We have a great report this week, with a special feature on a fishery that we very rarely talk about. That’s right; Pacific Angler is now stocking BASS GEAR! We have frogs, spinner baits and worms. Everything you need to get started on this cool fishery. Alex, our resident bass expert has put together a great report on how, when and where, all the info you need. Check the feature below!
It looks to be another great weekend on the weather front, minus some wind on the saltwater scene. We have reports from the Thompson, Vedder, and Skagit. They should all be great options if you are thinking about heading out for the long weekend.
Saltwater fishing has been hit and miss both for the downrigger anglers and the beach anglers but we are expecting things to change soon. Check out the reports on that front below as well.
Lastly on the shop front we have some new product. A ton of Skagit flies and steelhead flies hit the floor. Drop by and get stocked up today!
5th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic – August 20 + 21, 2016
Have you registered yet? 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 AND COURSES
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Seminar Aug 22, Casting August 28
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
If you’re interested in our Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon course, our August class is already sold out, but if you’re interested in getting out on the water give us a call and we can add your name to the waitlist. If we have enough interest we may add another class.
Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada: FN0770-RECREATIONAL – Salmon: Area 29 – Fraser River Mouth: Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10 – Chinook Salmon Opportunities
Effective dates: 00:01 hours, Monday, August 1 until 23:59 hours Saturday, December 31, 2016. Waters: Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10 (Fraser River mouth).
Management measure: the daily limit for chinook salmon is two (2) with a minimum size of 62 cm. There is no retention of sockeye salmon permitted at this time. Given the low abundance of sockeye, the Department is working with all fishers to limit impacts. Selective fishing techniques are to be used to minimize impacts on sockeye. The Department will continue to review stock status and environmental information on a regular basis and should environmental conditions change or concerns on impacts due to fishing activity occur, this fishery may be closed on short notice. Updated information will be announced by fishery notice. Variation Orders Numbers: 2016-301, 2016-328 and 2016-334. Notes: Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal waters of British Columbia. The term “marked” means a hatchery fish that has a healed scar in place of the adipose fin. Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped chinook and coho salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program toll free at (866) 483-9994 for further information. Anglers are advised to check: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/index-eng.html for fishing closures and other recreational fishing information.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
Beautiful and hot weather typically means some gorgeous days out fishing. However we are now in the middle of the low water slump that the Capilano experiences in the summer when there is very little rain. A quick glance at the North Vancouver forecast shows another week of sunshine, so the chances of us getting a bump in the water level is pretty much non-existent at this point.
With water this low, the coho salmon will stack at the mouth of the river which can lead to some fantastic fishing down at Ambleside. In saying that, there are a good number of coho salmon in the river itself and there are some much larger-than-average fish as well. These fish can be extremely tight-lipped but a finesse presentation in either early morning or late evening will give you the best chances to hook one. Since these fish are easily spooked, small lures such as a size 1 or 2 Blue Fox spinner or a 3/16oz Gibbs Croc in orange or blue patterns are a good option. Using a fluorocarbon in the 6-10lb range with these lures is a good idea as well to minimize the spook factor. Float fishing is generally not very productive in low water conditions like we are experiencing. However we have heard a couple reports of anglers successfully enticing coho to strike at roe. Another fantastic way to battle these tough fishing conditions is to fly fish for these beautiful Capilano coho. The low water creates fantastic slow-moving runs for stripping small olive or blue flies such as a muddler minnows. Andre also has been busy tying up some winning Capilano flies, such as his Cap Bugger, that are known to produce a fish or two even when they won’t strike anything else.
Vedder River Fishing Report
Chinook are throughout the whole system now with the odd fresh fish moving in. The chinook can be quite reticent to bite at times so it is very important to have a good selection of presentations and scents with you. At times the fish are few and far between so once you find a pod of fish make sure to give them a few change up presentations. Roe is a great choice, either pro cured or boraxed. An addition of some Pro-Cure scents such as Krill, Anise, and Blood Tuna can trigger bites when nothing else works. Single egg presentations as well as blades under a float should not be over looked. With the water being fairly clear I would lean towards the use of fluorocarbon leaders (12 to 20lbs) over a lighter monofilament leader (8 to 10lbs). Short floating will produce the best results; keep your weight up off the bottom to prevent foul hooking of fish.
Skagit River Fishing Report
We heard of a number of guys hitting the water this week. The grey Mayflies, both large and small, continued to come off after my trip last week. The hot weather prolonged a few of the hatches to last more than 20 minutes but they were still short. The river continues to drop and is in very fishable and wadeable condition.
We just got in a ton of great Skagit patterns in the shop. The bins have never been so full. I went heavy on my favorite staple stoneflies, prince nymphs and parachute dry fly patterns but we also brought in some more creative patterns that we are excited to try. If you are heading up or just know that a well-rounded box is the key to success on the Skagit, come on down before all the cool flies are gone.
If you want more details on the rigs and flies that I use, check out my report from last week and for the grammar police out there, I apologies for the spelling mistakes. A few typo’s slipped through the copy editing last week.
Thompson River Fly Fishing Report
We just realized that we have not been reporting on one of our favorite summer trout fisheries. How could we forget the mighty Thompson? It is one of the coolest desert style, big water trout fisheries around. The Thompson is a bit of a drive at 2.5 hours plus from Vancouver but it is great for beginner fly fisherman and experts alike. It is big water and sometimes a little intimidating but the trick is to hike a lot, fish any riffle or bubble seam and cover lots of water.
This is a fishery that is great when the water levels are low enough and there are not too many spawning salmon in the system. This means that the prime time is usually now until the 2nd week of August but with lower sockeye numbers predicted it is likely that it will be good until it closes September 1.
You don’t need waders for this fishery because it is usually very hot but we do recommend a good pair of studded wading boots because the river is one of the hardest to wade in the world. It has large algae covered rocks and anyone who has ever fished it knows that studs and a wading staff are a good idea no matter how proficient you are at wading a river. We just got in some great neoprene wading socks from Simms that will pair well with your wading boots so you do not have to load up on socks to make them fit without waders.
Nymphing, float fishing and spinners are all very effective but for me I travel to the Thompson for the dry fly fishing. There are large stoneflies and lots of grasshoppers on this system and using a 9-10ft 5wt fly rod with a big hopper pattern and a floating line is very productive. Fish any big riffle where there is oxygenated water or cut banks where hoppers could fall into the river.
The go to pattern is called the California Blonde but many hopper, stonefly and mayfly patterns are excellent. For smaller flies, a red humpy or wolf is a go to pattern for me. We also just got in some amazing looking hoppers from Montana Fly Company and some super realistic stonefly nymphs. We are pumped to see how they fair.
Use 6lb 9ft tapered leaders because though the average fish is 14 inches they have a wide range of sizes and 23inch fish are not unheard of. The heavier leader also helps with big flies. If you work on a good drag free drift and cover ground, you will find fish.
We have heard a number of excellent reports over the last few weeks and the river should be in good shape if you plan to head out in the next week or two. Call in the reports and let us know how it goes. With the new baby at home I am still logging brownie points after my 3 day Skagit trip earlier this month so I may not be able to get out this season. I will have to live vicariously through your reports and pictures! The Thompson is a single barbless fishery and we always encourage catch and release.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
While we’re in the thick of summer it is easy to forget about lake fishing! While we haven’t had a lot of reports in at the shop this week, mid-season lake fishing can be productive. If you have time to get up to the interior we suggest checking out higher elevation lakes and focusing your fishing time earlier in the day when it is cooler and the fish are actively feeding. Have you been lake fishing? Drop by and give us the latest report.
LOWER MAINLAND BASS FISHING FEATURE
Here on the West Coast we are well versed in our famed salmon, steelhead, and trout fisheries. However, there are a number of other local fisheries that are far less popular yet can be just as enjoyable with the right mindset. One of the up and coming fisheries, that you have probably did not realize was available in our own backyard, is bass fishing. Yes, the same bass fishing that is so widely popular in the United States, Eastern parts of Canada, and your TV.
Contrary to popular belief, there are only largemouth bass and no smallmouth bass in the Lower Mainland. Bass become more active in warmer water conditions with potentially fantastic fishing from late spring through to early Fall when native species such as trout become lethargic. There are a number of fishing locations to try for largemouth bass in the Lower Mainland, but here are a couple to get you started:
• Minnekhada Slough (Port Coquitlam)
• Mill Lake (Abbotsford)
• Fish Trap Creek (Abbotsford)
• Sturgeon Slough (Pitt Meadows)
• Pitt Marsh (Pitt Meadows)
• Hatzic Lake (Mission)
• Silvermere Lake (Mission)
There are a number of ways to target largemouth bass. That said, there are a few basic setups that every bass angler should have in their arsenal. One of the most versatile setups in bass fishing is a Texas Rig, which consists of a bullet weight threaded on to the line above an Extra Wide Gap (EWG) hook. Some anglers put a bead between the weight and hook to protect the knot and to add a bit more noise when the weight hits it. Either a soft plastic creature bait such as a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or another soft plastic like a worm is hooked in a weedless fashion on the EWG hook. While a Texas Rig will do well in open water, it can also be fished in sparse to medium cover due to its weedless nature.
Another great versatile setup is a Wacky Rig, which is a 3-6 inch worm hooked through the middle. In this configuration the two ends of the worm will flutter softly when left to sink through the water column. While simple, this is an extremely effective rig when Bass are highly pressured. An octopus hook will suffice when fishing in locations with few snags. However, a hook that contains a wire weedguard is recommended for fishing in thick weeds.
For covering large areas of water, search baits can be a great way to find active bass. A great lure for such an application is a spinnerbait. Spinnerbaits consist of one or two blades on a wire attached to a jighead and a skirt, and they work well with a straight cast and retrieve technique. There are a number of blade combinations for different conditions. Another great searchbait is a crankbait. Crankbaits come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and bill types and typically imitate baitfish or crayfish. You can either do a straight retrieve or a stop and go retrieve.
A more exciting method of targeting bass in the warmer months is with top water lures. There are a few types of surface lures to choose from; some like the Rapala Skitter Pop send up plumes of water due to their cupped mouths when chugged. Others, like the Zara Spook, have a side-to-side action and are called “Walk The Dog” lures. The aforementioned top water lures work only in open water as they have exposed trebles that will get fouled in weeds. For fishing surface lures in heavy vegetation or areas with many snags, a hollow-body frog such as a Booyah Pad Crasher excels, as they are weedless. While not necessarily the most efficient way to target these fish, a surface strike is typically violent and is cause for heart-pounding action.
If you are looking for a new fishery to try out, bass fishing can be a fun way to break out of the mould!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
North Vancouver Beach Fishing report
I went out last Wednesday to check out the beach fishery for coho. I saw one get caught off the jetty on gear. I talked to a few people who fish there almost every day and they haven’t seen much around yet, hopefully this will change any day as it is almost August. The fish that have been caught so far are bigger than your average size so at least that’s something to look forward when you get one. I noticed the water temperature to be unusually warm this year, which could affect where the fish are hanging around. The tides are really good the whole week until Friday so don’t give up and try to make it down to the beach as any day this slow start can change for the season. I will go again next week and hopefully have more to report.
See you on the beach,
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
We have done a few trips across to the Gulf Island this week (weather permitting) and it seems fishing has been slowing down just a bit. There are still fish there but fewer boats are coming back with some in the box. Thrasher Rock has been the main place to fish but I heard a report of a 24lb’r taken around the Grande area. The weapon of choice a has been hoochies particularly the Spackle back but bait and spoons have also worked. The 4″ Herring Aid has been popular but a 5″ kitchen Sink has been my favorite. The most consistent depths have been between 200′ to 220′ but a fishing buddy (Brian aka Bruiser) also reported hooking fish offshore at 165″ in the 800′ depths. As well as chinook, there are also a number of coho around too. One thing I found surprising was hooking them very deep. I had one hit the gear at 230′ down!
Moving over to our neck of the woods. Early in the week we started finding chinook and lots of coho on the east side of Bowen Island from Cowan’s Point to Roger Curtis. Last Sunday I trolled with the tide from those two points and hit fish all the way down. I got into a good concentration of coho at Roger Curtis and after securing dinner, my guest Pam fought and released a very big wild coho to finish off the day on her 75th birthday! Bait with UV clear, Clear Green teaser heads as well as 3.5″ and 4″ Irish Cream spoons with Chartreuse , Green Onion and Salty Dawg Flashers worked great. There was also a report from another angler that had a very good day with a “Big Ugly” hoochie and Purple Onion Flasher.
Moving over to the West Vancouver fishery things are really looking up. Finally with the lack of rain the numbers of fish are stacking up as predicted. Now there’s been some slow days but we’re progressively getting better days in which multiple fish are being caught. There’s also some nice big fish around with rumors of a 30Lb chinook taken earlier this week. Yesterday all of our boats got into a mix of coho, chinook and even the odd sockeye which must be released. One of our guests got lucky and had a great battle with a hard fighting 24lb Fraser chinook. The hot lures have been 3.5″ Herring Aid, Irish Cream and Cop Car Spoons. Hot hoochies have been White, Army Truck, and Strawberry Shortcake hoochies. Bait is also an excellent choice with Blood and bones, Glo white, Clear UV, Purple Haze, Clear Green, Chartreuse and Spackle back teaser heads. I’ve seen a variety of different flashers up as boats are fighting fish so experiment with different ones to find your favorites. The fish are primarily eating anchovies which is what we’re finding when we clean them.
As the weather continues to be good the fishing is expected to get even better!