We hope everyone who hit the water on the Canada Day Long Weekend had a great time with friends and family.
The saltwater anglers had some windy conditions to contend with, but the fishing continues to be excellent, and it is still well worth getting out to the Bowen Island area for coho. We also heard of the first pink being caught in the saltwater. It is still a way off for river or beach angling, but they are coming. In this week’s report we have saltwater updates from both the beach and those out trolling.
Matt also has a brief update on some of the trout rivers so be sure to check that out if you are hitting the water this weekend.
The other fishery that saw some ok reports was the Chilliwack/Vedder. When we say “ok” reports, it was not red hot, and the bulk of the red chinook have not shown up yet, but fish were caught. It is not uncommon for opening weekend to be a complete bust so a few fish are a great sign for the upcoming season.
Last, but not least, we have a sturgeon update and a lake fishing report. Low Fraser water levels mean that it is a good time to get out to chase dinosaurs and even though lakes are heating up we haven’t seen scorching weather yet and good lake reports are coming in from higher elevations.
We have another beautiful weekend of weather so we hope everyone can get out to enjoy it!
On to the report!
CLASSES AND COURSES
If you’re looking to get in our Introduction to Fly Fishing Course, now is the time. We have some room in next week’s course and again in our September course. After the September offering, we are wrapping that course up for the year! So now is the time to sign up.
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course is 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: Jun 14 & 17, July 11 & 15, Sept 19 & 23
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
The C/V system has been open since last Saturday, July 1st, and we’re hearing reports of some fish being caught- both springs and sockeye. As expected, the bulk of the chinook run hasn’t showed up just yet, but there are a few making their way into the system and the dedicated anglers who are willing to put in the time to find fish are having some success. The water is currently running exceptionally low and clear for the early part of the season. As such, you can expect the fish to be holding in the deep, fairly fast water that gives them a sense of security. You can also expect the fish to be a bit spooky, especially if there’s a lot of angling pressure.
As I said above, the bulk of the run hasn’t pushed into the river yet- that usually happens around the second or third week of July. Since there aren’t huge numbers of fish in the system just yet, you may need to put in some time and legwork to find fish… not unlike winter steelhead season, except hotter and sweatier. Fresh springs are usually quite aggressive, so presentations such as roe, shrimp, blades, yarn, beads, jigs or gooey bobs will all get the job done, just be sure to adjust the size of your presentation based on water clarity and angling pressure. First light is typically the best time to target any salmon, and summer chinooks are no exception. Having said that, you can certainly catch fish at any time of day, especially if the fish aren’t receiving a lot of pressure.
As I mentioned in last week’s report, there will be a mix of springs and sockeye in the system. The chinook run is actually not native to the C/V system and is almost entirely made up of hatchery fish, so you are allowed to retain one per day. The sockeye run, on the other hand, is a native run that typically spawns in the upper Chilliwack River, above Chilliwack Lake, or in the creeks that feed into Chilliwack Lake. Due to past overfishing, poor survival rates and general destruction of habitat, the sockeye run is not doing especially well, with numbers of spawning adults fluctuating greatly from year to year. As such, you may not specifically target sockeye in the C/V system, and you certainly can’t retain them, so identify your catch before you drag it up on the rocks. Sockeye do bite and are encountered quite frequently when targeting chinook – they fight exceptionally well for their size, but they can be quite fragile- as such, any sockeye that you hook should be fought and landed as quickly as possible to minimize fatigue-related mortality. Be sure to practice proper fish handling procedures- keep the fish in the water, minimize handling and get the fish released as quickly as possible.
Sturgeon Fishing Report
The Fraser has been fishing well for sturgeon as the water levels have dropped from freshet and the fish are settling in for their summer feed. Productive baits have been roe, lamprey, dew worms and salmon parts.
If you are looking to do some local sturgeon fishing, we offer guided sturgeon trips on our 22 foot jet boat out of Richmond. We have world class sturgeon fishing only minutes from downtown. It’s a great way to see the city, do battle with some giants, and soak up the summer sun. Check out our website Sturgeon Fishing Vancouver for details.
If you have your own boat and need some tackle, we have what you need at the shop. No boat, no problem. You can catch these amazing fish from shore as well. Drop by the shop to get setup and pointed in the right direction for some sturgeon bank angling.
If you haven’t sturgeon fished before, I highly recommend it. This time of year, these fish rip line off the reel and come flying out of the water on multiple big jumps. It’s truly an amazing fishery. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Skagit River / Summer River Trout Fishing Update
We had a few friends and customers head out over the opening weekend and reports from the Skagit, Thompson and Kettle Rivers. Overall, the fishing was good and well worth the time on the water. All the rivers were at fishable levels as expected with the low snow pack this year. River crossings on the Skagit were doable if you used your head and were safe. River levels for bank access on both Thompson and Kettle were not an issue.
We didn’t hear of any pronounced hatches on the Skagit for opening day but anglers that covered ground with nymph patterns and streamers found fish.
If anyone is going out and can take water temps for us, we would love to see what numbers you are getting. It is going to be an interesting year for water temperatures and even though we won’t be able to do it “scientifically,” anecdotal data would be interesting to look at over the next couple months. To keep things consistent, if you take temperatures, do it in 2ft + moving water with the thermometer at least 6 inches under the water’s surface. Email email@example.com what you find and any fun fishing pictures or observations you would like to share are always welcome too!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Well, it’s July and the heat is finally here. It is going to be 35C in Kamloops this weekend and 32C in Williams Lake and the summer doldrums are going to creep in on the lower elevation lakes. It was a roller coaster of an April, May and June season and one that many will remember in one word. Tough. Record winter kills, a mini heat wave, then multiple storms and cold fronts all made for challenging fishing for the most part. There were some good days for sure, but this season left a lot of anglers yearning for a bit more, me included.
The crowds have certainly thinned out now and the reports and intel has trickled down to basically 0, as most of us have burnt up our lake fishing days back in May and June. For those who still have the time to get out, there is some good fishing to be had if you know where to look. This time of year, it pays to go high elevation. The lakes that are pushing 4500 feet are ones that can fish well in July and August. All the information you could ever need, and more is on the web, so if you do some research, you can definitely find some good to world class summer lake fishing.
You might not be hitting peak chironomid hatches but there can be great fishing with leeches, bloodworms, dragons, and if you are lucky, a sedge hatch. Personally, I am going to be busy on the saltwater front the next 60 days so won’t be lake fishing. Once September rolls around though, I will be looking forward to washing off all that salt with some fall chironomid hatches and then chasing the fish as they get back into the shallow water.
See you in the shop or on the water,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
It was a sporty weekend and early part of this week with the full moon, big tides and strong NW winds. Luckily, our guests over the weekend and this week were game for some larger seas and the coho rewarded their efforts. Once again, the fishing was good to just plain unreal. The days it was a touch slower, if I dare use that word, was not due to lack of fish, just perhaps the fact it was a bit too rough to reach them consistently. Either way, we got into a lot of fish on all our charters this past week and it is good to see the coho are still around.
I’m not sure how long these fish are going to be here or exactly where they are all from and where they are going. We won’t know exact details until the results from the hatchery head program are distributed next year. In the meantime, if you haven’t been out there, you need to. It has been 3 weeks of excellent fishing. I am hopeful as long as the bait is around the fish will be around. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in July, but in the meantime, we are certainly enjoying it and I don’t see any reasons why it won’t continue!
I have covered the flasher and lure choice in detail in the past 4 weeks, so check back on those reports for details on what has been working and make sure to follow us on Instagram @pacificanglersportfishing for mid-week posts on what is going on.
Time to talk about chinook. My sources tell me the DFO should be finalizing the IFMP (Integrated Fisheries Management Plan) early next week and once that is done some fisheries notices should be released.
The one we are waiting for is the confirmation of the July 15th chinook opening in Area 17 and Area 29-1 and 29-2. This has been the case the last 3 seasons and we are expecting the same this year. As soon as it is announced, we will post about it on social media and in the Friday Fishing Report. If for some reason, we don’t get the opening you can bet we will be posting about that as well and organizing some protest actions. For now, positive vibes only and looking forward to chinook retention on July 15th!
To book a trip, check out our saltwater guiding site Vancouver Salmon Fishing for details. Fishing has been awesome, so book now!
Beach Fishing Report
This past week saw some quieter days on the beach despite some decent tides. That said, there were small flurries of activity here and there with some lucky anglers finding success. The low slack seemed to get fish antsy and activated, though the window was more like a flash in a pan.
For anglers using fly rods to target these sometimes-elusive fish, we just received a fresh batch of custom beach flies from Andre that are perfect representations of the small krill, euphasids, and crab larvae that the arriving and staging coho key in and focus upon.
Along with the small beach flies mentioned above, small spinners in brighter colours also seemed to draw the most reactions, but don’t overlook the natural darker colours such as blues, greens, and blacks. That said, it doesn’t hurt to have a few larger options to try and stir up some activity on restless fish as well.
In regards to heights and access, this next week sees some good tides for the beach in the afternoon, with the sand bar being accessible for most of the weekend.
Remember to wade safely- there might be a reason you’re the only angler left on the sand bar when everyone’s gone!