We are in for mixed weather this week with some rain today and then a mix of sun, light rain, and cloud over the weekend. When we see this kind of mixed mild weather the good news is the marine wind forecast is usually pretty good. Winds should be variable to 15kts and the overcast skies can make for excellent coho fishing. We have big high tides in the mornings. This is not great for the beach anglers but for the saltwater fleet, fishing a high slack first thing in the morning can be very productive.
The big news this week is the Vedder and Skagit River reports. A number of the boys from the shop hit the Skagit this weekend. Matt has all the details in the Skagit report and though they didn’t fish the Vedder, they got a chance to see it on their way up and it looked in pretty good shape. More details are in this week’s report.
Interior lakes are still fishing well and the mild temperatures have been a good thing. We are hearing solid reports from both directions and have more details in the lake section.
Last but not least, the saltwater fishing continues to be strong. Chinook are everywhere and coho fishing is excellent if you can find the fish. Check out Jason’s Saltwater section at the end of the report for all the details.
On to the report
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Vancouver Chinook Classic
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 604-970-4882 or email email@example.com
For more details have a look at tournament website www.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
CLASSES AND 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. Remember, The East Coast of Vancouver Island has a pink salmon run every year and last year the Capilano had 12,000 coho! Book this course early as we sold out courses last year!!
Dates: July 9 or July 15
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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 July 17 & Casting July 20
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The most popular river in the Lower Mainland is now open! The first salmon run of the year on the Vedder is the red chinook run. Historically the first week of July is typically poor fishing due to high water levels and only a few fish having entered the system by this point. This year, however, we can factor out traditionally poor conditions. The water has quite a bit of clarity at the moment and has a height more akin to 3rd week of July levels, meaning there is still ample flow although most areas have opened up and are accessible. This means that you can target these chinook with any method you choose; be it drifting roe, swinging big spoons, or swinging an intruder on a fly rod.
We haven’t heard of many fish getting caught yet, but they are in the system. This is a great time to get out on the river to scout out spots after the freshet and possibly get into a fish, but make sure to bring your heavy gear as these chinook mean business.
Capilano River Fishing Report
River fishing has been slow with the low river levels, but we have heard some positive beach fishing reports. The morning high tides are not ideal for beach fishing this weekend. High tides make access to the drop off a challenge. We recommend fishing from a boat or using larger lures and a long casting spinning rod this weekend. The fly guys will have trouble in the mornings and we recommend waiting until low tide. We would like to see the low tide first thing in the morning but with overcast skies fishing at the low tide in the middle of the day is not out of the question.
Andre’s beach fly board is fully stocked, and we can show you the setup for long casting lures so come down to the shop if you plan to head out.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish is a challenging fishery during the warmer months of the year. Heavy snowmelt, referred to as “freshet” makes the water high and dirty. There are still opportunities to fish but limited shore access and obvious high-water safety concerns are not ideal. Though there may still be windows of fishing on the system, for the most part, fishing will be over until the end of summer. We will tune in when we start hearing reports of Pinks showing up around July/August. We are getting close!
Skagit River Fishing Report
A bunch of the team hit the Skagit for opening day last Monday. It wasn’t perfect conditions and as expected there were quite a few folks on the water but it is shaping up nicely for at least the early season. Sean and some friends did a drift and Matt hit the water with Alex, Zach, and their better halves for some river hiking.
River hiking was the keyword. If you are an aggressive wader the river is crossable in some spots. If you haven’t fished this system before, crossing the river is key to covering water unless you want to do a bunch of tough bushwhacking. At the current river height if you are not tall and an experienced wader you will be stuck to the bushwhacking at some of the access points. This is obviously not ideal.
The good news is that it is very close and if you know the river and where the easy crossing points are it is doable. We had a couple of days of rain over the week leading up to opening day and this stopped the river from dropping as much as was expected. 5-6 more inches and she should be at a good, crossable height. The river is a perfect color and the fish are aggressive and happy, at least when you can get to them.
On the fire front there are some obvious burned areas around Silver Tip camp ground and the camping area is closed. At least from what we saw it was not as bad as I expected and I don’t think we will see any major effects on the fishing this season because of the fire. We didn’t hear of any major wood in the river from the fire either but I haven’t talked to anyone who has hiked above silvertip yet.
We fished some dries but mostly nymphs and every time we found good water we found fish. We saw some of the standard grey mayflies in the morning, but you could not call it a “hatch”. All of our fish came on a standard prince or golden stonefly nymphs while fishing standard nymphing rigs. The guys who were drifting could obviously cover more water had good luck on dries so don’t rule it out even if there are not a ton of bugs on the water. Especially early in the season the fish are aggressive and have not seen a ton of pressure. We had a couple of fish eat indicators while nymphing and this is a tell-tale sign that fish are hungry and un-pressured.
If you are thinking of heading up it is worth it. The road is in good shape and the bugs are still not out in full force, at least when you are not bushwhacking. However, you will be limited on the water you can cover because of the river height. If you are only planning one or two trips this season, I would hold off for a couple of weeks until levels get a little lower.
We will keep you up to date in further reports.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
We are going to get some rain in the interior over the weekend. We will also see lower temperatures than the seasonal norms. Though this can slow hatches it is not a bad thing for the overall lake fishing outlook. If you are heading out this weekend it might not be the most pleasant weather but look for mayfly or caddis hatches when the rain stops. Cooler temps should also be good for lower elevation lakes. We heard several reports over the last week where anglers were not seeing obvious hatches and had to resort to general attractor patterns fished on a sinking line or scuds fished under an indicator. That said the reports were good and fishing was pretty consistent. We have not heard of any large chironomids yet and most reports are of bugs in the #14-10 size.
Keep sending in the reports and we will see you on the water!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
We are counting the down the days to chinook being opened in Area 17 and 28 on July 15th, and then again for Area 29 on August 1st. In the meantime, it has been pretty amazing fishing for the most part. There were a few trips this past week where the coho did a disappearing act, but they seem to be back in the usual spots off South Bowen, Point Atkinson, and the West Van shoreline. The number of chinook around is also staggering. The local mixed stocks of feeder chinook, or residents, seem to still be here and we are seeing a few larger chinook likely headed to the Squamish or Cheakamus. In short, fishing is very good. For coho, the key has been to keep your gear shallow. In the morning the fish are in the top 20-40 feet of the water column and later in the day a little further down in the top 30-70 feet of the water column. Exactly where will depend on the time of day and how sunny or cloudy it is. Last week I went into detail on what to use for coho, so if you missed last weeks report, make sure to check that out.
We have been catching lots of chinook, way more than historically normal for this time of year, and they seem to be everywhere! There are chinook right in the Harbour, off South Bowen, and in Howe Sound. Best depths have been 60-120 on the riggers and we have been getting a few surprise chinook on our shallow rods while targeting coho. Because the fish aren’t that deep we have been doing well on some of the more reflective flashers like Green Onion Glow, Purple Onion Glow, and Kinetic Glow. Spoons have been very productive, as has bait. Some of our best spoons have been Killy McGee, Bob Marley and Pink Sink in Kingfisher 3.5 or Skinny G. Rhys Davis anchovy teaser heads have been doing well in UV Green, UV Purple, and No Bananas with 5.5-inch anchovies or small herring. If you are heading over to the Gulf Islands, the chinook fishing has been truly on fire there as well. The same gear as mentioned above is working very well, just a bit deeper, more in the 120-180 zone on the riggers, and bait is definitely not needed, they are just hammering spoons.
The crabbing is pretty hit and miss. Some traps are full of smalls and others are still producing some decent legals. The commercial fleet is hard at work in the harbour, so things will continue to slow down on the crabbing front.
The weather looks great this weekend from a wind perspective but there might be a few cloudy and rainy periods. A small price to pay for calm seas and lots of fish! So head out this weekend and enjoy the coho and chinook fishing.
Oh, I almost forgot, we caught our first pink salmon yesterday, so looks like the Squamish River and Indian River fish are about to show up!
See you in the shop or on the water,