What a week of fishing! Things are bumping on multiple levels and the weather looks awesome for the weekend. We can expect a little cloud but the sun should poke through more often than not and temps will hover in the low 20s. This should be perfect for several of our fisheries.
On the fisheries front, we have heard more reports of pinks in the Squamish and up Howe Sound. We are not hearing hot reports yet, but they are coming. This week we have a detailed look at the entire pink fishery and where you should be looking over the next month. This will be the focus of this week’s report.
The opening of chinook to retention was a great way to start this week. We had a great start to the week fishing the Gulf Islands. Wind kept us close to home or off the water in some cases the latter part of the week but we are hoping the winds will be more forgiving and we can get back across this weekend. Jason has more details in his saltwater report this week.
We will be keeping the rest of the report light but the general trend of all our active fisheries right now is GET OUT FISHING
Check out the details in the specific report sections.
On to the Report!!!!
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 604-970-4882or email email@example.com
For more details have a look at tournament websitewww.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
Annual North Shore Fish and Game Club Salmon Derby
Don’t miss out on the annual North Shore Fish and Game Club’s Salmon Derby. It’s coming up on Sunday August 11, 2019. We’ve got a limited number of tickets here in the shop ($30 cash) or you can contact any of the folks listed in the photo above to purchase a ticket or get more details!
CLASSES + COURSES
|Our July courses have wrapped up for the month but there is still some room in our August Introduction to Fly Fishing Course. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to grab a seat in that class today.|
|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 August 20 & Casting August 25
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Skagit/Thompson River Fishing Report
Go fishing! That is the most important piece of advice this week. Both rivers have been great and are well worth your time. The water is dropping but not at an alarming speed. We are still worried about river levels for the back end of the season but right now both rivers are highish but perfectly fishable.
We have had reports of all standard presentations working so be sure to check out our report from a few week’s back where Brendan had an overview of all of his go-to flies for Skagit. Feel free to drop by the shop and we can hand pick some of our favourites for you as well.
Cover water …. Cast lots … catch fish
Go fishing! ….. Oh wait I said that already
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Go Fishing – if you haven’t noticed this is a theme. We heard of more fish being caught this week. The “go fishing” theme comes with some caveats for this system. It is not an easy fishery and one cannot expect to catch fish on every outing but if you want to catch chinook be it on the fly or gear, water levels are great and from what were have been hearing it is worth the trip! Alex also had a great review of his top choices for bait, lures and flies for this system so have a read of that report from the start of the season if you’re needing a refresher.
Capilano River/ Beach Fishing Report
The river is still a challenge right now so if you are wanting to fish it the “go fishing” theme of the report may not be applicable. I would say wait for rain and more water in the river but for the beach fishing it is go time! Overall reports have been slow but at any time we could see this change and have some great fishing.
With this fishery try early morning and time it with low tides. When looking at good tides this means Wednesday – Saturday next week so you might want to hold off for a couple days. The only note is that the big low tides are coming in at the end of the day this weekend and we sometimes see great fishing right at the end of the day when the light gets low so she could be worth some after work / end of day trips over the next couple days.
PINK SALMON FISHING OVERVIEW
The pink salmon fishing is iconic in the Vancouver area. They come every two years and when we see a healthy return the numbers and fishing is something to behold.
We are starting to hear reports right now of fish in the Strait, Howe Sound and a few are being hooked in the Squamish. They are not “in” yet but anglers are catching fish and big schools could be arriving as we write this report.
It is hard to gauge the volume of this year’s run. Two years ago we had a less than epic run but it still provided some solid fishing and four years ago we saw something special so we have our fingers crossed.
Here are some general trends to consider if you are planning on tackling this fishery this season:
The first of the pink salmon will be heading to the Squamish, so when we look at the area, we tend to first target them from boats and from the beaches up Howe Sound.
We then see the Indian and Seymour River fish. They are historically a touch later than the Squamish fish. They usually stage at the Capilano River mouth first. This is not their end destination but any source of freshwater will attract them. This historically happens in early August and then you can track them toward the Seymour and up Indian arm. We will let you know when we get the first reports from the Capilano mouth and you can start hitting the Capilano mouth, The Seymour mouth and Cate’s Park when this starts.
The last of the pinks to arrive are the Fraser fish. We will see them thick off the Fraser mouth in mid-August, but it might take them until the end of August into September to hit the Chilliwack and other Fraser tributaries in peak numbers. When looking at our logs, Sept 7 stood out as a consistent day to target pinks in the lower Vedder.
You can use these dates as rough guidelines to put together your fishing game plan.
Now how do we fish for them? This week we will look at how to target them in the ocean and from beaches because this is where we should see the first good fishing. Next week we will look at river tactics.
From the beaches and boats in the ocean, spinning rod setups are the easiest method. A 7-9ft spinning rod is ideal but I have seen these fish caught on kid’s starter combos. The only thing to consider is to be aware that we are on the ocean and freshwater reels will die a fast and horrible death from corrosion in this environment if they are not meticulously cleaned after each outing. A saltwater spinning reel is a way better option. (AND STILL NEEDS CLEANING)
Pink is the colour and we like rigging pink buzz bombs, pink jigs or pink spoons with a swivel 18 inches above the lure to reduce line twist and 10-12lb leader. A long cast and slow jigging retrieve is all that is needed to elicit strikes. We have some super cool jigs in this season so come down to the shop and we can show you the options. You tend to see the cool stuff sellout fast and just because of the nature of this fishery getting it back in stock can be a challenge.
|We also see anglers using spinners or lighter presentations rigged with the same 10-12 lb leader but we use a short chunk of skinny pencil lead or an egg weight above the swivel. This setup casts a country mile and with a slow constant retrieve you can cover a ton of ground.|
|The other popular method to target pinks in the ocean is with fly rods. In some instances, it is more effective than spinning gear. 6-8 wt rods are ideal. From the beach we use floating lines or slow sink tips. If you are fishing from a boat my favourite line is a full intermediate sinking line. With this line you can start stripping the fly right away and it will stay shallow, but we can wait and it will still sink quite deep to target pinks that are massed at depth. You will find that this is one of the keys to boat fishing. You might see fish jumping but you need to find where the school is massed. Your fly needs to be close to the mass of fish. You will usually see this mass of fish up high in the morning and they go deeper in the 15-20ft zone later in the day.|
I do also like to carry a floating line and a type 6 full sinking line because sometimes these lines are best for the conditions but again if I had to have one line for boat fishing it would be the intermediate.
The benefit of fly fishing is that we can present small flies that look like krill and euphausiid. These are the predominate food sources of the pinks and when you can present it to them, smaller flies are very effective. Again, pink is a key colour but you might consider white or chartreuse in you fly box. I have had some stellar days running these colours over pink. Come down to the show and we can build you a selection that will cover most scenarios.
Now I am going to call a spade a spade on this one – my box has a ton of flies that I love and use in different situations – don’t go out with just one pattern but if I had to have one fly for the beach or the boat it would be Andre’s Pink Pam. It is bloody simple but it has some smart things going for it. Its body glows in the dark. You might think that this isn’t an issue because you are fishing in the sun light but you will find that glow in the dark material pops on the UV spectrum and though it might be the “secret sauce” effect for whatever reason I swear in its effectiveness to attract pinks.
For leaders, fluorocarbon is nice with these small flies. If I am using a floating line, light sinktip or an intermediate line I lean toward 9ft taper leaders with 2-3 ft of 7-10lb fluorocarbon tippet. On the deeper sinking line a straight 5ft chunk of 10 lb fluorocarbon is ideal.
Good Luck out on the water and stay tuned for more updates
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well it was about time we were able to keep some chinook this week and what a great few days it was on Monday and Tuesday. The seas were literally flat calm so all of our boats headed across to the Gulf Islands and we were greeted by a lot of eager chinook. Fishing was fantastic and our guests soaked up the sun and enjoyed bent rods with lots of double headers. There were countless chinook hooked from 150-250 on the downriggers. The hot setup was a Salty Dawg flasher with a chartreuse splatter back hootchy or chartreuse glow double skirt. The hook ups were so steady we eventually just used a dummy flasher and a spoon with no flasher. Productive spoons were larger, in the 4.0 and 5.0 sizes as the fish were stuffed with herring. Hot colours were Herring Aide and Outfitter in the G-Force 4.0 or 5.0.
Unfortunately things got nasty on Wednesday with lots of wind and rain, so we kept it local. We were into a few hatchery coho and a few chinook on our shorter trips that day. Yesterday we managed the same, despite the strong winds. It is hard to get a feel for what is really going on locally though, as the winds the last 72 hours have not allowed us to fish off South Bowen, out on the Hump, or even in Vancouver Harbour for that matter. Prior to the winds there was some decent action in all of these spots for coho and there are a few chinook in Howe Sound as well. Speaking of chinook, there were also some nice chinook hooked off the Bell Buoy this week as well.
Looking at the forecast for the weekend, there are a lot of options. Locally there should be some coho off the Hump, South Bowen, and Point Atkinson to West Van. If you are after some chinook for the BBQ you can focus just inside the Bell Buoy towards the Mile Markers, as some Fraser fish are showing up and there is retention for 1 a day from 62-80 cm in Area 28. You can also fish in Howe Sound, as this is Area 28 too. If the winds are looking good and you are up for a crossing, you can retain a chinook in Area 17, again 1 a day form 62-80 cm. It really is going to depend on the wind, the amount time you have, and the size of your boat. The fishing is pretty good in all these spots, but for chinook I can’t help but give the head nod to Gabriola up to Entrance and Five Fingers.
So lots of spots to choose from this weekend. Good luck out there and if you need some help getting setup, come by the shop and talk to our expert staff.
See you in the shop or on the water,