We are going to see some rain in the forecast this week and overall, I think it will be a good thing. It should help with river levels and temperatures which is always a concern this time of year for salmon species in the Fraser.
The big news this week is that the Chinook fishing in area 29-3 and 29-4 has been very good. There are more chinook out there than we have even seen before. Jason and the team have been out all week so check out Jason’s report for all the details.
The Squamish has also been very good with Pinks showing up in very respectable numbers. It is still not like shooting fish in a barrel but the anglers who have put in their time and know the spots are catching very good numbers of fish. Alex has details in the Squamish report below.
The Vedder is another fishery that is picking up and with the numbers of chinook in the saltwater right now we are expecting more good things to come. Jordan has some details on this fishery in the river section below.
Last but not least we have more intel from the Skagit where we have not heard many of many intense hatches yet but she is still fishing well. Check out all the details below. On to the report!
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FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
Right as our report went out last week, a big rainstorm blew the river out and basically made the river unfishable for half of the long weekend. The high water did move a bunch of fish into the system and have spread them out a little more now, mixing both fresh fish and slightly older fish that are starting to show a bit of colour. The river has dropped back down to a very fishable level now although the main stem is still pretty chalky with a foot and a half to two feet of visibility. Fishing has become a bit more consistent than last week although the action is still very contingent on the waves of fish rolling in, so expect a few lull periods between flurries of action. It is not bananas good yet by any means; some guys are doing well while others are struggling for one or two fish. Your best bet is to time your trip with the flood tide if you want to have a shot at putting up good numbers although there are enough fish now to grind a few out at any time of day.
For those that enjoy hucking flies or lures in saltwater as opposed to the river, I have not heard of much happening yet but the Capilano mouth can get good for Pinks at this time of year so keep an ear out for that. Furry Creek continues to be very slow. As always, anything pink has been producing. I have been hooking my fair share of fish on chartreuse as well, so don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
As you have read in the outlook, we have interesting weather this weekend. It will be the first rain we have seen since the flash storm last week. In Chilliwack, they are expecting 5mm on Saturday and 5mm on Sunday. This is good news for all our river systems. If you look at the river levels, the Vedder is on the low side and as of us writing this report, she is running clear.
If you look at the flash storm, we saw last week it bumped up the river but didn’t blow out. We expect river levels to rise a little with this rain and the overcast skies combined with a little more color in the water should make for good fishing.
There are Chinook salmon throughout the entire Vedder Chilliwack system. We have had anglers hook a mix of fresh and dark fish. We are also hearing reports of sockeye being hooked. These are Chilliwack Lake and Cultus lake fish. Though it can be fun to hook a few of these while targeting chinook they are all catch and release. Here are some basic identifying features for telling the difference.
Sockeye – Large scales, small black speckles or no spots, no spots on the tail. Spawning colours will turn from chrome into a light pink with a green head.
Chinook – Black Mouth, black gums, large sporadic spots on back, and round spots on both lobes of tail.
Our reports this week came from anglers fishing in or
around the Keith Wilson Bridge area. Most anglers have been fishing roe with
good success, as well as with spinners and spoons. Colorado blades are also a
great option for those drifting who may not want to carry a second spoon
Depending on water levels and clarity, it doesn’t hurt to drift beads and wool ties as well, or smaller pieces of roe but the most popular for chinook is a toonie size chunk of roe and do not be scared add more scent to the roe. Chinook love bait because their strike instinct is very smell oriented.
With roe being quite popular, many anglers will cure
their own using the skeins harvested. When doing this, it is important to
always bleed your fish right away to remove blood from the eggs, and when
cleaning your fish, to only rinse the eggs in river water. Do not use tap
When brining, Pro-Cure makes some great products that
are easy to use and are hassle-free.
We have a great selection in stock and it is smart to get your bait now so you are ready for the season to come.
Fish are being found through the whole system, but the
fresher fish are often found in the lower reaches. Remember to get there early
as the fish will often shut down once the light has hit the water.
Keep those lines tight,
Skagit River Fishing Report
I was at the Skagit on Monday with a buddy for the long weekend and had good fishing throughout the whole day. I started the day nymph fishing in the morning with your standard prince nymph and a larger olive mayfly nymph imitation with success as there wasn’t much of a hatch early. The hot weather that we encountered this week seems to have affected the hatch a decent amount pushing it back an hour or two. Although I have yet to encounter a true hatch this year on the river, every time near the mid-late afternoon mark there are a variety of sizes of mayflies coming off and some eager fish rising to them. Again, having your box stocked with grey and olive mayfly patterns ranging in sizes 8-14 is key. Generally, I will start with a larger mayfly pattern, which can be easier to fish and see as it requires less floatant. (seems to trick a few eager fish as well). If I am getting refusals from rising fish, then I will downsize to a smaller pattern which seems to do the trick.
There are a lot more bull trout in the river now too, which can be a great option when the rainbow fishing is slow. Again, your typical small white or olive streamer like a slump buster are my go-tos and have brought many fish to hand.
With the water levels continually dropping, covering water is now the name of the game. The fish that are sitting in the runs right in front of the pull-outs have now seen many flies and have gotten smart. Covering water and moving either up or downstream of the pull out can open you up to new water and fresher fish that are more willing to take your fly.
Good Luck out there,
STILLWATER FISHING REPORT
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
There’s rain in the forecast for both Kamloops and Merritt over the weekend. This will cool down (although briefly) the absolutely scorching temps that the interior has been seeing of late.
Although lake fishing slows down during these summer months, we’ve been hearing some great reports from the interior. Tunkwa, Lundbom, Roche and Stump have been consistently producing fish the entire season, and are sure bets for solid angling.
time of year, a type 6 sinking line is your best friend. It’s a more versatile
line than many give it credit for. It’s an essential tool to have for
booby’s, deep water chironomids, scuds, and even trolling. Which just
happen to be the most effective techniques to use on a hot summer day.
Once again, I’m going to suggest running for the hills and finding a high elevation lake, or attempt some larger lakes, searching for some cooler water. The gear guys tend to do better on these larger bodies of water, with gang trolls or ample use of bait but trolling or casting and stripping with a fly can also be very productive.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORT
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
It’s been a great start to the Fraser Chinook fishery these past 2 weeks. There were some good days and some downright red-hot days at the Bell Buoy, North Arm, T-10 and South Arm these past 5 days. Wind has dictated fishing location for the most part, but the forecast this weekend looks pretty good at this point, so take your pick.
As usual for this time of year, the best depths have been on the shallow side as these mature chinook are up in the water column getting used to the freshwater and trying to find the mouth of the Fraser. These are not fish that are on the bottom, actively feeding on the herring balls that are in that area. Generally, you want your gear in the 30-75 zone on your riggers. On our guide boats, we are stacking 2 rods per rigger with a 20 to 25-foot spread, so we have that area covered well.
You want to fish bait and then more bait, and then some more bait. We fish bait on all 4 rods. These fish aren’t feeding and bait is the best at getting them to bite one last time before they take off upriver. We have been doing well on “green” herring size and on 5.5 or 6.0 anchovies. Leader length is 5 to 7 feet. For flashers, I have been fishing a Betsy on my shallowest rod, then a Green Onion Glow on my next shallowest rod, then a Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, BC, or STS on my deeper rods. The same format of going from flash and UV on the top rods down to glow on the bottom rods applies for teaser heads. I run chrome ones on my shallowest rod, then a Green UV, then into glows like a No Bananas or a Green Chartreuse Splatter. There have been some days, like Wednesday, where there were so many fish around that hootchies or spoons worked just as well as bait, but that is not the norm. If you want to consistently hook fish, get the bait box out.
I am sure there are some pinks and coho around, but to be honest, none of our boats have been chasing them this past week, we have been focused on chinook. I don’t have any first-hand info to pass on there, but generally, things should be pretty good off West Van this time of year for Cap coho and any pinks that stop by there on their way to the Squamish or Indian River.
The chinook fishing should continue to get better as we are a good week or more away from the traditional peak migration. It has been amazing so far, so I am very interested to see how things play out in the next 2 weeks.
See you in the shop or on the water,