Welcome to August! While many rivers are closed, if you’re looking to get out and do some river fishing, pink fishing on the Squamish River is picking up for both fly and gear fisherman. Now is also the time to start thinking about pink fishing on the Fraser. Sam has some tips in his report below.
For those heading out saltwater fishing, this is truly a great time of year. There are so many options from beach fishing to traditional saltwater fishing, you can really customize your day on the water and choose where to fish and for what species. In the Vancouver Harbour there have been some great catches of pinks and coho all week long. Beach fishermen have a week of great tides as well to head out and chase pinks and coho. If its chinook you are after, we’ve had some success down at the N. Arm, T-10 and S. Arm. So pick your desired catch and location and hit the water.
August also brings the Vancouver Chinook Classic catch and release fishing tournament as well one of our most popular classes, Introduction to Fly Fishing. Read on below for all of the details on both of these.
VANCOUVER CHINOOK CLASSIC
Have you signed up for your chance to win over $50,000 in cash and prizes?
The Vancouver Chinook Classic is the premier catch and release salmon fishing event hosted annually in Vancouver. With a new location, based out of the new marina at the amazing Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond derby entrants will be much closer to the mouth of the Fraser and be able to enjoy the amenities of the hotel throughout the tournament. Held one week earlier to maximize on this years big chinook return, this 2-day event awards the largest cash prize of any fishing derby in Vancouver.
Not only do you have the chance to win amazing prizes, the tournament is also an opportunity to support local charities and salmon stewards. The Vancouver Chinook Classic raises awareness and funds for Capilano Little Ones School and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Last year’s tournament raised $10,000 for the Pacific Salmon Foundation!
Tournament Dates: Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th
Entry Fee: $1,500 per boat (includes up to 4 anglers)
Your tournament entry includes moorage, registration gift bag, hot fisherman’s breakfast both days, gourmet dinner including 2 drink tickets on night one, entertainment, awards ceremony and barbeque with 2 drink tickets on day two, and special daily prizes from our sponsors.
For more details and to register visit the Vancouver Chinook Classic Website!
There are just a few more spots left in this month’s Introduction to Fly Fishing course. This is a great way to get ready for fall fly fishing.
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.
Seminar: August 11, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Casting Date: August 16, 2pm to 5pm
Before you head out fishing be sure to familiarize yourself with current regulations and closures. As we have reported in the last few weeks there are numerous closures throughout the province.
The Chilliwack is extremely low, if you haven’t noticed. There was a spike in the graph on the 5th but that won’t do much in the long run. Focus your efforts on deep pools that will be holding more water than certain runs. Fishing will start to get tougher throughout August as less fresh fish will enter the river and they will be getting tight lipped. Float fishing bait is recommended but having a changeup bait such as prawns, wool, and a variety of scents is needed. Stripping flies in deep pools where fish will stack up can be effective as well, sparse chartreuse minnow patterns and muddler minnows will do the trick. You can use a full floating, clear tip, or a full clear intermediate line to target these fish.
Pinks will arrive around the last week in August typically. Casting spoons, spinners, and even buzz bombs will catch fish just make sure it’s pink. Fishing 2 hours before the high slack and 2 hours after is key as the fish use the incoming tide to enter the river. Fishing spots are located from Garry’s Point all the way to the Tidal Boundary in Mission. Fly fishing spots are few and far between, finding a spot with room for your back cast and away from the dog walkers is tough but with a little bit of research you may be able to find one. Some of Andre’s big, heavy, and pink “Fraser Pink Flies” will catch you fish.
The pink fishing on the Squamish River is heating up! We have heard of a number of great reports from the fly fisherman and gear fisherman. The oddity has been that the two methods have not always been working at the same time. It seems that one day the gear fisherman will be hammering them and the next the fly fisherman will be out fishing everyone on the bar. It is hard to say why but if you like to use both methods make sure to bring a spinning rod or float rod and a fly rod. At least for the last week it has paid dividends.
We have heard of people getting fish farther up the river as well but the reports have been spotty. The water clarity is less than ideal. If you want to explore Fisherman’s Park or father up river use big presentations. Fly fisherman should have large pink steelhead style patterns and if gear fishing use large pink jigs and large spoons.
We provided an overview of techniques 2 weeks ago but as a reminder when fly fishing the Squamish use light to medium sink tips with short 4ft 10lb leaders. I tend to use pink patterns in the 1.5 to 2 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 white spoons as well as pink and chartreuse spoons. Another great option is to float fish with pink and purple jigs. 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.
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.
Local Lake Report
We haven’t had too many reports from any of our local lakes as most are focusing on other fisheries. There are a few positive reports from those giving the Whistler Lakes a try. If you are heading out, remember that morning and evening is the best time to get out there.
Interior Lake Report
The fishing is really good at Tunkwa Lake. We’ve had reports of lots of chironomids hatching in depths of 14ft in chartreuse green with a red rib, black with copper rib and the rusty copper with brown are working well in deeper water. Leeches are also working in the evenings close to shore. In the Cariboo region a customer reported that Fawn Lake is fishing well also. If you’re heading up, drop by the shop and pick up some flies.
The good tides are here again from Friday August 7th to the 16th, with the best low tides from this Saturday to Tuesday. These are early morning tides and the chance of hooking a coho is high. Also the bigger coho should start to roll in as we get into August and
September. The numbers of pinks will likely decrease as well as the majority of the run head up to Indian Arm. At Furry Creek some days the fishing is slower and the next day there is plenty of fish as waves of fish come through and move up the Squamish River. If the water clarity is poor due to wind or freshet then use a bigger pattern and it doesn’t have to be pink; chartreuse, blue and green are another favourite to catch pinks. If you want to try your luck with terminal tackle we have plenty of spoons and spinners for both coho and pinks.
See you on the beach,
This is truly a great time of year to be a saltwater angler. There is so much to do in August you need to take a step back and choose where to fish and for what species.
If you are heading out for a half day or for a local trip, look no further than Vancouver Harbour. From Point Atkinson to the Cap Mouth there have been some great catches of pinks and coho all week long. The best action has been in the 20-60 range on the downriggers. The white uv hootchies have continued to work well for coho, and also for pinks. Some smaller spoons are also working well for coho and some of the fish we cleaned this week had 2-3 inch herring in their stomachs, hence the success on the smaller spoons. There are a lot of Fraser and Howe Sound pinks getting pushed into the harbour and they will bite the coho gear mentioned previously, but if you really want to get the rods bouncing, try putting on a pink hootchy, pink spoon or pink Apex. We have all of these items in stock and ready to go. For flashers we have been using some of our favourite go to flashers for fishing in shallower water, the Betsy, Green Onion, and Purple Onion. On the other side of the harbour, over at the Bell Buoy, there have been some chinook caught. The usual hot setup up of a chartreuse glow flasher, 6 foot leader to a glow green teaser head and anchovy, has been putting some nice fish in the boat. Hot depths at the Bell Buoy are from 40-80 on the downrigger.
If you are looking to do some light tackle fishing or some fly fishing, try heading up Howe Sound. There are lots of pinks in the Sound and you will often see schools finning on the surface, especially from first light until around 10:00 am or so. All you have to do is cast a pink spoon, spinner, or buzz bomb and retrieve it in front of these fish and it can be a fish a cast. Spin casting is good, but fly fishing is often the most productive method as the fish love to smash small pink flies and sometimes the larger spinners and spoons are almost too much for them. A floating line or clear intermediate line is suffice in the morning, but once the fish go a little deeper you may need to use a fast sinking line. We have a good selection of pink lures in stock for this fishery as well as custom flies for the pinks and any fly lines you may need. We are also booking charters for this fishery, so if you are a fly fisherman and want to try this, I highly recommend it. Catching pinks in the open ocean on a fly is a lot of fun and the fight on a fly rod is great.
Speaking of pinks, the Fraser pinks will be showing up by the millions in the coming weeks. We are already catching them while fishing for chinook off the T-10 and South Arm. These pinks will hit anchovies while you are fishing for chinook and of course if you put a pink hootchy or spoon on you will really start to get some hot and heavy action. It is a good idea to have a light spinning rod rigged up with a pink buzz bomb or have your fly rod rigged up with a sinking line and bright pink fly. When a big pod of pinks cruises by it can make for some fun light tackle action if the chinooks aren’t around that day. To target the chinooks, and it has been well worth doing so this week; fish the N. Arm, T-10 and S. Arm areas. Fish in 120-250 feet of water and keep your gear relatively shallow as these fish are up high in the water column. Successful depths are generally in the 30-80 range on the downriggers. Bait is by far the top producer for these chinook and we like to run chartreuse glow flashers, 6 foot leaders, and anchovies or herring in glow green or glow green chartreuse teaser heads. This fishery is just getting going and peak migration occurs in the coming weeks, so if you want to target some of these big boys, now is the time. We have a few openings left for charters as well, so give us a call at 778-788-8582 and we can take you down to T-10 or the S. Arm to get you into some big chinook. If you want to head out on your own boat we have a large selection of the hot flashers, bulk teaser heads, and lots of bait and salt in stock.
See you in the shop or on the water,
The PA Guide Team, Jason, Eddie, Dimitri, Warren