For those looking to get out and fish our local rivers there is some much needed rain is in the forecast, though likely not enough to affect the local river conditions but cloudy drizzly days can make for some great fishing. Fishing on the Skagit this week was good with some consistent nymphing. On the Chilliwack we’re hoping to see more chinook enter the river, so now is the time to get your gear ready and head out to do some scouting.
With the continued heat lake fishing can be a tough. If you can fish some lakes that are up in the 5000 foot plus level, you can have some good fishing. If you’re staying local focus your fishing in the morning or evening to try to beat the heat.
We’ve got some good tides coming up this week for beach fishing. If you are fly fishing be sure to bring along a variety of patterns and a few different types of terminal tackle if you are gear fishing. These fish are picky, having a good variety will definitely up your chances of landing one.
On the local saltwater we have had some great catches of coho this week along the W. Van shoreline and it will only get better as more and more coho show up as the month progresses. We have also been hooking some chinook a off the Bell Buoy as we often head to this area later in the day after we have done some coho fishing off W. Van early in the morning.
Howe Sound has been a little slow lately. But don’t be surprised if there are some good days at Hole in the Wall in the next week or so as this is traditionally a good time for chinook fishing up there.
CLASSES + COURSES
Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out! There are still a few spots left in Andre’s Fly Fishing on Beaches course as well as Matt’s Introduction to Fly Fishing. These classes are sellouts every year so call the shop to reserve your spot
Fly Fishing on Beaches
This single evening 3hr seminar will cover the basic principles needed to be an effective beach fly fishermen in BC from Howe Sound to the east coast of Vancouver Island. Topics covered will include rods, reels, fly lines, flies, tides, and techniques. Andre Stepanian, the instructor for this course, has been chasing salmon on our local beaches for over two decades. Remember, east coast Vancouver Island has a pink salmon run every year and last year the Capilano had 12,000 coho!
Book this course early as we sold out all 3 courses in 2014!!
Dates: July 6 SOLD OUT, July 14 SOLD OUT – Spots left in the July 22 course, 6:30pm to 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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar: July 20, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Casting Date: July 26, 2pm to 5pm
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Seminar Date: August 12, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
On the water: August 14
As anticipated, without any rain in the past week, the Capilano is still very low and as such the fishing has been very slow. There is some rain forecasted for Sunday and early next week but it is likely not enough to bump up the river. If you are heading out, Please remember: ALL steelhead(adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
Tony and I hit the Skagit yesterday and had a great day, which included some conditions we have never seen before. The first big oddity was a complete lack of mosquitoes. Yes you heard it right – no mosquitoes to speak of on the Skagit River!? We think this is a first. Most years you are enveloped by a cloud of blood suckers the second you walk into the bushes. This was a very pleasant surprise but it raises the question why? Has this been a common observation from other anglers? Does it have to do with the lack of rain and snow pack? It also raises the question how are the seasonably strange conditions affecting the insect life in the river? The river was also very low for this time of year. We could cross in areas normally only passable in late August. We took the water temperatures and they seemed to hold in the mid 60.
When we arrived at the river around 9 we were pleasantly surprised to see a noticeable may fly hatch and a few consistently rising trout in each major run. A morning hatch is also a little uncommon on the Skagit. The rising fish seemed to be targeting pale emerging mayflies. This is a very challenging stage to imitate with a fly but nymphing hares ears and small light coloured bead head nymphs produced fish. With expectations high, we continued to experiment with different dries and emerging patterns but the hatch stopped quite abruptly around 11:30 and unfortunately never picked up again.
Fish were taken consistently nymphing small black stones, olive stones and golden stones over the entire day but never in any numbers and dry fly fishing did not materialize in the section they were fishing. That said, on a day when everyone hooks fish on such a beautiful river you can’t complain.
If you are heading out focus on floating lines and nymphing rigs and cross your fingers of a good hatch so you can switch to dry flies. For the leaders we recommend 9ft 5lb mono leaders for dry fly fishing with 2 feet of 5lb or 3lb tippet. When nymphing, you should be using fluorocarbon tippet and remember to be careful when tying fluoro to mono. The fluoro can cut though the mono if the knot is not perfect. If you want to get technical with nymphing, use full fluorocarbon leader and fluoro tippet. Fluorocarbon sinks faster and is stealthier but remember to change it for dry fly fishing because it will sink small dries.
We would love to hear more reports from this system over the next few weeks so don’t hesitate to call in to the shop. We are asking everyone to keep an eye on the water levels and water temperature. Though it shouldn’t be a major problem yet, if things keep going the way they are the entire ecosystem is going to be strained, so be extra careful how you release fish and how long you play fish. Remember that the Skagit is 100% catch a release single barbless fishery.
Over these next couple of weeks we should start to see more chinook enter the river, so now is the time to get out and do some scouting to find your red spring honey hole. With the water being lower than last year the majority of the reports we have heard are from the lower river as the fish will sit in deeper holding spots and move up river during the night. With the water being so clear we recommend the use of Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon in 12lb to 20lb test leaders, these fish typically aren’t leader shy but it can be a game changer if you downsize your gear when fishing pressured water. When fish are stale or just not on the bite adding some Pro-Cure Oil or Gel scents such as Prawn, Anchovy, and Herring to your natural or artificial baits can increase your catch rate. If you are planning on heading out this weekend you may have noticed something strange in the forecast, a slight chance of rain. It probably won’t be enough to affect the river conditions but cloudy drizzly days when the water is clear can make for some stellar fishing throughout the whole day.
Now is the time of year to focus on other fisheries than our local lakes. If you do decide to try lakes such as Rice, Buntzen, and Lafarge; morning and evening is the best time. Local trout fishing will pick up again in the fall.
As I mentioned in last weeks report bass fishing can be a fun and productive fishery to try out in the warm summer months. Check out last week’s local lake report for al of the details or drop by the shop and I can give you some tips.
If you’re heading up to the Whistler area, the lakes there may still be worth a try. Again, with this heat, morning and evening will usually offer the best fishing.
This can be a tough time of year for lake fishing and with the heat this past June and July you will need to go to high elevation lakes. If you can fish some lakes that are up in the 5000 foot plus level, you can have some good fishing. At these higher elevations you will still have some hatches and this time of year you might see some sedge hatches, which can make for some good dry fly fishing. There is also some good fishing late in the evening, or even at night, when the water cools and the fish move up onto the shoals to feed. Usually just at dusk a big leech pattern trolled along the shoal can produce some savage takes and some big fish. So don’t give up on the interior lakes, just head to high elevations and fish very late in the evening when things start to cool off.
Last week the tides were not the best to fish off the beach but a few fish were caught on gear off the jetty. I saw a lot of fish where we would normally be able to stand close enough and fish for them on a day with suitable tides. This is good sign as the tides from Saturday onwards are going to be good to cast to these fish. Make sure you take advantage of this, as the fish are fresh and it will get harder and harder the more you wait.
Every time you cast to a pod of fish and they refuse it, change your fly for the next time you have a chance to drop your fly near them. Fishing the same pattern all day doesn’t help your chances. Also be sure to vary your strips according to the fly you have on. If you are gear fishing; try Blu Fox spinners and Gibbs crocks, if you are fishing deeper water off the jetty or a boat try buzz bombs in Blue Pearl, Pink Pearl and Perch colours.
We are fully stocked on terminal tackle and flies for the arrival of pink salmon soon so come by the shop to stock up and get the latest report.
See you on the beach,
The hot summer continues and the coho fishing is continuing as well and is getting hotter by the day. We have had some great catches of coho this week along the W. Van shoreline and it will only get better as more and more coho show up each week. There is not enough water in the Capilano for the fish to get up the river so these fish will be stacking up along the shoreline from Point Atkinson to the mouth of the Capilano. The hot lure for us this week was the white or UV white hootchy, 28 inch leader, and a UV flasher like Purple Haze, Green Haze, Purple Onion, or Green Onion. The other key has been speed. Troll fast. If you think you are going fast enough, kick it up a notch. These fish like a fast and active presentation.
We have also been hooking some chinook as more and more Fraser chinook start to show up this time of year. We have hooked some chinook off the Bell Buoy as we often head to this area later in the day after we have done some coho fishing off W. Van early in the morning. The fish off the Bell are often caught in about 90-130 feet of water and for depths on the downrigger you want to be around 30-70. So if you fish 2 rods per rigger or you have multiple riggers, keep most of your gear in this area.
This fishery is all about bait. You want to fish a flasher with some glow tape on it and a teaser head that has some glow on it. We will run all 4 rods with bait as these mature chinook will respond to spoons or hootchies, but bait produces a lot more fish. So brine up your herring and anchovies and get the meat out! This fishery will continue the rest of July and into August and usually peaks around mid to late August, so it will still be a bit spotty right now, but if you put your time in you will get some nice chinook and most of them are reds this time of year.
Howe Sound has been a little slow lately and we have seen some of the Howe Sound guides venture out to W. Van for coho and the Bell for chinook. That being said, some of the best fishing is this week and next week for chinook on their way up the Squamish, so it wouldn’t surprise us if there are some good days at Hole in the Wall in the coming days. Much like the chinook at the Bell, bait is the top producer and top depths in this area are usually in the 90-120 range.
See you on the water or in the shop,
Jason, Eddie, Dimitri