Happy Friday! We are looking forward to another great weekend on the water. We have a good week for weather and things are cooling but there is still no rain in sight. Our best wishes go out to those in the Interior facing fire issues.
For those that are looking forward to pink fishing as we write this report “no”, the pinks have not shown up yet 😊 but now is the time to start looking off local beaches and it could be any day.
The big news this week is we do have a limited chinook opening for specific areas in the Georgia Strait. This came into effect yesterday and though many in the sport fishing community were hoping for some opportunities closer to home. The openings across the strait are better than none! As with all fisheries announcements things are exactly clear in the initial notices and the DFO app had incorrect information on it. When in doubt, go with the actual fisheries notices! We’ll have more details including a link to a map that depicts the regulations on the blog this weekend.
In other fisheries announcement news, the mainstem Squamish River is now open for pink salmon non retention opportunities as of July 15.
The dry weather has dropped our rivers and we are hearing pretty good early red chinook reports off the Chilliwack. We have details in the river section below.
The trout fishing has also been good and the major trout fisheries are now in at fishable levels. We have an update on that as well.
Check out this week’s video version of the Friday Fishing Report here!
On to the report!
CLASSES AND COURSES
We’ve wrapped up our classes and courses for the summer but we will be back at it in September with these classes.
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course is specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. The course is comprised of two sessions; a 3hr evening Zoom seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar Date: September 21 Casting Date September 26
Seminar Time: Zoom Seminar 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 4:30pm
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. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar: Sep 27, 2021 Guided: Oct 1, 2, 15 or 16, 2021 Custom Trip Dates Available
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00+GST per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The dam has been closed for a considerable time now. This makes the river a challenge for conventional fishing. In short, not many fish enter the river and the ones in the system get very wary. The fly guys and gear anglers who get super technical with small presentations can still find fish when focusing on times of low light.
The flip side to the low river water is that we are hearing better reports from the beach. The low water concentrates coho at the mouth of the river and the reports from the last couple of days have been good. See Jordan’s beach fishing report in the saltwater report section below.
Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report – Outlook
The Vedder/Chilliwack system has been fishing surprisingly well for the past week, with water levels dropping fast but currently at an almost perfect level with very good visibility. Normally, we don’t see many fish caught until about the 15th of this month but, for some reason, the springs seem to have pushed in a bit earlier than usual. As such, the lower river in particular has been fishing remarkably well.
Lower-than-average water levels for this time of year mean that fish won’t be shooting up the system quite as fast as they usually do, so keep that in mind when choosing an area to fish… there won’t be many fish in the upper part of the system just yet, so consider focusing your effort on the mid or lower sections. As usual, larger presentations are usually a good idea for springs; they’re big, aggressive fish that won’t hesitate to inhale a big gob of roe or a 14mm bead. Shrimp, gooey bobs, wool, Colorado blades and jigs will also work. Remember that summer chinook usually like to hold in relatively fast, deep water, so target those areas accordingly. First and last light are, as always, the best times to target these fish.
There will also be variable numbers of sockeye showing up shortly, if not already. Contrary to popular belief, sockeye do and will bite, and will often be encountered as by-catch when targeting springs. They fight incredibly hard for their size, but please treat any sockeye you happen to encounter with care and respect, as the Vedder/Chilliwack run are an at-risk population that is closed for retention. Follow proper fish handling as well as catch & release procedures to ensure survival of released specimens.
River Trout Fishing Report
The water on both the Skagit and Thompson is coming down nicely and we have heard good reports from this week.
Most fish were taking nymphs but we heard of some dry fly action as well as some good bull trout fishing closer to the lake.
On the Thompson, we have also heard some good reports about the standard large dries like the Cali blond putting up good numbers.
Obviously, the Thompson area is challenged right now with fire issues so be safe and check the Fire Map for up-to-date info.
Be safe out there.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
This past week saw more fish showing up off the West Vancouver beaches. With each passing day and tide, more and more fish are stacking up.
There are some better tides later into the weekend with the flood being early morning, meaning that each day the tides are getting later and later.
There are some big tides so be careful if fishing from a watercraft, especially if it starts to ebb against a Northwest wind.
We have heard some standard-issue reports of a few fish taken off the beach, with the incoming flood being the common theme. This makes sense as it pushes fish towards the mouth and towards the shore, making them easier targets for those angling from the beach.
Small and sparse has always been a good rule, though not the law, when fly fishing the beaches for coho. Patterns that imitate krill and euphausiids are always standard fare, but small flash flies can also pay off so make sure to have a few of those tucked in your box.
For those on traditional gear, small spinners and spoons can sometimes be the ticket, with your Buzzbomb and Zingers always being in reach. Lures such as the Gibbs Croc, Mepps Aglia, Blue Fox, and Prime spoons are all great choices.
This is also a pink salmon year, making for a potentially fun summer fishery. Medium-action rods paired with small pink spinners and spoons are all great choices. We haven’t heard anything solid regarding pinks yet, but keep your eyes open to the report and our various socials for any upcoming news. If you’re curious to see what lures and flies we like, come on into the shop and we can personally show you some of our favourites.
Remember, it is barbless hooks while targeting salmon, and care should be taken when handling fish that are to be released.
Also, keep in mind that the tide can come in quickly with these big exchanges, so be aware when you start to become one of the last few people standing out on the slowly disappearing sandbar.
Last Minute Update: Andre sent in these pictures from yesterday as well as a shot of the fly that made it happen. The fishing was quite good. We will have some of these patterns in the shop soon and have many more that follow similar design.
We have also not heard of any pinks off the beach yet but now is the time to start looking. We have had some reports from the saltwater fleet around Bowen so it should be soon.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Summer Bass Feature
It’s sunny and it’s hot out. This warm weather is pushing a lot of people outside and though trout season has ground to a halt on our local urban stillwater scene, that doesn’t mean you can’t fish these lakes and ponds! A number of local systems support a fishery for spiny ray species that thrive in this warmer water and can be readily caught in the right conditions. The Largemouth Bass, in particular, seems to be synonymous with tan lines and bikinis at this time of year when you will find a higher quantity of active fish. If you just want to catch a bass to check it off the bucket list, this is the time to do it. It is a fantastic fishery for those wanting to wet a line but not wanting to chase after lethargic trout in the middle of the summer doldrums.
Summer Bass fishing can be explosive but, it does come with a technicality to it. The fish will be warm and active, but they actually don’t like it too hot or too bright. Light penetration is key with bass as the direction and intensity of light penetration will position these fish. For you and I, mid-day sunshine can be harsh on the eyes and we either seek out shaded areas or put on sunglasses. Well, a Largemouth Bass can’t come down to the Pacific Angler to buy a cool new pair of Smiths or Maui Jims, but they definitely are able to hide in shade. This means any piece of structure either in or around the water that casts a shadow can be money in the middle of the day. Overhanging trees, laydowns, lilypads…anything that has a shade line will be a spot these fish will take refuge. The other option for them is to go out deep and hang just off transition lines and points. This is when having a boat with electronics can be a game changer as you can literally scope these fish out on deeper structure. A nice starter fish finder is the Lowrance Hook Reveal series which we stock, so if you are interested in getting your electronics and deep-water game on, come see us for that.
What kind of presentations do you use to target these structure-oriented bass? It depends on the structure. I like throwing a 1/4 – 3/8oz texas-rigged soft plastic or a jig through laydowns or near isolated pads. For heavy structure upping the weights to an ounce or more and punching through thick pads or through tree limbs is the only way to really get to them. Walking hollow-body frogs through small openings in heavy structure can also be an explosive and relatively pain free way of presenting to these fish. For deeper water applications, you can comb a bit more with deep diving crankbaits or with a more finesse drop shot setup if the bottom permits it. Since a lot of these structure-oriented fish are going to be already wary and have a much smaller strike radius, it isn’t always advantageous to use a large lure or plastic. I love throwing big stuff but I do have to admit when the sun is up and the water is hot that finesse presentations can be best. This means instead of tossing a 5 inch worm you cut it down to a 3 inch worm. In addition, use as little weight as you can get away with to keep your lure or soft plastic looking natural. You just need enough to get it down to the fish; not so much that it smashes into the lake bed in a cloud of dust.
An alternative to searching for bass in the shade is to let the shade come to you. What the heck do I mean by that? This means fishing first light, last light, or waiting for a cloudy day. These low light conditions get bass fired up and they are much more likely to roam for food instead of holing up in their lair and waiting to ambush prey. They can still relate to structure at this point but you will want to fish on the outside edge of it and along shallower flats that are adjacent to deeper water. This is when you want to fish fast and cover water with reaction style baits like buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and swim jigs. Stick to your darker colours, bigger profiles, and more vibration as this is how the bass will track these lures.
If you need any pointers or are looking to get set up for this fun alternative fishery then come on down to the Shop and talk to us. Our ever-expanding bass selection has what you need to get started.
Interior Lakes Fishing Reports
We had some reports this week and, as expected, all the fish have gone deep. We still had clients reporting some productive fishing but the reports were of notably “tougher” fishing. Deep sinking lines and general attractor pattern should be a starting point if you are getting out this weekend.
Also look at the early mornings and evening for cooler conditions. For now, we are going to slow down on the interior lake reports but let us know if something interesting happens and keep sending in the pictures! We will include it in future reports. Last, but not least, if you are heading out be sure to have a good understanding of the wildfire situation in the interior.