We hope everyone had a great long weekend and it looks like the good times should keep on rolling. We might get a little rain today and tomorrow but Sunday looks like great weather and the warm temperatures with a mix of sun and cloud should continue into next week. We had some wind warnings yesterday but it looks as though winds shouldn’t be an issue Saturday and Sunday. Don’t take our word for it. Things change. Always check the marine forecast before heading out.
On the saltwater front we had a productive week with coho showing up off Bowen, and most of the go too chinook spots are still consistently pumping out fish. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report for more details.
In this week’s report we also have a Vedder River update and though the water is at a fishable level, reports of fish are few and fair between. This is normal for this time of year and Alex has some more details in the freshwater section of the report.
The Skagit opened on the 1st and we had some OK to good reports from the river. Matt has some more details with pictures of the river so if you are planning a trip you will not want to miss it.
Last but certainly not least beach fishing! Andre has been out scouting and with more fish being caught off shore we expect things to be picking up soon. Andre has a report on what he saw this week when out at the beach and if you are interested in this fishery there are still spots in his course if you want to sign up details are below.
On to the report!!
CLASSES AND COURSES
There are still a few spots in both Matt + Andre’s upcoming classes this month. Grab your spot today.
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, east coast 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 all courses last year!
Dates: July 10 or July 16
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: July 18 & July 22, 2018
Cost: $125.00 + GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
IMPORTANT DFO ANNOUNCEMENT:
Southern Resident Killer Whale – Area Refuge Fishing Closure LaPerouse to Swiftsure
Myself and others who are actively involved in the management of sports fishing via advisory boards are calling on all anglers to respond to an invitation for input to DFO on revisions to the Critical Habitat Section of the Species at Risk (SARA) Recovery Strategy for Northern and Southern Killer Whales. Input must be provided by July 11, on a prescribed online comment form.
As many of you know, this is a similar “consultation process” to what was used to arrive at the eventual implementation of a SRKW Refuge Area Recreational Fin Fish Closure in Areas 20, 18 and 29. The current practice is to use Area Refuge Closures as opposed to implementing equally effective 400m bubble zone strategies. Going forward, one of the likely outcomes of expanding the critical habitat to include Swiftsure to LaPerouse Banks will result in similar Area Refuge Recreational Fin Fish closures (closed to all fishing). Once these are in place it is highly probable the closures become permanent.
Please review the map that sets out the area proposed to be set-aside as critical habitat.
My colleagues and I have reviewed the science associated with the SARA Recovery Strategy and have several concerns with assumptions and weak scientific facts being used to support the expansion of the Critical Habitat within the Recovery Strategy. Please use these response points when you complete your online comment:
- “B.C.’s tidal water recreational fishery, combined with the freshwater fishery, is the largest and most valuable in Canada, valued at $18 billion annually. DFO issues over 350,000 tidal licenses per year collecting $7.3 million in fees and the fishery employs around 8,400 British Columbian’s (as of 2012).”
- Area SRKW Refuge Recreational Fin Fish Closures will cause significant socio-economic harm destroying jobs and economic spin off activities in small coastal communities like Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Bamfield, Port Renfrew, Sooke and Victoria.
- Killer whales are only very rarely present on LaPerouse Bank, and there is no documented evidence from passive acoustic monitoring to clearly demonstrate this is actually critical habitat. DFO science is making an assumption that because areas of LaPerouse Bank are important areas for commercial and recreational Chinook fishing that they area similarly important to killer whales.
- According to Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM), killer whales are only present on Swiftsure Bank 43% of monitored days between May to September – broad Area Refuge closures impact recreational fishing opportunity during significant periods where the whales are not present.
- There is no comparative analysis that demonstrates the effectiveness of Area Closure vs. a mobile “bubble” strategy
- More effort is required to scientifically determine if indeed there is any less benefit to be achieved using a “bubble” strategy which is less impactful – striking a balance between protection and economic activity
- In the past ______ years, I have fished areas of LaPerouse Bank, and observed killer whales only ____ times. (your observations are very important)
- In the past ______years, I have fished areas of Swiftsure Bank, and observed killer whales only ____times. (your observations are very important)
- Given these observations, there is little scientific data to support expanding the critical habitat areas, especially on LaPerouse Bank where killer whales are very rarely encountered and there is no scientific evidence to support DFO Science claims.
Here’s DFO’s request for input – please take time to write in your input:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) would like your feedback on the revised critical habitat section (section 7) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) draft Amended Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada.
Key points for discussion
- The draft Amended Recovery Strategy updates the critical habitat for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales based on new science advice
- It identifies two additional areas of special importance as proposed critical habitat for Resident Killer Whales. These include:
- Waters on the continental shelf off southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse Banks (important for both Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales)
- Waters of west Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit (important for Northern Resident Killer Whales)
- The amendment also provides clarification of the functions, features and attributes for all critical habitat identified for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales
How to provide input
The deadline for submitting comments on section 7 (critical habitat) of the draft Amended Recovery Strategy is July 11, 2018. Please note, feedback is only being sought on section 7 (pages 55 to 68); feedback on other sections will not be considered at this time. If you choose to submit comments, please use the online comment form.
After we have received your feedback and finalized the draft Amended Recovery Strategy, a proposed document will be posted to the SARA Public Registry for a 60-day public comment period. The Government of Canada will then have 30 days to incorporate comments before posting the final document on the Species at Risk Public Registry.
Here is the Comment Form Link Address:
Vancouver Chinook Classic 2018
Don’t hesitate to register for this year’s Vancouver Chinook Classic! This event sold out last year and we expect it will again this year. This is 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 18th & Sun Aug 19th 2018
Venue: Pacific Gateway Hotel & Deckside Marina (previously known as Pier 73 Marina)3500 Cessna Drive Richmond
Prizes: 1st place $15,000 2nd place $7,000 3rd place $3,000
Entry Fee: $300 + GST per person
Registration: To make registration easier we have created an online registration process. Register online here: https://www.decksidemarina.com/registration-form
- Entry into 2018 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 us Deckside Marina a call at 604-970-4882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
West Coast Fishing Club
Pacific Gateway Hotel
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano River is very low and fish are having tough time getting up the river. Some reports came through at the Cable Pool however it seems to have slowed down overall.
However, if you take a full sinking line and fish through the Cable Pool with patterns like the Cap Bugger or various leech patterns you might have a chance to get some action.
Gear fisherman should focus on deep pools and swing some spoons or spinners to search for active fish.
If you have no luck in the river head down to the beach and see if you can find some staging fish.
Stay safe out there,
Vedder River Fishing Report
The first Vedder River salmon report of 2018 is here! I wish I could continue with some solid details on productive fishing this week and follow up with some fish porn but it has been really quiet. Do not be concerned as this is typical for this time of year. The water is high but visibility is decent so it is worth a look if you want to scout or try your luck. It will only get better as we progress through July but don’t wait for the report; get out there and get hooked up. Cover water and hit the high percentage spots. These fish are creatures of habit and if you’ve found them in a particular run before, they will probably be there again barring any drastic changes to the river in that location.
If you do head out please keep in mind that all sockeye salmon and wild trout must be released. These species are often by-catches when fishing for red chinook.
Skagit River Fishing Report
I am planning a trip next week so I do not have an “eyes on” report but we had a number of guys and girls reach out to us over the last week with reports and pictures. It looks as though the river is fishing pretty well for this time of year. We didn’t hear any crazy good reports but anglers that know the river were finding fish and the water levels look acceptable.
What do I mean by acceptable? There are some spots where you can cross the river and the clarity is good. It is still not easy to cross and high water makes some spots a little cramped. So, long story short it looks good and it is worth fishing but if you only plan to do a trip or two this entire season. If you flexibility in your schedule, I would wait a week or two for the water to drop more.
Most of the rainbows that I heard about were taken with nymphs. Golden Stones, Hare’s Ears, and Prince Nymphs should all be in your box. We didn’t have any reports of consistent dry fly fishing as of yet. Reports of bulltrout were coming in from the lake mouth and up the river. Streamers in olives and blacks produced well on that front.
On a side note we did hear that the gate on the Summalo Grove access point is closed due to fallen/unstable trees. You can still walk in from the highway but keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Remember this river is 100% catch and release and a bait ban is in effect.
Good luck and keep the reports coming!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
We had a productive week out on the water for both chinook and coho in a variety of locations, so let’s get right down to business.
When the winds have allowed we have crossed the Strait of Georgia and fished Gabriola and Nanaimo and have done well. There seems to be a good number of fish around, which is a bonus, as some years it starts to dry up late June, but not this year. I fished there 3 days this past week and Khoi had some trips there too. We both did well on splatter back hootchies in green, chartreuse, and blue combined with the same colour flashers with glow tape (STS, Lemon Lime, Phantom). An added bonus are the coho. Just head out into 500-1000 feet of water and fish the top 100 feet of the water column with a chrome or UV flasher like Betsy, Green Onion, Purple Onion, and Yellow/Green Kinetic combined with a white UV hootchies or small spoon. There are also a few lings around, so you can make a good day of it fishing for chinook, coho, and lingcod.
On this side of the pond we have been fishing a few different areas depending on the winds and the length of our trips. The coho fishing remains very consistent offshore of South Bowen, in and around the Hump. That area is about 3 miles offshore so you need to watch the winds. When we have been able to get out there the actions has been great with multiple bites and hook ups. The same flashers and hootchies mentioned above are working well and the fish have been from 90 feet and up on the riggers. We have hooked a few big springs while targeting the coho, so be ready for that!
When the winds have kept us off the Hump we have been hiding up Howe Sound, mostly at Hole in the Wall and have had some decent action or chinook. Bait has been the best producer and productive depths have been 80-120 on the downriggers mid day, a bit shallower if you are there at first light. We have been hooking a mix of feeder chinook and mature chinook likely headed for the Squamish system.
There have also been some coho off West Van. It isn’t red hot yet, but if you are looking to keep it super close to home it is worth the effort, as most boats that have put in a tide change have been into a few coho. For now the better action is definitely out on the Hump, but as noted earlier you need the weather and you need a decent amount of time to get out there.
We are starting to see some decent chinook numbers in the Fraser River Albion Test Sets, so that tells me it is time to make a few passes at the Bell Buoy. Fish anchovies and keep your gear shallow, 40-70 on the riggers. We usually start fishing here in about a week or so and the fish are there one day and gone the next, with the more consistent fishing coming a little later on in late July and August. A good game plan is to hit West Van in the morning for coho and then fish the Bell Buoy for chinook later in the day.
Crabbing is slowing down, but we are still dropping traps as we have had some good success in a few select spots.
Beach Fly Fishing Report
I went out last holiday Monday and finally the wind was a little more cooperative on my days off. I saw a few fish caught on spin casting rigs. Regardless of being caught on the fly or conventional gear it was great to see. Last year we did not see a fish until much later in the season. There were lots of seals that came around as the tide started rising, this is also a sign that there are fish around. It was tougher for me as the low tide was in the afternoon with the sun shining. This is not ideal for fly fishing because the fish can see more and do not come as close to shore.
One way of targeting these fish is with spinners, spoons, and buzz bombs. Gibbs Crocs, Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, and 2″ Buzz bombs in a variety of colours are your weapons of choice. Light spinners such as Colorado or French blades can be quite deadly as they have less profile in the water and when the fish are picky. Fish them with enough weight to cast and a 2 to 4 foot leader. Pencil lead, egg weights and split shot are the weights of choice. Rods 8’6″ to 10’6″ in length paired with either a level wind or spinning reel are recommended. For mainline you can use Trilene XL in 12 or 14lb as well as Stren 14lb if you prefer mono filament. Braid is another option. 20-30lb Power Pro Super Slick is a nice line for bombing long casts and having direct connection to your spoon or spinner so that you can feel the softest of bites. For leader line you want to be using 10 to 15lb fluorocarbon, and shifting to heavier line if you are targeting chinook later in the year. Since it is a clear water fishery the coho off Ambleside can be very spooky. The use of fluorocarbon can be the difference between catching fish or not.
This is a tough fishery so if you want to get prep yourself before you head out fly fishing off the beach we have 2 course dates available this month.