Well the rain we have been missing all summer looks like it is going to arrive this weekend. This much needed rain will definitely help our local rivers and hopefully bring with it some fresh fish. If you’re planning on heading out be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations as some closures are still in effect but we had some good news today that the Fraser has reopened. An overview of this is in this week’s industry updates section.
For our saltwater fisherman we’ve had reports from the beach of customers landing some nice chinook. As we look towards September, we’ll see the number of chinook and coho increase and the pink salmon. For those of you out on your boat, chinook has been the theme of the past week with good to great fishing on most days!
With September just around the corner, many of you are busy getting ready for back to school and the usual fall routine. We’ve got a great lineup of courses for September and the rest of the fall. Check out all of details below.
VANCOUVER CHINOOK CLASSIC
The Vancouver Chinook Classic is this weekend! We’re looking forward to reporting the big winner HERE in next week’s report! If you’re looking to enter last minute call us here at the shop!
INDUSTRY UPDATES – FRASER RIVER RE-OPENING
Please note that the Dept. is re-opening the Fraser REC. Chinook-targeted fisheries, effective tomorrow, SAT.,29AUG. & includes the following areas:
– Subareas 29-6, -7, -9 & -10 (Fraser R. mouth)
– Tidal Fraser (Below Mission)
– Non-tidal Fraser in Region 2 (Mission to Alexandra Br.)
– NOTE: continued NON-retention of sockeye and we are looking to minimize all impacts on sockeye
– NON-retention of Pink salmon at this time (to be re-visited when we are at the 1% rule for sockeye/pink ratios)
Fishery Notices announcing these actions to be released today –please refer to the DFO website for additional info.
September is almost here and so is our September list of courses! We have some of our most popular introductory courses as well as some great river fishing courses.
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar Date: September 16, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Casting Date: September 19, 10:00AM – 1PM or 2PM to 5PM
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 proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: September 14, 21 and 28 – 6:30PM – 9:30PM each evening.
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners and Spoons
This 3hr evening seminar covers float fishing, spinner fishing and spoon fishing; the three most productive techniques to catch BC salmon in a river. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar Date: September 23, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Upgrade this course to a guided trip!! Call us or come see us in shop for more details.
We have a full line-up of courses coming up this fall. Check out our full 2015 course listing here.
There is rain in the forecast, and it sure looks like it is going to show up this time! This rain should help the conditions on the Chilliwack and it may even bring in the odd early coho or white spring. If any fish are going to be in the system they will be few and far between so covering water is key. Typically these early fish will shoot through the river so they are spread out from top to bottom. Check the water levels before you go out because it will be interesting to see if the rain shows up and the river blows out or not. That will make or break your day. We are only a couple weeks out from our Fall Salmon fishery on the Chilliwack/Vedder River so now is the time to start gearing up for Coho, Chinook, Pinks, and Chum. Below are some fall favorites for fly Fisherman and fear Fisherman targeting coho, chinook, chum, and pink salmon in the Chilliwack, we’re fully stocked up here at the shop so come in and we can give you a hand picking out some gear for your next trips.
Stay tuned for the next coming weeks, as we will be writing some How-to’s for this fishery as it starts to heat up.
See you on the water,
Squamish River Report
We are still hearing great reports from the Squamish. There are thousands of fish in the system.
Water clarity may be an issue especially with the rain predicted this coming weekend.
White pink and chartreuse combinations have been the go to colours. Waves of fresh fish have been moving through all day long but the three best times have seemed to coincide with the cooler early mornings, cooler evenings and then a big push of fish around high tide but as more fish keep entering the system timing is less critical.
With more fish, you will need to take a couple factors into consideration. The fish that came in 2 – 3 weeks ago are now quite stale. They are less likely to bite because they are focused on spawning and because of this we have heard many reports of anglers snagging fish. Even if you did hook one the meat is way less desirable. Though it is sometimes un-avoidable please do your best to avoid specifically trying to snag fish. There are still lots of fresh biting fishing coming in to the system. To avoid snagging we recommend lighter sink tips, lighter flies and shorter leaders. When fly fishing the Squamish use light to medium sink tips with short 4ft 10lb leaders. I tend to use pink and chartreuse patterns in the 1.5 to 3 inch size and tie them bushier than the beach style patterns so they stand out in the water. Come by the shop and we can show you some options.
If you are gear fishing focus on pink and chartreuse spoons. Another great option to avoid snagging is to float fish with pink and purple jigs or simply pink wool. If the water is coloured go with bigger lures and if it is clear go as small as you can. In short we recommend having a variety of options with you when you head out.
The limit for Pink salmon is 2 per day on the Squamish but all other species are catch and release and it is strictly a single barbless fishery.
Where to Fish
We are hearing the reports from the Mamquam mouth area (the Mamquam river itself is closed) as well as reports from Fisherman’s Park. If you want to explore Fisherman’s Park or farther Up River use big presentations.
The Capilano is closed to fishing above the Highway No. 1 Bridge, be sure to familiarize yourself with the river and the closure location.
The Chehalis is closed to fishing.
The Skagit is closed to fishing.
The Mamquam is closed to fishing.
Again this week we haven’t had too many reports from any of our local lakes as those heading out are focusing on other fisheries. If you are planning on heading out, remember that morning and evening is the best time to get out there.
We’ve had very positive reports from Leighton, Tunkwa and Stoney lakes. On Leighton there has been lots of chronomid action with black/silver rib chronies, along with mayflies coming off in size 14 in the afternoon and then leeches at night. On Stoney Lake the fishing is unbelievable, with the hot tickets being boobie flies and Gumphus dragon nymph tied with natural deer hair. Soon it will be fall lake season and most of the lakes should start fishing well as the temperatures cool off.
I have had customers come in the store last week with pictures of chinook that they caught; it is a great year for chinook numbers and it already shows. Use a cleartip or full clear sink fishing for these brutes as they swim a little deeper than other salmon. Try fishing streamers, wooly buggers and bait fish patterns and hold on to your rod if you get one on the end of the line as they will take off like a torpedo. The bigger coho are showing up now and will hang around until late fall or the first big rainfall. The pink salmon are toning down a little at Furry Creek as they are heading up the Squamish River but there is still a chance that you might hit one more schools of fresh fish.
Chinook, chinook, chinook. That is the key word this past week. The fishing for the chinook has been good most days, hot some days, and just plain ridiculous on other days. I can’t recall a season where I have had and heard of so many double-digit days for chinook. The hot areas have been changing daily as the fish move around constantly. The Bell Buoy, North Arm, T-10, and South Arm have all had their moments this week. We have had a lot of good days off the Bell and North Arm, I would say more than usual, so that is nice, as we don’t have to run so far. In fact we have only been down to the South Arm once in the past few weeks because the fishing has been so good around the North Arm. The hot depths on the riggers have been from 30 to as deep as 95 but for the most part 50-80 has been hot. Your favourite glow flasher and glow teaser head will get the job done. We have been doing very well on a green or chartreuse blade with silver tape on one side and glow tape on the other. On the deepest line we will often put on a double glow flasher with a green or chartreuse blade and this has been hot as well. Teaser heads that are glow, glow green, glow green chartreuse and glow blue green have all been hot. We are using green size herring or 5.25 to 5.5 anchovies. We have been going through 20-30 pieces of bait a day on the hot days as we are also getting lots of pinks and some coho are showing up as well. I ran out of bait the other day and put on a Pesca Bogart 4.0 (glow and green) and caught a nice fish immediately and also got a nice one on a glow white hootchy. So make sure you have lots of bait and if you run out put on your favourite glow spoons and glow hootchies and you will do well. Make sure to put some scent on the spoons and hootchies as this will affect your catch dramatically as these chinook are very sensitive to smell, hence bait being so effective.
The whales did come through on Wednesday night and Thursday so the fishing slowed a bit, but as I am writing this report on Friday morning, I just got a call from a friend who is 4 for 5 at the Bell and it is only 8:00 AM so looks like the fish are back. It doesn’t take much more than a day for the fishery to recover from the whales coming through as the fish are moving around a lot with the tides. A spot can be dead in the morning and on fire in the afternoon and vice versa.
There has been a notable increase in white chinook this week and that trend will continue this weekend and into next week as the Cap whites, Chilliwack whites, and Harrison whites, start to move in. These are the big fish, with some 30 plus pound fish frequenting the Chilliwack and Harrison each year, so this is your chance to catch a big one locally.
With all the hot chinook action off the Fraser Mouth, there aren’t too many boats fishing W. Van. The coho and pinks are still there and there are some chinook as well. Lots of our staff have been fishing the Cap Mouth with their fly rods from the beach or form zodiacs and they have seen plenty of chinook jump and go under the boat in the shallows. This rain might get them stirred up, so it could be a good bet to fish the Cap Mouth on the flood tide for coho and chinook. We will have to wait and see how hard it rains this weekend and if it will raise the river enough to get the fish up the river or for the dam to open up a bit. With 40-50 mm forecast for Saturday and 30-40 mm on Sunday, there is a pretty good chance the river is going to come up a lot and the fish will stack off the mouth and then move up.
See you on the water or in the shop,