It has been an interesting summer for fisherman. River closures, late or low number salmon runs, mixed in with some pretty stable weather and some good lake fishing and river trout fishing.
We try to always be optimistic with our report but some weeks it can be hard. This is not one of them. I think our saltwater salmon fishing is about to really pick up. We have had some good to great fishing this week and though some wind and whales have been pushing the fish around we expect things to keep get better as more and more fish start to stage off the mouth of the Fraser. Jason has a massive report and he is sharing a ton of information on how he fishes this time of year so you will not want to miss reading it.
Though we have not been reporting on lakes in the interior, cold lakes like Tunkwa have been fishing really well and if we have a mild September we are expecting a very good fall lake season.
It’s still a little early for Vedder coho fishing but its time to start tying leaders and flies. It is only a couple weeks out. The Skagit and Thompson have been very good this season. During this time of year hatches sometimes don’t materialize but when they do, fishing can be very good. The Thompson closes at the end of the month but Skagit should be good for another month at least. Check out Matt’s report for details
Finally don’t miss out on our upcoming September classes and cool opportunity to support our friends at the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
CLASSES + COURSES
September is almost upon us and that means back to school. If you’re looking to go back to ‘school’ we’ve got a couple of great courses for you this September.
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie prone fly patters used here in BC for trout, salmon and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each season is 3 hours. Students are required to supply their own vice, looks and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: September 20, 27 and October 4
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.
Dates: Seminar September 21, Casting September 24
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time: 10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm
River Navigation Course Level 1
Tired of frantically rowing to get to a fishing spot but missing it? Being laughed at by your friends because you’re “stuck” in a back eddy? Feel uncomfortable going through rapids, or maneuvering through bridge pylons and wood, or not knowing what you should do if you flip your boat? Maybe you just bought a new boat and you’re excited to get out? Well this course is for you!
Pontoon river fishing is an amazing way to fish. Join KUMSHEEN to take your boating to the next level, Kumsheen’s River Navigation Courses have been designed to enhance the knowledge of river safety & dynamics in anglers of all skill levels. Some of the topics you will learn are: river features & terminology, hazards, and navigating. We have selected the Thompson River for Level 1, and the Nicola River for Level 2. Both are Kumsheen’s home rivers, and offer outstanding training grounds for beginners and experts alike.
Your instructors will be Braden Fandrich & Darren Wagner. Both have been rafting & kayaking for their entire lives, bringing well over 50 years of experience with them. They have taught a variety of white water skills to numerous groups over the past 15 years, making them the perfect fit for this course.
Link to course – https://kumsheen.com/contact/river-navigation-course/
Pricing: $380 (2-day)
Dates: September 10/11 Course Hours, 8am to 6pm, each day.
Meals: Riverside lunch, each day
Accommodation: Camping at Nicomen Falls is included.
Also Includes: In-class & on-river training, PFD/Helmet/Wetsuit
Contact: Kumsheen Rafting Resort 1-800-663-6667
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND INITIATIVES
Support the Next Generation of Salmon Stewards
Education is key to keeping wild Pacific salmon healthy and abundant. You can support the next generation of salmon stewards by supporting avid anglers Bill Watterson and Bob Kronbauer and their latest project.
Bill and Bob are passionate supporters of the Pacific Salmon Foundation – that’s why artist Bill and Bob created the unique ‘Salmon Spawners’ design. When you purchase a product, t-shirt, button, poster or print from this page, all proceeds will support grants to classroom education about Pacific salmon conservation. Every year the Foundation equips classrooms to teach students about the lifecycle and conservation of Pacific salmon. Students learn about the salmon lifecycle while raising young salmon from egg to fry in classroom aquariums. At the end of term, students release the fry into the wild.
Your support will inspire young people to conserve our watersheds and wild Pacific salmon for generations to come.
Learn all about it and buy the artwork/t-shirts/etc. here!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Currently it is not peak season for the Vedder, we won’t start seeing the first of the fall salmon till mid to late September. By then you’ll have a chance at catching some chinook jacks and the odd early coho. River fishing is right around the corner so it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at your gear and start tying leaders. We will have an overview of the upcoming fishery in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes open for that.
Capilano River Fishing Report
Another week went by with very little change to river levels on a bone-dry Capilano River, but there is some rain in the forecast early next week that could possibly shake things up! With a good number of coho showing themselves at the beach, a bump in the water could send a good amount of them into the river so keep an eye on the forecast! Even if this ideal situation does not materialize, it is not impossible to catch the fish that are currently staging in there. Keeping your presentations small will minimize spooking them; for gear guys that means size 1 through 3 Blue Foxes (or similarly sized Mepps) or a 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inch spoon like the smaller Gibbs Crocs and Kohos. Fly Fishing can be deadly in such low water conditions too. Stick to small olive or blue streamers, and don’t forget to load your fly box with a couple of Andre’s Capilano specials such as his Capilano Bugger!
Skagit River Fishing Report
We had some mixed reports this week. With closures and poor fishing effecting other fishing locations, there have been quite a few people enjoying the Skagit Valley. This is great but it has increased pressure and with it the fishing has been more challenging. Hike hard, find un-fished water and as always be as gentle as possible when releasing fish to minimize your impact on the fishery. Weekdays are definitely less busy.
This time of year you never know what kind of hatch you could run into. We have some mixed weather coming down the pipes. When it is rainy or windy the fishing is usually tough. Saturday looks ok but into next week we could have weather issues.
We have had a number of good bulltrout reports and when the weather is off you can still do well swinging olive or white streamer patterns.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Well it is a great time of year isn’t it? The back end of August is nice and hot, summer is in the air, and the chinook are rolling in! We had some good to great fishing this past week for chinook off the Bell Buoy, T-10, and Sandheads. The exact location depended on the wind. The hot weather brings in the NW winds and some days it was just too rough to get past the Bell Buoy. On the days when we could head south we had some fantastic fishing at T-10 and Sandheads. It seems the orcas also knew about the chinook showing up as we saw them multiple times this past week. It basically broke down like this. If the winds were favourable and the orcas weren’t around, the fishing was awesome. When the winds were blowing and the orcas were in, the fishing was a lot tougher. It really varied from day to day and even from morning to afternoon, but that is fishing.
This week we are going to take a detailed look at how to catch these chinook that are hanging around getting ready to go up the Fraser. The next 2 weeks will be some of the best of the year so use these techniques to get out there and catch some fish. The first thing we are going to talk about is how deep to fish. These fish are not deep. They are up shallow getting ready to go up the Fraser and getting used to the lower salinity waters. We catch these fish on the downriggers from 30 –90 but the most action is usually 40-65. If you are fishing 2 rods, 1 per rigger, try fishing 45 and 65 and you will do well. If you are fishing 2 rods per rigger, use a 25 foot spread and have one rigger between 70 to 80 and have the other rigger between 50-60. This will give you a good spread from 30 to around 80 and you have lots of gear in the most productive zone. Keep an eye on your sounder, as sometimes you will see the fish and you can further dial in your depth.
For flashers I am going to show you some of the best. The water isn’t too dirty this year so on your shallowest rod you should be running a metallic flasher. On my top rod, which is about 30 or so, I have been running a metallic silver Betsy with a matching metallic teaser head. This has been very productive. On my second deepest rod, in the 50 foot zone, I have been running a Green Onion Glow. On my third deepest rod, in the 60 foot zone, I have been running a Salty Dawg and on my deepest rod, in the 70 foot zone, I have been running a Green Footloose. The Salty Dawg and Green Footloose both have a lot of glow and this is important when you are fishing down in the 60-80 foot zone off the Fraser as it is pretty dark down there. The Green Onion Glow is perfect for the 50 foot zone as it has some reflective qualities but also has a strip of glow tape down the middle. Below you will see pictures of all these flashers and I took pictures of both sides so you can see the reflective tape as well as the glow tape.
Now let’s talk about what lures to use. If you want you can use a white glow hootchy with a 32 to 40 inch leader or a some sort of spoon that has some glow and green in it like a Pesca Gut Bomb or Leprechaun or a Kingfisher Irish Cream or Flamin Hans, and use a 6 foot leader with the spoons. Both hootchies and spoons will work, but you should put some herring or anchovy gel scent on there as well as chinook are highly sensitive to smell. If you really want to catch fish though, use bait on all 4 rods. These fish are all about the bait and it makes a big difference on some days if you are using bait versus a spoon or a hootchy. When I am fishing 4 rods I run bait on all 4. I often run 2 anchovies and 2 herring. It seems most are familiar with how to run anchovy so I am going to talk about herring today. My favourite way to run herring is to buy the green size. When you buy herring it will often be colour coded on the package. Red is small, green is small/medium, blue is medium, purple is large. The green and blue are the 2 most popular sizes. My favourite size is the green and you will get a killer roll on these if you put them in the Rhys Davis Bullet Roll teaser head. This teaser head was originally designed for larger anchovies but it works wonders with a green herring. If you fish these teaser heads with green herring you will get a fantastic roll and the springs really seem to slam it. Use a 6 foot leader of 30 pound test Maxima Ultragreen or 30 pound test Seaguar STS Fluorocarbon. For hook sizes I like a #2 treble for mid body on the bait and #4/0 trailer hook. For teaser head colours you want ones with lots of glow, green, and chartreuse. You will also want a metallic green and chartreuse one for your shallow rod when you are using the Betsy flasher. Below is a picture of these Rhys Davis Bullet Roll teaser heads all rigged and up ready to go for my charters this weekend. You will notice in the picture I have take a glow eye and put it on the teaser head. This is another good tip. Predatory fish that feed on bait fish all key in on the eye. That is why a lot of lures and flies make prominent use of the eye, as it is a well know fact among saltwater anglers around the world that predatory fish key in on the eye of their prey. So buy some of the glow stick on eyes in our teaser head section and stick them on your favourite teaser heads and your favourite spoons as well.
If you fish the flashers mentioned in this report with a 6 foot leader and some anchovies and herring, at the depths mentioned, you will definitely be getting into some fish the next 2 weeks. Most of the fish right now are going to be red springs and as we get into the first week of September we will start to see some of the white springs. The reds have been in the 10 to 20 pound range and the whites are usually a bit bigger from 15 to 25 pounds with a few tipping the scales in the 30 pound class.
These red springs are excellent eating and will make you a popular guest at your end of summer BBQ!
If you are planning on getting into some chinook this summer, this is the time, book now, or come in the shop to pick up all the gear featured in this report.
See you in the shop or on the water.