It is derby weekend and it looks like the fishing is turning on just in time! We have had some solid reports off the Bell Buoy and around the corner down south. With boats out all week there have been days where we had to work hard to get some fish but there have also been some moments of brilliance. Almost all boats are coming home with big chinook, pinks and the odd hatchery coho in the mix. The weather looks good for the weekend. We are going to see some northwest winds Saturday, Sunday and Monday but it shouldn’t be anything we can’t handle.
There are big low tides mid morning that should be nice for anglers fishing from the beach and then we get a nice high slack in the evening to push fish in during the afternoon.
Things are looking great for the freshwater anglers as well. The Skagit is fishing well, and the Squamish is also a great bet it you want to get out for pinks. Alex is out this week hitting the Squamish and will have good reports next week.
Sean from the shop is heading out to the Thompson for some trout fishing this weekend and we have a little feature on this fishery. With all the fires we have held off reporting on the Thompson but it is an awesome option for some summer trout fishing.
We’ll see you in the shop or on the water!
Vancouver Chinook Classic
The Vancouver Chinook Classic catch and release tournament kicks off tomorrow morning with lines in the water at 7AM. We’ll share the news of the winning boats here next week! Good luck to all the anglers in tournament.
2017 Fishing For Kids Tournament hosted by The West Coast Fishing Club
Join business and community leaders, and Vancouver Canucks guests Paolo Aquilini-Owner, Jim Benning-General Manager, Travis Green-Head Coach, Canucks players Jacob Markstrom, Sven Baertschi, Erik Gudbranson and Canucks Alumni, Manny Malhotra, Stan Smyl and Dave Babych in supporting this very worthwhile cause and to connect like-minded individuals and corporations who are determined to make a difference in the life of children and families living with autism through the Canucks Autism Network
There are participant spots still remaining for this years Fishing For Kids Tournament at The West Coast Fishing Club on August 27-August 30, 2017. It is a one of a kind event both for experience and networking. Please visit the Fishing For Kids Tournament website for more information: www.fishingforkidstournament.com
If you aren’t able to join the Fishing For Kids Tournament this year, you can still show your support and help with the fundraising efforts by visiting the online auction at www.fishingforkids-auction.com for the opportunity to participate and bid on exclusive items while contributing to our worthwhile cause in support of the Canucks Autism Network. INCLUDING a fully guided trip from Pacific Angler. Your bid will help to improve and strengthen the lives of BC children and families living with Autism.
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
2016 Simms Dry Creek Boat bags
Having a great waterproof bag for the boat is key whether you are fly fishing on the lakes or out saltwater fishing. Simms has come out with a new and improved boat bag for 2017 but we still have a few of the 2016 models in stock. The new ones look awesome with a few very nice additional features but the old ones have been a great work horse bag for years and with the new bags available, we are blowing out the old ones at a great price!
The bags feature a highly-durable ridged 420D nylon waterproof fabric that allows you to hide it along a running board or beside a seat. With a cool magnetic latching system and fully water proof design this is a great piece for any boat owner. It fits a couple fly boxes, spare spools or reels, tippet leaders and all your tools or if you are saltwater angler it can perfectly fit a stack of flashers, leader boards and some spare parts (release clips, snubbers etc.)
We have the medium size in stock but quantities are limited. They are regular $299 but we are blowing them out at 25% off for $224.99 until we sell out. Make sure you come down to check them out!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Skagit River Fishing Report
From the reports coming in from the river, we can say not much has changed – things are good! Hatches are happening and you will definitely want your usual suspects in your fly box; golden stones, prince nymphs, girdle bugs and then parachute may flies, larger grey and green mayflies as well as small yellow caddis and larger yellow caddis. Fish will get more pressure this time of year so this week I thought it might be useful to talk about some strategies for fooling picky trout.
Fly selection is key. More importantly the ability to change flies to trigger a response. I will usually run a standard large or small grey mayfly depending on what I see on the water but if I am on a rising fish that I can’t fool or even worse I have a fish comes to the surface and reject a fly, I will usually make a couple more casts and then stop. I will wait a few minutes, thinking about the angles of the drift and then when I feel the fish has been rested 2-5 minutes, I will cast again. If nothing happens within a few casts I will stop again. This is when I change flies. If I am using the small parachute mayfly I usually switch to the big one and vise versa obviously trying to match the bugs I see on the water. Again, I try a handful of casts. At this point if I feel as though I just can’t get a good drift because of the angle, current or where the fish is sitting, I will give up and move on but if the fish is in a good lie and I can cover it effectively I don’t give up.
My go to “picky fish” fly is a very small black nat, small yellow caddis or Lady McConnell. On the other end of the size spectrum, a large orange or yellow stimulator can trigger a bite with the perfect drift. I will try one or even two of these “change up flies” with solid breaks to rest the fish between casts.
The last trick I use when all else has failed is actually stripping the dry fly in the area I have seen the fish rise. A few 3-4 inch twitches with a pause can be a game changer. When I have gone though these different tricks I will move on but keep the spot in the back of my mind. Depending on how the day goes I will try to hit the spot again later on in the day when there are more bugs on the water.
Hope this helps put a few more fish to hand on your next trip. Good luck and remember the Skagit is a 100% catch and release barbless fishery.
Squamish River Fishing Report
We are still hearing mixed reports from the Squamish. Some days are on fire but for some anglers finding fish on certain days has been a challenge. It’s all about being at the right spot at the right time when the fish come through. Right now the entire Mamquam River is closed to pink fishing. This also includes below the train bridge. You are allowed to fish were it starts hitting Squamish River flow. The Cheakamus is also closed to pink salmon fishing so this means no pink flies or spoon/float gear.
Over the next week we are expecting fishing to become more consistent.
If you are float fishing use pink jigs and pink wool. Spoons in pink white and pink and pink and chartreuse are all go to presentations.
Fly anglers should have a light sink tip and a heavy sink tip in the kit. Use short 8-12lb leaders off the sink tip and swing medium to small pink patterns. We just got another shipment at the shop. Come down and we can help you pick out some winners.
Thompson River Fly Fishing Report
It’s the time of year again that the Thompson comes into shape and fishing can be amazing with big dry flies for aggressive rainbows. It also means it’s a great time to get out and escape some of crowds of the rivers and get out on to the mighty Thompson.
On the Thompson I mostly fish with big dries or nymphs under and indicator can also be effective. When fishing on a larger river like the Thompson try to fish walking pace water with a bit of a riffle or anywhere with a good seam where currents meet. The Thompson is hot and you can easily wet wade. The hot water also affects the fishing. Hot water does not hold as much oxygen as cold water. This is one theory why fish are found in the riffle water or on current seams when the water gets more oxygen. It is less common to find good numbers of fish in the slower flat water.
I like to fish between Ashcroft and Spence’s Bridge but anywhere you can access the river from Kamloops Lake down can be productive.
Rods between a 4 and a 6 weight are ideal. Keep in mind that it can get quite windy and I prefer to pair them with punchy weight forward lines. The Rio Grande is a great chose as it is a little heavier and punches through the wind nicely. Another option is a light switch or Spey rod. A switch rod in a 3 or 4 weight is ideal. For two handed rods a scandi line is recommended for dry fly presentations.
For leaders when I am dry fly fishing I use the 9ft Rio Powerflex in a 3x or 4x with a tippet one x lower than the leader. When I am nymphing I use the 9ft Rio Fluoroflex leaders in 3x or 4x with fluorocarbon tippet. For indicators I like to use the large thing-a-ma-bobbers as they float all day and are easy to see. I also bring split shot in a variety of sizes.
For flies, I bring a variety of large hoppers and stonefly patterns. One of my favorites is the California Blonde. I also make sure I have some larger mayfly patterns as there are sometimes some good hatches in the mornings and evenings. For nymphs I mostly use big stoneflys. Both golden stoneflys and black are effective.
With the forest fires we have had there have been some road closures. Keep in mind there is an advisory about poor visibility due to the smoke. So if you are pushing through the smoke drive carefully and check online before you head out.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to come by the shop or give us a call.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
I went out on Wednesday to Ambleside and right away there were pods of coho swimming around. To really know where they are you have to look for disturbance on the surface as there hasn’t been a lot of jumpers this year which indicates that they are either wild fish or afresh school of fish. Wednesday was definitely the best I have seen so far. I was excited to try some new patterns to see if they worked and unfortunately they didn’t so it was zero fish for me. I did witness a student from the beach course hook two a few feet below me which was nice to see. This week we have low tides all the way through Thursday and combined with the full moon it should be good. I did not see any pinks caught but that could change from day to day as they push through Indian Arm. Furry Creek is still going strong with lots of pinks, for best results try to fish the ebb tide as the salmon tend to push up the river on a flood tide. There is another 2-3 weeks left to fish the beach so make sure you take advantage of this before it slows down.
See you on the beach,
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
The big story this week is the chinook fishing. A nice wave of chinook showed up on Monday and there was some hot fishing from the North Arm all the way down to the South Arm. It slowed down a little mid week as the orcas came in, but that didn’t last long and fishing was solid on Friday, including a limit for me on my full day trip and Tom getting into some good numbers off the North Arm on his afternoon trip. The best depths have been 30-80 on the downriggers and as usual, bait is the key. Make sure to bring a pack of herring and anchovies on each trip as we went through 24 baits pretty easily on Thursday. There are lots of jacks around, a few coho and pinks, and few dogfish, so make sure you have the bait and leaders ready for the action. The fish we are catching have been 10-20 pounds for the most part and there are few in the low 20’s as well. Hot flashers have been the Madi, Lemon Lime, Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, and Onion Purple Glow. For teaser heads the glow ones seem to be hot. Green glow and chartreuse glow varieties have been good. We have been dying up our baits in the Pro Cure Brine N Bite Complete in chartreuse and blue and it seems to be working extremely well. It definitely helps the bait stand out in the dirty water and the bites have all been savage.
Not much too report off West Van. The coho fishing and pink fishing has been so so for the most part and we have been going over to the Bell Buoy or North Arm the last few trips to look for chinook.
This weekend is the Vancouver Chinook Classic, which sold out! So if you want to get into this amazing event next year, make sure you sign up early. I will be ripping around in the big grey zodiac for this event, as Derby Master, so see you out there.