola and Nanaimo. Locally the coho bite has been consistent off West Van and as usual for August, it seems to be a bit of a morning show. White hootchies or UV white hootchies are producing and fish are getting taken on anchovies as well. Productive depths have been 25-45 on the riggers. There have been a few chinook in the mix, so be ready to back that drag off in a hurry when one pops the clip at 35 on the rigger!
The chinook action continues to be consistent over in the Gulf Islands. I am not sure how long this fishery will last as we usually start to focus on fishing off the Fraser late July and by now, we would be in full swing, fishing spots like the Bell Buoy, North Arm, T-10, and South Arm. So, this is fairly unchartered territory for the Vancouver angler and guides alike, who would usually be parked off the Bell Buoy this time of year.
Still a bit in shock that the Fraser Mouth fishery is closed, especially after the epic fishing we saw last year. In the meantime, we are happy to run across to the other side for our guests when winds allow, and we have been doing well on chinook in that 62-80 cm slot limit and some brutes that have been well over. Let’s hope the next few weeks continue to produce and before we know it, we will be down off the South Arm on September 1st for some much deserved chinook, fished shallow, on bait. Until then we have been breaking out the 18 and 20 pound cannonballs, 260-300 feet of cable and glow flashers and glow hootchies. Make sure to follow Gibbs Delta on Instagram for a post that will be coming out soon on some of the gear I have been fishing off West Van and the Gulf Islands.
See you in the shop or on the water,