Well, it is going to happen. There is a fair chance that the warm weather that is forecasted for this weekend will set off the annual freshet. Yes, the annual freshet typically marks the end of our local river fishing for steelhead, cutthroat trout, and char for the spring. However, as the rivers rise from the warmer days the lakes in the interior are icing off and turning-over.
River fishing for bulltrout and cutthrout trout has been good throughout the Fraser Valley and Sea-To-Sky Corridor has been good with reports of lots and lots of bait balls making their way down the rivers. Long leaders and fry patterns have been the ticket for this fishery resulting in some very hard grabs.
We expect trout and char fishing to continue to be good throughout the weekend but we do think that the conditions will deteriorate by Sunday or Monday on most systems. Prepare yourself for low water visibility and rising water. The good news is that this can be some of the best fishing of the year as the predatory trout are feasting on fry migrating downstream as fast possible.
Winter steelhead fishing is winding down and will pretty much be over by this weekend. Frankly steelhead anglers are burnt out after a long, cold winter and are now looking forward to focusing on the interior lake fishery.
The Pacific Angler staff have also started to hear reports from the interior. Lake fishing is fully underway and you can only expect fishing to improve as we get further into May and June.
And lets not forget the local saltwater fishing. This week has had some mix results with the strong northwest winds playing a factor. Last Monday was better suited to surfing than trolling for salmon. Although the winds calmed down Wednesday night and Thursday morning it looks like the weather man is still calling for strong north western winds. When the winds have permitted “The Hump” has been producing some good sized chinook salmon. We also received the first report of good fishing at “Thrasher Rock”. Time to get your boat all cleaned up and ready to go for the May chinook fishery!
The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for sun and warm conditions over the weekend and into next week. The daily high temperature will range from 18 to 23 degrees Celsius, while the daily low temperature will range from 6 to 11 degrees Celsius. This spell of warmer weather is going to melt a lot of snow pack and raise the river levels. I hate to say it but this could be the true start of the freshet, which would mark the beginning of the end for the winter steelhead fisheries.
The Merritt weather forecast is calling for sunny conditions over the weekend and well into next week. The daily high temperatures will range from 21 to 29 degrees Celsius and the daily low temperatures will range from 3 to 11 degrees Celsius. It is going to be an amazing weekend to be on the water in Merritt and Kamloops.
The marine forecast for the Strait of Georgia is calling for northwest winds over the weekend, ranging from 15 to 20 knots. This will put a bit of a chop on the water, making things difficult on the ocean. Make sure to check the latest marine forecast as conditions can change rapidly on the ocean.
To keep up-to-date with all things Pacific Angler and the local fishing scene check out Pacific Angler Facebook and on Twitter. You will find our detailed river and saltwater reports below. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to drop by our shop @ 78 East Broadway, Vancouver or give our friendly staff a call @ 604-872-2204.
Vancouver Stillwater Fishing Report:
The following lakes have been stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC:
- Whonnock Lake
- Elbow Lake
- Mike Lake
- Rolley Lake
- Deer Lake
- Mill Lake
- Green Timbers lake
- Como Lake
- Gardom Lake
- Lafarge Lake
- Buntzen Lake
- Sasamat Lake
Fish Stocking: Go Fish BC posted on their FB page that the Clearwater Trout Hatchery is stocking Paul, Pinantan, Jacko, Logan 7 White in region 3 on May 1st and also has trucks going into region 5 for Kokanee and Rainbow releases all week at Chimney, Horse & Bridge Lakes.
To check the most updated list of locally stocked lakes visit www.fishingwithrod.com.
Click on the link for a detailed map of each lake, stocking report, and location – Freshwaters Fisheries Society of BC Fish Map. You can also check the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
As always please feel free to get rigged up for the lake fishing season at our shop. The friendly staff are excellent at explaining not only what gear you need but how to use it!
Interior Stillwater Report:
Interior Lakes Ice-Free as of May 2nd:
- Kane Valley
Winter Kill: Brian Chan reported that there was some winterkill on Pass Lake this year.
Why Bathymetric maps give you an edge: When preparing for your lake trips this year I strongly recommend using bathymetric maps to help prepare you. These maps will give you a visual of the contours of a lake, the depths, drop-offs and other information that can help you select great starting places on a lake you have not fished before. The link to downloading these maps is here: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/fidq/bathyMapSelect.do
You simply input the name of the lake you are targeting or the region to see if there is a bathymetric map available for your lake. I print these off and keep them with me when heading to new lakes!
Brian Chan was talking to Jason on thursday and gave this report:
Kane Valley lakes are all ice-free. Kid Lake has been good. Stump is done turning, is clear and could be good if not too windy. Roche is still dirty and will be 4-5 days at least before it clears. It has been super windy so that has caused lakes to turn and stay dirty. They haven’t had two days of warm weather in a row. He said it will all change this weekend with the nice forecast and it should get good!
Our friend Fraser was driving up to the Kane Valley on Tuesday this week and was suprised by old man winters last breath of 6″ of fresh snow in Merritt. Fraser reported slower fishing in Lower Kane but Englishman provided some good fishing on some red/black chromie chironomids he had picked up at Pacific Angler prior to heading out fishing.
Water temps on Courtney were 48-50deg on Wed and a few fish were caught in the 6-10ft of water on chronies.
Princeton: In the Princeton area there are no reports of lakes being ice-free above 3800ft. Pike Mtn has had good reports and we heard people did well on Kump last week. Osprey Lake has also been fishing well with trout in the 1-3lb range.
BC Brothers Stillwater Report:
The notorious month of May is here as well as the heat now. The interior Kamloops/Merritt region will be seeing some serious weather this weekend and into the following week. Turn over will be accelerated faster than the slow and steady pace with moderate weather. Lundbom, Roche, Peterhope, Sheridan, and most lakes around that 3400ft elevation level should be going through or just finishing turn over.
Stump, Jacko, Morgan, White and all other lakes that have had a few weeks of ice off, will be in good shape for stillwater chronimid fishing in regular depths.
Try different chronimids like darker and lighter ones if you’re starting on a new lake you don’t know too much about. Vary your depths and don’t be afraid to get up and move spots. Look for popping (surfacing) chronies. Take note of their colour and match them to as close as you can.
Also, if you haven’t invested in rod holders for your rig, do it! It would be a shame to lose your tools and I’ve seen it happen.
Kidd Lake was fishing slow yesterday, as it usually does. Water temp was 48′ and chronies were slow to come off. We’ll be up in Merritt this weekend to get a better idea of what’s going on and have an up to date report.
Good luck and don’t take your eye off the indicator..
Jay & Der
P.S. Call the guys at Pacific Angler and book one our Guided Stillwater Trips! There is nothing better than being coached and learning AS YOU hook up on the lakes! Here are the details to get you excited!
To view full BC Brothers Guided Lake Fishing 2013 details in our blog click here: https://www.pacificangler.ca/bc-stillwater-guided-fishing-spring-2013/
Vancouver River Fishing Report:
Squamish/Cheakamus Rivers – With the high temperatures coming this weekend the squamish will potentially blow out with spring freshet. The cheakamus, being dam controlled will likely rise, but still be fishable. Go online to the BC Hydro Graph for water levels before you go. Here is the link that lists all the stations you can view: http://www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/text_search/search_e.html?search_by=p®ion=BC
Capilano River – Waiting for the coho!
Seymour River – No reports available
Fraser River – Freshet is in full swing on the Fraser as of the posting of this report. You may be able to find some cutties in the lower tributaries where you will find these aggressive trout hammering any salmon fry they can find. Reports have been good on sturgeon fishing and if this is of interest to you, we have the gear and can also set you up on a guided Sturgeon expedition!
Chilliwack/Vedder River –
The river is still in prime condition, and there are fresh fish moving in. We are looking at about a weeks worth of hot weather coming up and this will most likely raise the river and put it into freshet. The river is fly fishing only as of May 1st, from the vedder crossing bridge to the highway 1 bridge. With the warm spring conditions, and higher water temperatures lighter sinktips and un-weighted flies are a great option. The fish are active and willing to chase and grab at a variety of different bugs. Fish with confidence, and cover water, the rewards are there to be had.
Chehalis River – The river is closed to fishing from May 1st to 31st.
Stave River – I have heard of few reports from customers that there is still cutthroat slashing fry. It is still worth while check out the Stave River as levels don’t fluctuate that much, due to the dam. There is also whitefish that are fun to fish for if you are willing to practice your dry fly fishing. Use tiny midges or mayflies and a very light tippet and you will have your 3 weight bent with some of the larger fish. Again make sure to only park on the east side were permitted.
Harrison River – The river is rising steadily and will continue as this weekend the temperatures are above 20 degrees Celsius. The water level is right up to the banks of the river which makes for hard wading to get to your usual spots. There is a chance to fish at Kilby Park area still but you will have to hope that the fish are there.
If you are willing to drive to Harrison Hot Springs and launch your boat from there you might find Cutthroat on the beach or in the bays. There is still a lot of fry to be had by these fish so don’t hang up you light fly rods yet.
Skagit River – CLOSED
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
Well, it is May and that means one thing. The spring chinook are here and it is time to get out in your boat or book a Vancouver salmon charter for some of the best chinook fishing of the year! The sunny days bring on the NW winds that can be annoying when trying to get out to S. Bowen or Gabriola, but those who have made it out have been getting into some fish. Many of you have seen or heard of the 31lb slab caught on Soloway in the back end of April, off the Hump. We also heard reports yesterday of a fish of similar size somewhere over at Gabriola, so there are some pretty big slabs out there right now which of course adds to the allure of Vancouvers local salmon fishing!
The chinook salmon fishing at the Hump off S. Bowen has been decent of late. The best depths seem to be in the 80-110 range with some chinook being taken as shallow as 60 and as deep as 160, but most around 100-110. The algae bloom is in full force and the heat we are going to get this weekend will get the Fraser River freshet going. So expect the water colour to be dirty in our local waters. That means glow flashers, glow teaser heads, and glow spoons will all be working well. We have good stock on all the top glow flashers, including double glow flashers, a huge selection of glow teaser heads, and of course all the top glow spoons like Irish Cream, Glow/Green, Yellow Tail, and Homeland Security. We also have good stock on anchovies right now, including some nice 5.5 inch ones. Some of the nicer ones I have seen in awhile.
The North Shore Fish and Game Club Derby is this weekend so if you want to enter give Derek Hardy a call at 604-444-9117. This is a great event with some awesome prizes and lots of good company. Unfortunately I am out of town this weekend so I won’t be able to enter, Eddie is guiding all weekend on the Salty Dawg so he won’t be able to enter either. Hopefully the winds won’t be too strong and some nice chinook get caught. Last year the fishing was excellent!
I was out last Saturday and the wind was brutal and the pursuit of a good chinook was tough. A sharp contrast from the fishing I enjoyed a few weeks before. We had to hide in behind Bowen for a little while but we did manage to spend a fair amount of time on the Hump but were unable to find any fish. A few other boats were out that day and the odd fish was taken but it was a little slow. Eddie has been out a few times this week and has found a few chinook at the depths and lures mentioned earlier.
Things seem to be picking up over at Gabriola right on schedule. There have been chinook taken offshore in 800-1000 feet of water and 120-180 on the downriggers. The usual hootchies and spoons are working; Irish Cream, Glow/Green, Yellow Tail, Night Rider, Kitchen Sink, Homeland Security for spoons with a 6 foot leader to your flasher and for hootchies, the glow green or glow blue spatter back are working well with a 30-34 inch leader to your flasher.
Eddie will be guiding on the Hump this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I am out of town for a week so I won’t be heading to Thrasher, but can’t wait to go there when I get back! Our days are filling up fast for this exciting fishery so if you want to book a day over at Thrasher Rock on Gabriola Island, for some of the best chinook fishing of the year, you should give us a call right now! You can view all of our rates and salmon charter options at our Vancouver Salmon Fishing Charter website: www.vancouversalmonfishing.ca
See you on the water,
Jason & Eddie,
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Dimitri, Andre, Dave, Eddie and Bryce