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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: July 17, 2015

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: July 17, 2015


Happy Friday!  We’ve got a big report for you this week with a variety of fishing regulation updates and a reminder about one of our favourite events of the season,  the Vancouver Chinook Classic Catch and Release Derby!

The temperatures cooled down a little this past week which turned on lake fishing on some interior lakes.  Along with the cooler weather we did see a little rain but it really wasn’t enough to make much of a difference on our local rivers which still remain quite low. This week we have had reports of pinks have arrived in the Squamish area,  much earlier than we would normally expect to see them.  Read on for the full report below as well as updated regulations for this fishery.

Beach fishing continues to be very productive, with numerous fish being hooked this past week.  We’ve been fishing Ambleside and have been into both coho and  pinks.  If you are heading up to Furry Creek, we’ve seen huge schools of pinks up there already so now is a great time to go.

This past week on the local saltwater has also continued with good fishing.   Our guide boats have been successfully landing coho and pinks off of West Vancouver, that said we had a few days of strong winds and large tides that made fishing a challenge.   The chinook are also starting to arrive and we landed a few in ones off of the Bell Bouy area.



New name, new date, new location – same great derby! The 4th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic Catch and Release Derby is fast approaching.
Join us this year for your chance to win over $50,000 in cash and prizes.

The Vancouver Chinook Classic is the premier catch and release salmon fishing event hosted annually in Vancouver. With a new location, based out of the new marina at the amazing Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond derby entrants will be much closer to the mouth of the Fraser and be able to enjoy the amenities of the hotel throughout the tournament. Held one week earlier to maximize on this years big chinook return, this 2-day event awards the largest cash prize of any fishing derby in Vancouver.

Not only do you have the chance to win amazing prizes, the tournament is also an opportunity to support local charities and salmon stewards. The Vancouver Chinook Classic raises awareness and funds for Capilano Little Ones School and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Last year’s tournament raised $10,000 for the Pacific Salmon Foundation!

Tournament Dates: Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th
Entry Fee: $1,500 per boat (includes up to 4 anglers)

Your tournament entry includes moorage, registration gift bag, hot fisherman’s breakfast both days, gourmet dinner including 2 drink tickets on night one, entertainment, awards ceremony and barbeque with 2 drink tickets on day two, and special daily prizes from our sponsors.

For more details and to register visit the Vancouver Chinook Classic Website!



It was two years ago just before the arrival of the pinks that I noticed the UTC glow tinsels in a few colours in the “new material section” of the Hareline fly tying catalogue. I always like to try new materials to tie with and the first colour I ordered was the pink one. When I got the tinsel I tied a mini clouser looking fly using the glow tinsel as a body, hot pink flouro fiber for the wing with little 1/8 dumbbell eyes in silver.


The Pink Pam!

In a few days I had the chance to go to Furry Creek for pinks I brought Dimitri along for the beach fishing experience to try out these new flys. To this day I have no solid theory why this fly became a huge hit, but I will never forget that morning as we both hooked around forty fish including a couple of jack springs. We were fishing these on a floating line with a long flouro leaders. From that day the phone calls were plenty asking if we had any PINK PAMS in stock. I couldn’t keep up with the supply the last pink season but I am ready and I have tied a few hundred for this season.



One of my students Andrew Van-schie who witnessed the birth of the PINK PAM and helped spread the word on the beach.



A number of fishing regulations have been updated this week. Be sure to check out the following information before you head out.
FN0658-RECREATIONAL – Salmon: Area 29 (Fraser River Mouth) and Tidal Fraser River: Extension of Chinook Management Actions
Due to the very low forecast for Early Stuart sockeye and prevailing adverse environmental conditions, the recreational chinook management measures in effect off the Fraser River mouth and in the tidal waters of the Fraser River will be extended an additional two weeks.
Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10 (Fraser River mouth): Effective immediately until July 31, 2015, there is no retention of chinook salmon.
Tidal waters of the Fraser River: Effective immediately until July 31, 2015, there is no fishing for salmon in the tidal waters of the Fraser River. This area includes the Fraser River downstream of the CPR Bridge at Mission, BC to the mouth of the river.
The Department will continue to review stock status and environmental factors to help inform future fisheries management decisions and fishing opportunities; updated information will be announced by fishery notice.

FN0657-RECREATIONAL – Salmon: Region 2 (Fraser River: Mission Bridge to Alexandra Bridge): Extension of Closure to Salmon Fishing
Due to the very low forecast for Early Stuart sockeye and prevailing adverse environmental conditions, the recreational chinook management measures in effect in non-tidal waters of the Fraser River will be extended an additional two weeks.
Effective immediately until July 31, 2015, there is no fishing for salmon in the waters of the Fraser River in Region 2 (from the downstream side of the Mission Bridge to downstream side of the Alexandra Bridge).
The Department will continue to review stock status and environmental factors to help inform future fisheries management decisions and fishing opportunities; updated information will be announced by fishery notice.
Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Pink Salmon Opportunities and Daily Limit

Subject: FN0616-RECREATIONAL – Salmon: Area 28 (Howe Sound). Effective at 00:01 hours Monday, July 6, 2015 until 23:59 hours, Thursday, March 31, 2016, the daily limit for pink salmon is four (4) per day in Subareas 28-1 to 28-5. This daily limit is consistent with other southern BC marine waters.

Subject: FN0617-RECREATIONAL – Salmon: Region 2 – Pink Salmon Opportunities on the Squamish River and all tributaries. Effective at 00:01 hours, Monday, July 6, 2015 until 23:59 hours, Thursday, December 31, 2015, the daily limit for pink salmon is two (2) per day in the following waters:  Cheakamus River, Mamquam River downstream of the CN rail bridge, and the Squamish River downstream of boundary signs at the power line crossing approximately 1.5 km upstream of the confluence with the Cheakamus River.


The last few weeks of July and early August will host some of our most popular courses. We’ve still got a few spots left in each class. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to claim your spot!

Introduction to Fly Fishing – 4 spots left!
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.

Cost: $125.00
Seminar: July 20, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Casting Date: July 26, 2pm to 5pm

Fly Fishing on Beaches – 2 spots left!
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!

Cost: $45.00
Date: July 22, 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon – 1 spot left!
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.

Cost: $250.00
Seminar Date: August 12, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
On the water: August 14, full day


Not too much to report here other than low and clear conditions. If you do decide to head out you may encounter the odd summer run steelhead and chinook. With the water being so low fish may have trouble moving into the system so a walk down to the mouth may be worth your while.

Well we got a little rain this week but it wasn’t enough to make a measurable difference on the river.   The Capilano is still slow and fish continues to be slow.

We’ve heard of the odd fish getting picked up in the lower but fishing hasn’t been stellar. Mid-July is usually when we start to see a good number of fish showing up in the river so now is the time to get out and start pulling on some chinook. Focus your efforts on deeper slots, pools, and heavier water where these fish are looking to hideout in during these low water conditions. When you find some fish it’s a good idea to stay on them and work the school by changing up your presentation. These fish aren’t in every run so you want to make sure that the one shot you do get at fishing over fish you get the most out of it. Fishing different baits, adding scents, and changing up from natural to artificial baits is your best bet to maximize your success on the river.
With such an interesting weather year we decided to include the Squamish system in this week’s report. Historically this is early but we have already heard reports of the first pinks below the mouth of the Mamquam River and people have been exploring the other tributaries where the water has cleared up early. The river levels are at the low 3m to mid 3m mark on the graph at Brackendale. This is about half a meter off the norm for this time of year.
When fishing this river, fish light sink tips and larger pink flies so they show up in the coloured water. Float fishing with pink jigs or casting pink spoons are also very effective.

As of July 6th the limit for pink salmon is 2 per day on the Cheakamus, below the mouth of the Cheakamus on the Squamish and below the CN rail bridge on the Mamquam River. Remember that all other species are catch and release and this is a single barbless fishery. Also the upper river is closed to access due to fire concerns.
We heard a mixed bag of reports from the Skagit this week and it looks like the little rain we had last weekend might have helped the water temps and the fishery as a whole. For the most part, we are still hearing that fishermen are focusing on nymphing techniques with the odd fish taking dries.

As always, we have a close eye on the weather and though it looks like clear skies all weekend there is a small possibility of some rain mid next week. We will keep our fingers crossed that it will come.

If you are heading out focus on floating lines and nymphing rigs and cross your fingers for 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. As we mentioned in last weeks report, when nymphing, we recommend fluorocarbon tippet and don’t forget to be careful when tying fluoro to mono as the fluoro can cut though the mono if the knot is not perfect. You can also use full full fluorocarbon leader and fluoro tippet when nymphing but be sure to change it for dry fly fishing because it will sink small dries.

Heading out to fish the Skagit?  Drop in and give us your full report when you’re back! Remember that the Skagit is 100% catch a release single barbless fishery.
Good Luck!
Matt Sharp


Local Lakes
As we noted in last weeks report, local lake fishing is challenging especially with the extended period of heat and little rain. If you are going to head out be sure to focus your fishing in the morning or evening.

Interior Lakes
The temperatures cooled off a bit this past week which woke up the fish a little from the heat wave we have been experiencing. I have heard some good reports from Tunkwa and Peter Hope, with anglers fishing may flies. There was little bit of a chironomid hatch as well making olive green size 12 and green blood worms a good choice to fish. Salmon lake also turned on with a damsel hatch. If these lakes around the 3500 FT are fishing again then any lakes around 5000ft like Hihume, Calling and Island could be worth a try.



Beach report: West Van
First and foremost I would like to congratulate my students Enrico “The Eliminator” and “Big Fish” Byron, who took my beach fly fishing course two years ago, for the success they are having this year. Their dedication and obsession has resulted in both having caught over 20 coho each and some pinks this year already. Before this season, they had hooked maybe one or two fish. It is a joy for me to see this, as it is the hardest fishery that I know of locally.


Enrico with yet another fish!


Last week was amazing fishing, hooking numerous fish. This week the tides are low in the afternoon which can make fishing challenging, but don’t be discouraged as it is possible to catch coho on a bright sunny day and maybe it will cloud over. When fishing on a bright day try using brighter patterns like orange and white and on overcast days or at dawn use chartreuse and white to start. Vary your strips from super slow long pulls to moderate strips to find which one works for that period of time. The behaviour and the mood of the fish changes periodically as the tides vary. From July 24th the tides are in our favour again to fish off the beach. Until then use of a floatation device can put you closer to these fish. There are also pinks hanging out at Ambleside before they head out their way to Indian Arm.


This pink was caught recently after two coho on a guided trip.


Furry Creek continues to be really good with huge schools of pinks as some of them are already in the river. You can start fishing Furry Creek at any time of the day, as there is no shortage of fish especially if you are gear fishing with spoons or buzz bombs. It is best to fly fish for pinks going into low tide and a couple of hours after, as it is easier to cast your fly to them.

Happy fishing and see you on the beach.



Local Saltwater
The good coho fishing continued this week, although later in the week there were some strong winds that made fishing difficult and the large tides also slowed down the action a bit. That being said, even on the slower days we were doing pretty good, we just got spoiled earlier in the week with triple headers and even some quads! The mix has been about 70% coho and about 30% pinks for the most part, but it depends on what you are using. We have been using white UV hootchies and small spoons for the coho. The fish this week have had some really small bait in their stomachs, hence the productive catches on smaller spoons, like 3.0 Kingfishers and 2.5 Pescas. The mini hoothcies were also producing well this week for the same reason. It should be noted that there are good numbers of pinks around and if you put on a pink hootchy you can expect some good fishing. I was talking to some anglers earlier in the week who were well into the double digits for pinks off W. Van by trolling small pink hootchies. The white UV hootchies tend to work well for coho and you will get some pinks, while the small pink hootchies will really crank up your production for pinks, and you will often get a few coho on them as well. We expect the fishing off W. Van to only get better as more and more cohos and pinks show up over the coming weeks and stack up off W. Van as they can’t get up the ultra low Capilano and Seymour Rivers.


These white UV hootchies have been hot for coho and the pink hootchies have been hot for pinks

There have been some nice Fraser chinook caught by anglers fishing the Bell Buoy area as well. This is typical for this time of year and the numbers get better as we get later on into July and August, so start fishing this area now and for the next 6 weeks. The usual tactic is a glow flasher and an anchovy or herring in a glow teaser head on a 6 foot leader from your flasher. The glow is usually key because the water is dirty and there is not a lot of light penetration. This year the water has been much cleaner than normal because the Fraser freshet was so mild. In this cleaner water there is a lot more visibility and the non glow flahsers and chrome teaser heads have been working well. The UV Jelly Fish Kinetic Yellow Green Mist has been hot. If you don’t have this one in your tackle box yet, it is a must have for coho and for chinook and is a guide favourite. Other productive flashers have been the Silver Betsy and the Gold Betsy as well as the Green Haze and Purple Haze. All of these flashers have been great in the relatively clear water off W. Van for coho and pinks and the cleaner than normal water off the Bell. Hot depths at the Bell have been from 45-80 with most of the action in the 50-60 range but on a few days we were hitting fish a little deeper, down around 70-80, likely due to the clean water and sunny conditions.


These have been hot flashers lately in the clear water we are fishing this summer season. From left to right, Silver Betsy, Gold Betsy, Green Haze, Purple Haze, UV Jelly Fish Kinetic Yelow Green Mist.

These 2 chinook were caught on one of our guided trips Sunday afternoon after a productive morning of coho and pink fishing. These fish were hooked at 47 feet and 67 feet on the UV Jelly Fish Kinetic Yellow Green Mist flasher and a chrome green chartreuse teaser head and UV green haze teaser head.


Two nice chinook landed this week.

We have to mention the slab that Eddie caught last Friday off the Bell Buoy as well. As it was caught on a charter on Friday morning, it didn’t make the Friday report last week. This was 1 of 4 chinook that were landed on that trip and another 3 were lost. There was definitely a good number of chinook off the Bell that Friday, but the weekend was a lot slower. Such is July chinook fishing off the Bell, here one tide change gone the next.


Captain Eddie with a nice chinook that tipped the scales at 33 lbs!