First off sorry for a late report – we held off on sending the report until we knew what the regulation changes were going to be come July 15th. We had it on good authority that DFO was not going to honour their opening on the 15th to 1 chinook per day and to expect an announcement on Friday afternoon. Jason has more details in the saltwater report but in short all of the areas that were slated to open up on July 15th, will open, but the chinook must be larger than 62cm but cannot be greater than 80 cm. So effectively it is a slot limit of 62-80 cm.
Frustrating regulations aside we are looking forward to the weekend and getting out on the water. This weekend we will see some pleasant weather with a mix of sun and cloud. Temperatures will hover in the low 20s so maybe a bit cool for sun tanning but perfect for fishing.
So with the first question about regs out of the way the other big question we have been hearing this week is “Are the pinks in yet?” The answer is not a resounding yes, but it is time to start scouting with a reasonable expectation of catching something. The trolling fleet has hooked a couple off Bowen and fish have been seen in Squamish. We will have more intel and an overview of the fishery in next week’s report but our walls are filling up with pink gear and the fly bins are well stocked so if you want to prepare now come on down to the shop.
On the freshwater scene, the Skagit has been fishing well. We have a full update in the Skagit section below. Aidan just returned from a trip to the Colombia and with it, we have a species first in the fishing report. In 12 years of writing the report, we have never posted a picture of a walleye. Check out the details from his trip in the river section below.
Last but not least, we have a very cool and relevant fly feature from Zach. The Clouser Minnow is one of the best all-round saltwater patterns. When coho and pinks stage at river mouths we have found that a micro version of this classic pattern is a game changer. Check out his Micro Clouser in the fly feature section.
INDUSTRY EVENTS + UPDATES
Vancouver Chinook Classic – 2019
Have you registered yet? – it’s Game On for the 8th annual Vancouver Chinook Classic, the premier, nonprofit catch and release salmon derby fundraiser for the Pacific Salmon Foundation & Sport Fishing Institute. We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water again this August – fishing and having fun in the sun competing for the large cash prizes!
Date: Sat Aug 17th & Sun Aug 18th 2019
Venue: Pacific Gateway Hotel & Deckside Marina
3500 Cessna Drive Richmond
Prizes: 1st place $15,000, 2nd place $7,000 3rd place $3,000
Entry Fee: $350 + GST per person (max 4 anglers per team)
Registration: Register online here: https://www.decksidemarina.com/registration-form
- Entry into 2019 Vancouver Chinook Classic
- Complimentary moorage
- Breakfast Saturday & Sunday morning
- Dinner Saturday night
- BBQ and awards ceremony Sunday afternoon
- Drink tickets
- Discounted room rates at the Pacific Gateway Hotel
If you have any questions please give Deckside Marina a call at 604-970-4882 or email email@example.com
For more details have a look at tournament website www.vancouverchinookclassic.com
Thanks to all who participate, donate and support! We welcome all anglers from novice to expert and look forward to seeing everyone again soon – let the fun times begin!
Your VCC Derby organizers,
Pacific Gateway Hotel
Between now and Labour Day, purchase Trout School on the Greystone Books website to receive a 10% discount—with $2 from every sale going to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
In June we were part of a great event, the Vancouver launch of Trout School: Lessons from a Fly-Fishing Master by Mark Hume. If you missed the event you can get your own copy of the book and support the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
Enter the promo code PSF at purchase.
In Trout School: Lessons from a Fly-Fishing Master, nature writer and former Globe and Mail reporter Mark Hume shares the essential knowledge of his friend Mo Bradley, a Canadian fly-fishing legend now in his eighties. Mo is internationally renowned for his fly-tying advice and his sustainable, respectful approach to catching fish. That’s why we’re partnering with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, an organization that supports local fish just like Mo does.
Click here to purchase your discounted copy of Trout School today (promo code: PSF).Click here to discover more about PSF including how you can support their work to conserve and restore wild Pacific salmon and their habitats in BC and the Yukon.
CLASSES + COURSES
Fly Fishing On Beaches
This single evening 3hr seminar will cover the basic principles needed to be an effective beach fly fisherman 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 courses last year!!
Dates: July 15
Time: 6:30pm – 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.
Dates: Seminar July 17 & Casting July 20
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
There is still time to sign up for both of these classes. Call us at 604.872.2204 to reserve your spot today.
A classic and still debatably the best all-round beach pattern
Beach fishing for Coho is starting to pick up and my little birds are whispering about the odd Pink swimming around. While these two fisheries are still a couple of weeks out from really kicking off, I have started to tie up some patterns for the missing holes in my fly boxes for these fisheries. When it comes to beach coho and pinks you want to think about smaller patterns in a few key colours. Pink, chartreuse, and blue are all great colours to have in your fly box for these 2 exciting fisheries. This week I have a very simple pattern that fits the bill for both species when tied in the colours mentioned above. Let’s get to it!
Thread: 70 denier White and Chartreuse
Hook: Mustad C47SD Size 6 or 8
Eyes: Brass Eyes Small Chartreuse
Tail: Calf Tail White
Wing: Krystal Flash Pearl, Calf Tail Chartreuse
Start your white thread behind the eye of the hook and cover the shank with thread, end with your thread 1/4 – 1/3 of the way back from the hook eye. Now we will attach our eyes, I like to do “X” wraps and coat them with super glue to lock them in place. Cut a small clump of white calf tail and tie it in behind the eyes about a hook shank in length past the end of the shank. If you have a rotary vice, invert your hook. On top of the eyes, we will tie in 3-4 strands of Krystal Flash along both sides of the hook and whip finish. Start your chartreuse thread behind the eye of the hook and cut a small clump of chartreuse calf tail for the wing. measure and cut the butt ends so that the calf tail sits just past the tail. Once secured in place, build up a clean head on the fly and whip finish. For added durability, I like to coat the head and underbody of the fly with super glue or Solarez Bone Dry UV Resin.
This is a quick and easy fly pattern that will get you into fish. If you aren’t a fly tyer, I have some of these tied up for the shop and they are available in our fly bins so come on into the shop and get them while you can!
You can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish. Unless of course, you play Bass…
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Conditions have been great on the Chilliwack this past week. With a little bit of rain coming over the next week and much less bright sunshine than we normally get, we should see some good fishing coming up. The Red Chinook fishery is never really a “good” fishery in terms of numbers but it can be highly rewarding and having the odds in your favour with low light and suitable water conditions can change a skunk into a one or two fish day.
Fish early or late in the day and focus on the lower river to give yourself the upper hand. Drift fishing with roe or Colorado blades is the preferred method although you can definitely get them on lures and flies as well.
For those fishing the Vedder, please keep in mind that there are Sockeye in the system as well and you may encounter them. They are completely catch and release so please handle them with care.
Capilano River Fishing Report
Low and slow, that is the latest on the Capilano River. There are a good number of fish in the system now but getting them to bite is tough. Small lures and flies are going to be key at this point, as well as getting in there at first light. We still have a bunch of Andre’s Cap Buggers as well as lots of little Blue Foxes, Crocs, and Rooster Tails to try on a light spinning rod.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish is a challenging fishery during the warmer months of the year. Heavy snowmelt, referred to as “freshet” makes the water high and dirty. There are still opportunities to fish but limited shore access and obvious high-water safety concerns are not ideal. Though there may still be windows of fishing on the system, for the most part, fishing will be over until the end of summer. We will tune in when we start hearing reports of Pinks showing up around July/August.
Update: We are getting close! Pinks have already been spotted in the system and we have heard of a couple of fish being caught. We will be updating the entire Squamish report section next week. Stay tuned!
Skagit River Fishing Report
The weather has not been ideal but surprisingly we have still had some excellent reports. Water levels have not changed much from last week as the cooler damp weather has slowed the seasonal drop in water. Overall this is excellent. If you have been reading our previous reports, last month, we were concerned about low snowpack levels and possible low water issues later in the season.
As it stands now the river is high but crossable. This is key to covering water but know that a wading staff and some caution is recommended. It is lower than normal for this time of year but it is still high.
Most anglers have been keeping it simple and dry fly fishing larger grey mayfly patterns and nymphing girdle bugs, prince nymphs, and golden stones.
Brendan is out on the water today and we will have more details next week
Columbia River Trip
Although the weather did not cooperate, fishing on the Columbia was consistent. Generally speaking, we’re nymphing black stoneflies, or waiting for the legendary river moth (caddis fly) hatch to occur. This hatch occurs just as the sun creeps over the mountain tops. It’s truly one of the most prolific dry fly hatches in BC.
Rock Island and Beaver Creek had a healthy population of rainbows and the odd walleye in their respective runs and pools.
The Pend’Oreille is an interesting system to check out for you bass anglers. A system with both smallmouth, and largemouth bass. Get prepared to lose a lot of gear, the rocky bottom tends to claim quite a few victims. The majority of fish are the cookie cutter 7-9′ fish but some beauties have come out of there in the last month or so. Not to mention a diverse population of rainbows, lake trout, bull trout, and pike.
There is easy access to this system through the Buckley campsite, a short boat ride upstream will bring you to some nice weed beds.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORT
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well sorry for the late report today. I didn’t want to send out the report until I knew what the regulation changes were going to be come July 15th. I had it on good authority that DFO was not going to honour their opening on the 15th to 1 chinook per day and to expect an announcement on Friday afternoon. We didn’t know if it was going to be a continuation of the no chinook retention regulations, a hatchery only regulation, or a size restriction. The email finally came out at 4:30 and the regulation is a size restriction. In all the areas that were slated to open up on July 15th, they will indeed do so, but the chinook must be larger than 62cm but cannot be greater than 80 cm. So effectively it is a slot limit of 62-80 cm. Here is the DFO announcement and their reasoning behind it.
The problem I have with this decision is multi faceted. First off they could have easily made it one under 80 cm and one hatchery chinook over 80 cm. This would allow you to keep some of these large hatchery chinook that we are catching that have absolutely nothing to do with interior Fraser River stocks of concern. They are from the USA or are from local hatchery programs, not the interior chinook the DFO keeps talking about.
Below is a picture of a nice hatchery fish we landed just yesterday that measured out at 23 pounds and is starting to get a touch darker. This is not an interior Fraser chinook of concern. In fact it was hooked inside of Howe Sound and odds are it is a hatchery fish on its way back to the Cheakamus. No scientific or logical reason for this fish not to be harvested and it was well over 80 cm in length.
Secondly the interior chinook stocks of concern are all above the slide now. That is why they have the opening date of July 15th. If there was truly a concern, why did they already have the date set for the 15th and why has their been 94 gill nets openings in the Fraser for First Nations since April 19th?
Once again DFO is allowing other user groups to have direct impact on endangered stocks while they use the user group that encounters these same stocks at less than 1% as a media tool. They have to look proactive, so lets put in a slot limit to manage the 1%. This action will literally have 0 impact on chinook numbers approaching the slide. That big push of fish is long gone and had to get past 94 gill net openings. Managing us for a further 15 days in the marine environment is truly going to have no impact, but it does make for a great press release for them. Meanwhile they have no plans on how to actually save these chinook. They will manage them into the ground as they have other runs.
The third thing about all this is that we shouldn’t even be talking about this. The science shows that we should have been open for 2 a day all April, May and June as our impact on stocks of concern is historically 1% or less. Don’t forget that fact. At the very least it could have been hatchery only in that time period and there were lots of those fish around, it would have worked out, but we didn’t even get that.
So where can you retain chinook come Monday morning? Well for our local waters you can keep 1 a day from 62-80 cm in Area 28 and Area 17 and some parts of Area 29. So check out these maps, get educated and get fishing. One thing you should do is update your map card as it will show management area lines and RCAs and Sponge Reef Closures.
Here is the actual DFO verbiage:
Strait of Georgia – North – Areas 13 to 17, Area 28 and Subareas 29-1 and 29-2: 00:01 hours July 15 to 23:59 hours July 31, 2019, 1 Chinook per day with a maximum size limit of 80 cm; 00:01 hours August 1 to 23:59 hours August 29, 2019, 1 Chinook per day; 00:01 hours August 30 to 23:59 hours December 31, 2 Chinook per day.
There are other areas that will open, but I referenced ones that are relevant to our local spots. To find out what other areas are open you will need to look at the area map for your region and attached regulations. DFO Management Areas.
I am actually down on the boat right now typing this report, so here is a picture of what I was using on Thursday.
The top flasher in the picture is an Oki Tackle Betsy with a Yamashita Double Skirt in UV White on a 28 inch leader. This has been awesome for coho in the top 50 feet. The second flasher is a Gibbs or Oki Green Onion Glow and the third flasher is a Gibbs or Oki Purple Onion Glow. I have been doing well on UV Green or UV Purple Rhys Davis anchovy teaser heads with 5.5 or 6.0 inch anchovies and a 6 to 7 foot leader. Keep in mind we have been getting our chinook relatively shallow like 50-100 feet and this is what has been working where we are fishing. If you are fishing deeper, like over on the Gulf Islands, you would be better off with more glow in the flashers, some glow spoons and hootchies, and all of these were covered in previous reports. Chinook fishing is still hot, so I encourage you to get out there this coming week and get some for the BBQ.
Time for a quick coho chat now. It was pretty awesome and then in rained, the river came up, and the fish went up the Cap. It is still very early and there are lot more to come. It should pick up as the river is now back to a low level and the fish will start to stage from Point Atkinson to the river mouth. There was some decent coho action these past few days from Cowan to Roger Curtis, so that is a good sign.
The winds look great this weekend, as does the weather, so get out there and have some fun with all these chinook and coho. If you want to give DFO a piece of your mind, these are the decision makers and they need to be held accountable. Send them an email, they are starting to pile up for them, and if we all send them emails and letters it does make a difference. Let them know you wont forget the worst chinook management in the last 30 years and will vote accordingly come October.
Jonathan Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Thomson 604-666-0753 email@example.com
Rebecca Reid 604-666-6098 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Grout 604-666-0497 email@example.com
See you in the shop or the water,