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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: Friday September 22, 2023

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: Friday September 22, 2023



We are getting to the back end of September and with it we are seeing many of our classic salmon river fisheries ramp up. Pink Fishing on the Fraser is now closed but there are still some opportunities to target fresh pinks on the Squamish and Chilliwack. Just note that there are now many older stale fish in both systems. They are not great table fair if you are fishing the Chilliwack (where you can still retain pinks) and if you see pinks actively spawning in the shallows, we would ask that you leave them alone in both systems.

On the coho and chinook front we are already starting to hear some positive reports as well.    As of writing of the report there is a fair amount of rain forecasted for next week.  It will be interesting to see how much comes and what that will mean for our local rivers.    

Saltwater fishing continues to be productive although there have been a few slower days in the mix for sure.  

Check out all of the details in this week’s reports on the Squamish, Chilliwack and Cap below and Jason’s sturgeon and saltwater updates as well.   

The other fishery not to sleep on this time of year is the interior lake fishing. Jason is up there this week, and he has a report from the water.   If you are an interior lake angler, make sure you check it out and remember if you are heading to the interior things are still dry and fire season is not finished up there so be careful and respectful. 

On to the report!


Introduction to Fly Tying

There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course is 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 fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.

Dates: Sept. 27, Oct 4, 10 – 3 spots left!
Cost: $100.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners, & 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.

Seminar:  Sep 25, 2023 – 3 spots left!
Cost: $60.00+GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Fly Fishing for Salmon in Rivers

Fly fishing for salmon is one of the most exciting fisheries in the Lower Mainland. Let us teach you the techniques and the hot spots to catch salmon on the fly in our local rivers. In the 3hr evening seminar you will learn about rod, reel and line, sink tip, and fly selection. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water where you will learn how to read water and swing the fly!

Seminar: Oct 11, 2023 – 2 spots left seminar only
Guided: SOLD OUT
Seminar Only Cost: $60.00+GST
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $300.00+GST per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided:  Full Day

Fly Fishing Egg Patterns

This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3 hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.

Seminar Date:  Nov 21, 2023 – 2 spots left!
Guided:  Nov 25 or 26, 2023
Cost: $300.00+GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided:  Full Day

Fly Fishing Egg Patterns Vancouver Fishing Course Instruction Tackle Flies


Chilliwack River Fishing Report

The C/V system has been producing fish over the past week, but it simply has not rained enough to bump water levels up enough to get fish moving- the water is still extremely low and clear, and fishing is continuing to be a bit challenging as a result.

A nice one from earlier this week.

One of the main issues is that the fish are very limited in the areas that they can hod right now, so they’re stacking up in certain spots… and these spots are receiving a lot of angling pressure as a result. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a lot of flossing and snagging going on, which further complicates things for anglers who are trying to fish properly. There is some good news, however- there is a reasonable amount of rain in the forecast as of writing this report, so hopefully that rain actually shows up and bumps the water level up enough to let fish move freely. 

For those of us fishing ethically, the key to success is to find fish that aren’t receiving a ton of pressure- something that is sometimes easier said than done; your best bet is to put in some leg work and cover water, hopefully until you find some good water that isn’t super busy. If you can manage to find some decent water, you’ll want to run smaller presentations (think beads, small blades, yarn ties, small pieces of roe or jigs); don’t be afraid to give darker colours (or at least less fluorescent colours) a shot. There will be plenty of pinks and springs around, with a few coho mixed in. The springs will usually take the deepest water and force the pinks and coho into the shallower parts of the pool/run, so consider that when picking a run apart. 

Remember that the temporary “no fishing zone” at the Crossing bridge is still in place and will remain so until at least the end of this month; DFO may consider extending the closure if they continue to observe poor angling practices. Also note that the Cultus Lake sockeye will start pushing into the system very shortly, so be sure to positively identify your catch before you give it a rock shower. Cultus Lake sockeye are often “marked” via removal of their adipose fin, just like a hatchery coho- this can lead to confusion amongst anglers who get tunnel vision and only notice a missing adipose fin, thus confusing the fish for a hatchery coho. It’s not hard to differentiate between a sockeye and a coho, but always make sure you’re taking a second look at the “hatchery coho” you’re about to bonk before you bonk it- a quick glance at the back and tail (for spots) and the mouth (for coloration) will provide positive ID and might just save a critically endangered Sockeye. 

Taylor Nakatani

Squamish River Fishing Report

The Squamish is starting to transition through seasons, both in terms of weather and fisheries.
With the pink salmon nearing their end and the coho season just starting, anglers will want to be prepared with a variety of tackle. This should also include some lighter gear for the char and trout fisheries.

As mentioned last week, your favourite pink salmon lures are great for coho as well. Spinners, spoons, and jigs are all popular options, with beads, bobs, and blades being common as well. Don’t be scared to mix it up and drift beads under an indicator on your fly rods- it’s great practice for nymphing and will help keep you trained up and sharp on maintaining natural drifts and line control thru mending.

If throwing the meat is something you like to do, this time of year can offer some great opportunities to angle for large trout and char with sculpins and baitfish patterns. If this is something you’re curious about or want some more info, feel free to come see me.  I’d love to talk about big flies for predatory fish. For the gear anglers looking for the same, larger, slim spoons are great- such as a Gibbs Croc.

Flies for coho should be a mix bag with no real right or wrong answer. We do have our favourites for good reason, and we’ll be happy to show them to you. That said, most coho boxes should be a mix of large and flashy, down to small and sparse. This includes small muddler minnows, custom ties by Andre, and larger swing-flies.

Remember to cover water (in both Kilometers walked, as well as depths) with a variety of retrieves, strip set, and handle fish with care.


Jordan Simpson

Capilano River Fishing Report

The Capilano fall coho are stacking at the mouth and have started trickling in the river.

River: The river is still low, but some fish are still finding a way past the weir and through the skinny water. In early season it’s best to stick to very small flies, spinners, and spoons. The best reports have come from the cable pool and canyon areas upriver. This is usually a first light fishery so don’t forget to set your alarm and get out early.

The Beach: Coho are holding at the mouth waiting for the first big push if water. This will provide some great late season opportunities for the beach angler. Try to hit the low incoming tide as the fish will push up the estuary. We have low am tides this weekend that should yield a fish or two. We also have a solid selection of blue foxes in smaller sizes for picky fish.

We have some rain in the forecast but it’s hard to say how the river will hold up. Keep your eye on the water levels and plan your trip accordingly. We have a fresh batch of Andres Coho flies to stock up on before the rain hits. With the rain comes the fish… with the fish comes the crowds… Respect your fellow anglers and fishing environment. 


Eric Peake


Sturgeon Fishing Report

Sturgeon fishing continues to be good as the sturgeon are focused on feeding this time of year, fattening up in the fall before the winter temperatures set in and their metabolism slows down. 

They are primarily focused on the salmon that are in the river right now and that means pinks, as about 15 to 20 million returned this summer.  With all that food in the river the big boys are on the feed wagon and that makes for some exciting fishing. 

A stunning sturgeon from one of our trips this week.

Fishing will continue to be good for the rest of September and into October and early November.  We do have some rain in the forecast for next week, so that will be the first shake up in water conditions in a while.  Generally, the fish adapt quickly to changes in river conditions and our jet boat is covered and has a heater, so rain is not a big deal, and the local rivers need it.

If you want to do battle with the largest freshwater fish in North America that rips line, jumps out of the water and shows you who’s boss, give us a call to book your trip.  World class sturgeon fishing is only minutes from downtown Vancouver.

Call us at 778-788-8582 for more information or visit us online at Sturgeon Fishing Vancouver


Interior Lake Fishing Report

Things are cooling down nicely now with single digit evening temperatures in the interior and minus temperatures at higher elevations.  There are still some fall chironomid hatches on certain lakes, but we are starting to see the fish respond to other fall techniques.

A nice trout taken on the Tequila Booby and a fast sinking line.

On a trip this week the blobs and boobies were definitely working well, and the frost brought the water boatmen out.  Leeches were also working well.  As usual in the fall, you need to be ready for a variety of situations.  Boobies, blobs, leeches, water boatmen, baby damsels, and scuds should all be in your fly box.  Being prepared to fish these flies effectively means you will need a floating line, a clear intermediate sinking line and at fast sinking line.

This trout was taken on a water boatmen fished on a floating line in the surface film.

Hopefully we see a gradual transition on the temperatures, not a quick freeze like we did last fall.  So far this is what we are getting, and the fish are responding by moving into the shallower fall waters.  There is some great fall lake fishing ahead of us, so see you out there!

Jason Tonelli


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

We had a few slower days late last week with the Orcas making their fall rounds off the Fraser and seine boats pushing fish around off the South Arm.  Luckily things picked up substantially on Saturday and Sunday and early in the week it was great fishing for chinook off the South Arm and decent at the T-10 as well.

A solid catch of chinook from a South Arm trip earlier this week.

So far, the Cap Mouth has been slow and particularly slow earlier in the week.  It did perk up a bit the last 3 days, but usually we have seen a larger push of chinook to the Cap by now.  It looks like there is a lot of rain in the forecast for next week, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Sometimes the low-pressure systems really gather the chinook off the river mouth, but too much rain and they can shoot right up the river.

If you are fishing the Cap Mouth, remember the rotation of boats is right rod to the rocks.  So, if you are looking at West Van from the water, the rotation of boats would be viewed as counter clockwise.  This way on the flood tide you can troll into the current, right rod to the rocks (starboard side), so you are in the zone as long as possible.  Do not try and take the inside tack on the fleet of boats with your port side to beach (left rod to the rocks).

A chinook taken off West Van, likely headed to the Cap Mouth.

Keep a keen eye out for commercial traffic while fishing the Cap Mouth as well.  Stay well W of the green marker, which is the fishing boundary off the Cap Mouth, when the freighters are coming and going.  Also don’t be well offshore when they are around.  Best thing to do when the freighters are around is stay close to shore and troll W.  If you do this, you will be out of the shipping lane and out of harm’s way.  The freighters aren’t there long, so you can return closer to the Cap Mouth in short order.

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli