VIDEO OUTLOOK (NEW)
With the shift to more video content in the report we will strive to not be too redundant – don’t worry we won’t be getting rid of the written format any time soon.
Since we filmed the video there have been a couple announcements on the Fraser front as well as the Pitt River. Matt will talk about it more in next week’s Report Video but to keep everyone up to speed they have closed the Fraser to all trout fishing and salmon fishing. You can still fish for coarse fish and sturgeon, but any specific targeting of trout and salmon is off limits. This can be a little confusing and we are going to look more into the specifics of what this regulation means but the reasoning behind the closure to all salmon is that the sockeye numbers are very low. This will mean that it is unlikely that we will see an opportunity to fish for Pink Salmon in the Fraser at least for the early part of the season. We will keep you up to date on this one as more information becomes available. For the official notice check out this link.
On the weather front the weekend looks great for fishing with a mix of sun and cloud. The warming trend that Matt talked about in the report video has lost a bit of its bite when looking at the forecast this morning (Friday) but it will still get warm for next week.
In this week’s report we look the Squamish and it is still fishing well. We also have info on the beaches both up Howe Sound and up Indian Arm.
Matt talks about the Vedder a fair amount in the report video and we have a recap in the Vedder/Chilliwack Report section.
Lake season is slow right now, but it is time to start planning your fall interior lake trips and Aidan has some information in that direction. We will be ramping back up with the lake reports over the next couple weeks when things start to cool in September.
Last but not least – Saltwater – What a weekend! Jason has a recap of the Vancouver Chinook Classic and information on the fishing this weekend. The fishing is still excellent but with the rain and an increase in the numbers of pinks, chinook fishing seems to have slowed just a bit. With this in mind, we might have to start paying more attention to our bait presentation. Jordan has a piece on brining and dying bait – check it out and the fishing detail’s in this week’s saltwater report.
On to the Report!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
Fishing continues to be good on the Squamish River for pink salmon. We had a bump in the river levels on Wednesday which made for tougher conditions but on the whole, there are still a fair number of fish in the system. We are starting to see some coloured fish mixed in with the chrome fish, especially in the tributaries. In saying that there are still lots of chromers to be had.
Before the higher water we were seeing better clarity and the smaller presentations were working better than the larger ones. Pinks tend to travel in shallow water so don’t be afraid to fish a physically light lure or use lighter sink tips to fish in tight to the bank. We all know that pink coloured presentations are killer but other colours to fish confidently are key lime and bright orange.
On a side note but very related to the Squamish river, beach fishing in Howe Sound had picked up earlier this week and was actually quite good with many lucky anglers getting their limits of pinks within a few hours. It has reportedly slowed down quite a bit since then but if you are looking to retain a Pink, this is an option for you. Small pink buzz bombs, spoons, or spinners are your go-to’s. The beach fishery for pinks isn’t necessarily limited to Howe Sound either. Other places to try are the mouth of the Capilano and Cates Park, both of which have produced pinks this week. Zach has a great write up this week on Pink fishing these areas so scroll to his report for more!
One last note I would like to share. On my most recent trips I have been seeing some very poor fish handling skills going on, so here is a quick lesson for any new anglers that would like to participate in this fishery. Keep in mind that it is a catch and release fishery and if you would like to enjoy this fishery right now and for years to come, handle these fish with care. This means not dragging them up onto dry land to unhook them or pose for photos. Don’t put your hands in their gills and don’t kick them back into the river. What you want to do is get into the water with them and keep them submerged as much as possible. A quick lift for a photo is fine, but you want to prevent them from bashing themselves on dry rocks and getting shake and baked in the sand. Even though it may swim off and look fine, a lot of internal damage can happen when a fish is thrashing on the ground.
If you have trouble handling fish or you are a new angler and don’t have a ton of experience check out this video Matt did last year on some simple tricks to be more successful at releasing fish.
Alright, I shall get off the soap box…for now. But get out there and go have some fun! The pinks only show up in force every two years here in the Lower Mainland so take advantage of it over the next little while!
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Overall the early red chinook numbers on the Chilliwack have been very strong this season but we are seeing the tail end of this fishery. The next push of chinook will be the fall run and they are just around the corner. We will also have pinks and coho arriving soon on the Chilliwack. Note: there have already been pinks caught. The Vedder pinks tend to ramp up around the 5th-10th of September with the Coho coming a little later.
You will see sockeye in the system right now. These fish are 100% catch and release and should be treated with care.
Matt has a bunch of details on the Vedder Chilliwack in the Outlook Video so if you are interested in this system make sure to check it out.
Skagit River Fishing Report
It’s time for dry fly fishing on the Skagit!
Though mornings can be a little slow, the hatches are coming. Nymphs early in the morning are still the best bet. However, once the air temps warm up it’s time to switch to the dry flies. Large grey or olive mayflies are the go-to searching pattern. However, matching the hatch is key. Having a good selection of smaller flies will aid in your ability to match what the fish are feeding on.
Bull trout have been in the system for a while now so it is key to be the first to target a pod. White streamers are the go-to, but other colours like black or olive can produce fish as well. If the fish have been targeted by another angler try a dead drifted black stonefly. This can often produce a bite from tight lipped fish. It may also get the attention of some rainbows
BRINING AND DYING BAIT
With August upon us, many saltwater anglers are targeting the returning chinook in our local waters. And with thousands of chinook come hundreds of people looking to capitalize on our record return year.
With so many people running the same set up, one starts to think on how they can make their baits stand out.
Enter Pro-Cure, a company who has its roots on the west coast, who specialize in baits, scents, and dying.
If you can get a fish to see your baits first or commit to a strike, you can have the upper hand.
In this video I show you a couple different brining and dying techniques that I like to use on the water, whether I’m fishing for fun or guiding guests.
Remember, you can always add more dye but it’s hard to take it away, so always start slow when adding it and increase intensity as you need to.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORT
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well last week was pretty amazing; lots and lots of chinook were hooked from the Bell Buoy all the way down to the South Arm. Basically the last 4 weeks were some of the best chinook fishing most of us has ever seen. Then the low-pressure system came after the weekend, and the rain came, and wouldn’t you know it, most of the chinook holding off the Fraser went up the river. Check out this graph that shows the catch per unit effort of the chinook gill net test sets off Albion. You can see it skyrocketed to way above average as a good chunk of the great chinook return, we are having went up the river.
The good news is we are having a very strong return of summer run chinook, which is now undeniable. The other good news is there are more on the way. We will continue to see more of these fish this coming week, and right on their heels will be the larger white springs headed to the Chilliwack/Vedder and Harrison rivers. So, if you missed out on the amazing fishing these past few weeks, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to get out there. If the white springs are enjoying some of the same high survival rates and strong brood stock years as the early run time red springs, we could be in for a pretty fun late August and early September.
As usual the best action has generally been in the top 70 feet of the water column, although on Monday and Tuesday some fish were caught down in the 100-200 zone. I can’t say I have seen this many times before; it could have been orcas (but none were spotted), the low-pressure system, or maybe all the pinks. Either way, it was interesting. This is where good electronics really pays off, as you can see those targets when they are down deep and adjust your depth. I have covered what is working in detail in other reports and I can some it up in one word right here. BAIT. Appropriate flashers and teaser heads with some bait and you are in the game.
We did have some reports of some decent coho fishing off West Van these past few days, as anglers caught their one spring and shifted to other species. Lots of pinks have been caught while fishing for chinook off the Fraser Mouth as well; so, once you get a chinook and a few pinks, give West Van a try for some coho. We will see more coho off the Fraser mouth in the coming weeks as Vedder/Chilliwack fish show up. Remember it is hatchery only for coho.
This year’s Vancouver Chinook Classic went very well. We had great weather and even better fishing! The weigh boats were kept busy on Saturday as the 50 teams that were entered enjoyed a pretty hot bite on Saturday morning. Eventually a few 20 pound plus fish were on the board and this cut down on the weigh boat calls. Sunday saw some pretty nice fish hooked that came close, but no cigar as they say, and the leader board held firm. Congratulations to Colton Snider on “Rod Father” for his first-place finish with a 25.13 lb chinook. Second place went to local guide Mark Shannon on “Saratoga” with his 23.47 lb chinook. Third place went to father and son team Myer and Ian on “Chasin Tales” guided by our very own Jordan Simpson with their 23.41 lb chinook. Overall it was a lot of fun and it looks like we raised a lot of money for the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Sport Fishing Institute of BC. The prizes donated by all our sponsors were amazing and the bids for the silent auction and live auction were fantastic! A big thank you to all the donators, bidders, the Pacific Gateway Hotel, the Weigh Boat Drivers, Pacific Angler, and all the volunteers who make this event such a great success!
Well that wraps up this week’s report. After a crazy week of getting ready for the VCC 2019 and zipping around in weigh boats, I am looking forward to some guiding this weekend.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Beach Fishing Report
If you have been following any of our saltwater reports lately the fishing has been pretty insane over the past few weeks. There are loads of chinook around and this last weekend there have been coho and a bunch of pinks show up at both arms of the Fraser. Pink fishing has started to pick up off the Cap mouth. We are hearing good reports of coho as well and we are also expecting the first chinook to be caught any day now off the cap mouth as well. The gear guys are doing well with pink, blue and white buzz bombs.
Furry Creek has been a bit spotty but anglers that are putting in the time are getting rewarded with both chinook and pinks
Another fishery that is worth checking out is the Indian River. It is a bit of a pain to access and it is always overlooked by saltwater anglers as the Rockfish Conservation Areas make Indian Arm a difficult one to fish. However, the mouth of the Indian River is a great spot to fish for Pinks at this time of year. All the traditional methods and tackle for both fly and gear will work here and if you can access it you should get up there now. Matt talks a little bit about boat fishing for pinks in the report video so check that out if you missed it.