There is some thunder and rain in the forecast for the interior. Up the valley we can expect some showers but the Vancouver weather forecast has improved over the last 12 hours and if the weatherman is on his game it looks to be a pretty nice mix of sun and cloud over the weekend. With any luck this will mean good fishing conditions for the local fisheries.
The Capilano got a short but heavy bump of water last week and we have had reports that some larger than normal coho have already reached the cable pool. As always they have been tight lipped in the middle of the day but it is definitely worth looking at if you are heading up for an early morning fish.
A bump of water will hurt the beach fisherman and the drownrigger anglers fishing off Ambleside toward Point Atkinson but the river has been low for a few days and with any luck some more fish will be stacking up along the North Shore soon. Check out the Capilano River report and the Beach Fishing Report for more details.
The Vedder has been slow but water conditions are getting very good. We expect good reports soon and they could come this weekend. If you want to get out float fishing for chinook it might not be a bad weekend. In the next 2 weeks expect a strong push of fish to enter the river. Will it be this weekend? Alex’s Vedder River fishing report has the latest intel.
The Skagit and Thompson anglers have been out fly fishing for rainbows and we have had some good early reports. Both are still a little high for ideal fishing conditions but they are dropping. The Thompson has dropped almost a half meter in the last 7 days. Matt is heading out to the Skagit this weekend so we’ll have a detailed report after his trip.
On the saltwater scene fishing has been hit and miss. There are a number of spots producing fish but no stand out “hot spot”. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report for details on all the spots that have been working and what we predict for the near future.
5th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic – August 20 + 21, 2016
We keep reminding you to sign up for this event because we just don’t want you to miss out! For only $300 per registered angler you can spend the weekend on the water and land the winning fish!
Aside the chance at $15,000 for reeling in the winning fish registration includes a hot fisherman’s breakfast each morning, moorage at Pier 73 Marina and Yacht Club, Saturday evening dinner and an afternoon BBQ awards ceremony on Sunday. All that plus some amazing prizes!
Check out all of the details for this year’s tournament and download your registration form here!
CLASSES + COURSES
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. There are still a few more spots in next Monday’s class. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up today.
Dates: July 18
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing – July 20 – SOLD OUT
The July course is fully sold out so be sure to call in and reserve your spot in our August course!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder River is shaping up nicely! After a relatively calm week weather-wise the river has come down a bit and the clarity is superb throughout the entire river. Every day there are more and more fish showing up and as we reach the third and fourth week of July we will be entering the peak of the red chinook run. While we are still a fair bit away from peak-season numbers red chinook have been caught throughout the river, with the lower section being more productive than the upper. Good numbers of sockeye have been pushing through the river as well; please remember that ALL sockeye must be released with care.
With fair weather forecasted for most of the upcoming week, we can expect the river to maintain its clarity and to continue to drop. Drifting bait such as roe or prawn tails have been producing fish relatively consistently in the early morning. If you want to avoid the messiness of bait, Colorado blades are a great alternative for drifting. In addition, with the lower water levels we can expect more decent lure fishing water to open up. Fishing will continue to improve so get out there in the next couple of weeks to have a good shot at a clean red chinook!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano River continues to be low which makes for very difficult fishing. However, there are a good number of coho salmon in the river itself and there are a few ways to trick these fish into biting. Casting and retrieving small spoons such as a 3/16oz Gibbs Croc and spinners like a size 2 Blue Fox Vibrax can be effective at times. Fly fishing in these low water conditions can also be extremely effective, with small olive flies such as Andre’s Cap Bugger.
There is currently some minimal rain in the forecast for Sunday and Monday, which may possibly bring the water up. If this is the case, fresh fish will come into the river and drift fishing with bait becomes a viable option. First and last light will give you an advantage in finding the willing biters. This is a tough fishery but with the right methods and the right timing you can be rewarded.
Skagit Fishing report
Well I am off to the Skagit this weekend. We are planning a three-day drift and it should be fun. The weather could be a little better and the water levels could be lower but I am still optimistic. Reports from this week have been mixed. From what I gather the river rose a bit over the last couple days and this is not good for both the fishing and access. I consider it right at the cusp of the levels I like to see to allow anglers to walk and cross the river freely. I have not been up this season so I may be off on my water level predictions. I will have a much better gauge of the levels next week after this trip.
We have heard a number of reports from anglers finding fish on nymphs and emerger patterns and quite a few bull trout reports.
Next week you will get to see a full report on what gear I bring on a Skagit trip and with any luck a report on what worked and what didn’t. I am hoping there will be more of the “what worked” and less of the “what didn’t” but we will see.
To increase your chances of success make sure to have the ability to switch between nymphing, swinging and dry fly fishing. For nymphing you will need split shot, fluorocarbon 4-5lb leaders, 4-5lb fluorocarbon tippet and indicators.
My favorite flies include, Golden Stones, Olive Stones, Olive Mayfly Nymphs, Prince Nymphs and Hare’s Ears. Also don’t be scared of fishing a light small nymph pattern just under the surface.
This time of year it is common to see fish rising on flies just under the surface. A dry fly will very rarely catch these fish and it can be frustrating. If you use a very small indicator 2 feet up from you fly and use floatant on the tippet and fly to sink it just under the surface these fish are catchable.
On the swung fly front, make sure to have a sinktip line, Commando Head or simply have a medium to heavy Versi Leader in you kit. (The Versi Leader loops onto a standard floating line turning it into a sink tip). From your sink tip run a short 4ft 8lb piece of tippet. For flies I like olive, black, purple and white streamer patterns from 2.5 inches long all the way up to 4 inches. This is how I target the bull trout but I have had lots of rainbows hit this presentation as well. I will be playing around with the New Sage X Rod with a Commando head this weekend as my swinging rod. We will see how it fairs.
Lastly, dry fly fishing. For many of us this is why we go to the Skagit and though there have not been a ton of reports on hatches we have had customers catching fish on dry flies. Use standard 9-10ft mono leaders with 3.6lb – 5lb tippet (mono wont sink as fast a fluorocarbon).
If you have looked at my dry fly box you will know I don’t have a favourite. I have a hundred favorites. But if you are building a Skagit box and don’t have 500 dry flies. I would focus on size 10-14 grey mayflies, 10-14 green mayflies, some small yellow caddis, some larger yellow or orange caddis/stonefly attractors and then build the arsenal. Every time I go out I see or find a bug that I have not seen before. After the trip I sit down at the vise or hunt the fly bins at the shop for the closest match. I will then buy or tie at least 4 of them. I have been doing this for many years so my collection is huge but if you start now you will have a well rounded box before you know it.
Good luck and I might see you on the water!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
North Vancouver Beach Fishing Report
The tides are looking great this week and there is minimal rain in the weather forecast therefore the Capilano river levels should remain low. There were a lot of coho in the Cable pool last week in the range of 8-9 pounds which is bigger than your average size for this time of year so hopefully they will accumulate in the estuary for the rest of the summer if we don’t get any heavy rains. There is fish in the estuary already but you have to be patient and wait for them to show, don’t rely on jumpers so much as these fish can be a fresh school, look for any disturbance on the surface and then cast you lure to the pod. Cast ahead of the pod and bring you lure into them and look to see which direction they are swimming and cast well in front of them. I will be teaching the last fly fishing of the beach” course this Monday so if you are new to this fishery or have any unanswered questions I can hopefully help you.
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
In general the fishing was pretty tough this past week for coho and chinook. The coho are around but they seem to be getting a pass with the recent rains and heading right up the river. The Capilano River is full of nice size coho, some of them up to 8 pounds, above average size for this time of year. There is 1 day of rain forecast for Monday and then it looks like the rest of the month is forecast to be hot and sunny. This should keep the river low and cause more coho to sit off West Van so we should see a marked improvement in the coho fishing in the back end of July. Check out last week’s fishing report for specific details on what flashers and hootchies to use for the coho. The chinook fishing off the Bell Buoy has also been pretty spotty as well. I think this will pick up this week as there are definitely some more fish starting to show up in the test sets on the Fraser River. This is pretty standard for the back end of July, more coho show up, the Cap gets low so they stack up, and more chinook show up. So fingers crossed, but I think we have gotten through the slow part of early July and the fishing should really pick up in the back half of the month.
Over on the other side of the pond, aka Gabriola and Nanaimo, we are seeing good numbers of hatchery and wild coho and some chinook as well. The coho seem to be down about 75 to 150 on the downriggers and the chinook are hitting the bait right on the bottom in 180 to 200 feet of water. The same flashers and hootchies we use for the coho off West Van are productive in this area as well. For the chinook we have been doing well with the Oki Double Glow flasher and glow hootchies and glow spoons. Some of the standout hootchies have been just straight glow and glow with a splatter back. Productive spoons have been Pesca 3.5 and 4.0 sizes in Gut Bomb and Sucker Punch. If you want to get some chinook like the ones pictured here, be prepared to fish deep. These fish were caught using 18 pound cannonballs and fishing 200-240 on the riggers.
Up in Howe Sound things have been relatively quiet. There has been the odd big Squamish chinook caught around Hole in the Wall but for the most part it has been slow. As mentioned in previous reports, if you do get one it is usually a good size and worth the wait.
So although it has been a slow week, you can see we are still getting some fish. I know the guides are eagerly awaiting the arrival of some more coho and chinook and we excited about what next week has to offer.
See you in the shop or on the water,