Well it looks as though we are in for a wet one today and tomorrow with things clearing up into next week. This is not good for a number of fisheries that are already a little high for consistent fishing. In this weeks’ report we have a couple great features on the Vedder River, the Skagit River and the Capilino beach fishery.
Lots of people took to the water over the Canada Day long weekend and we have a ton of great intel.
Alex was out at the Vedder Tuesday and even though fishing was tough with high water levels it was fish-able. There are lots of pictures of the river if you want to correlate it with you river level notes.
Matt has a detailed report of the Skagit. Fishing was not hot, high water levels, but it was not too high to fish and most anglers hooked a few fish on dries and nymphs. Check it out in the section of the report below.
Sam and Andre have reports on the North Shore beach fishing scene. It is still early but we thought it is a good time to look at the gear you will need to tackle this fishery. Sam and Andre have done reports on the North Shore beach fishing scene. It is still early but we thought it is a good time to look at the gear you will need to tackle this fishery. Check them out below.
With the rain the Capilano River might be a viable option for the weekend. It has been way too low for the past week but this could change. Alex has done a report on what we expect and how to fish this area in the river section below.
Finally for all the saltwater enthusiasts Jason has a full report. Also, don’t forget to check your calendars and register for the 5th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic! This is a not to be missed event and with an entry fee of only $300 per angler for the 2-day derby and $25,000 in cash to be won you can’t go wrong.
5th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic – August 20 + 21, 2016
If you’re not on the water this long weekend take some time fill out your entry for the 5th Annual Vancouver Chinook Classic. It’s a great way to spend 2-days out on the water and try your hand at winning $25,000 in cash and prizes.
Check out all of the details for this year’s tournament and download your registration form here!
Me and my collection: Art Lingren’s Passion for Fly Fishing
Do not miss out on this rare opportunity to see the private fly fishing collection of Art Lingren on display at The Museum of Vancouver’s as part of their All Together Collection.
Art’s fly fishing collection covers many aspects of the sport from flies, fly fishing books, Haig-Brown, Fly fishing art, antique Hardy fly reels, fine crafted rods are on display from until January 8, 2017. There is even the opportunity to hear from Art himself at a scheduled talk at the museum on Tuesday August 23, 2016.
Click here for more details on the Museum of Vancouver exhibit and the evening with Art.
CLASSES + 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, 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 3 courses in 2014!!
Skagit River Report Skagit River Report
We had a number of customers up scouting the river on open day. The reports were not hot but they were encouraging. The river is high but not to high to fish. Historically on large snow packs years the river is in the trees on opening day and needs a few weeks to come down and become wade-able. It is still a little cold and high for great fishing but as of last weekend it is wade-able. When it drops the water warms and the hatches turn on. The fishing spots also become more defined, concentrating the fish into definable areas. The rain in the forecast today is not a good thing but when we look at the weather report for Hope it is only showing rain today and then it will get warm again. (Note:Sometimes the weather is completely different in the Skagit Valley so bare this in mind).
If you are thinking about hitting the water it is definitely worth a trip and even if your spots are a little high, it will be good to get in some scouting so you know where to go when it gets lower.
Here are a bunch of pictures from customers. You can see that the water clarity is pretty good but the river is still spread out and wide.
If you head out, be prepared to nymph and swing flies. For nymphing run 9ft 5lb fluorocarbon leaders with 4-5 lb tippet. Small split shot anchored above you tippet knot will get you into the zone, and though some people prefer fishing without in indicator, using one is very useful in higher water. It not only allows you to see the bite better but it gives you a clear picture of how the water is effecting your drift. For flies, we love golden stones, olive stones and black stones. Hare’s Ears and Prince Nymphs are also a staple on the Skagit. We did hear of a number if fish coming up for dries even though we did not hear reports of a definable hatch. When things are like this more atracter style dries are good searching patterns. Royal Wolfs found fish this last weekend and we also like smaller simulators in orange and standard grey Adams patterns in the classic style or parachute design. If you head out, be prepared to nymph and swing flies. For nymphing run 9ft 5lb fluorocarbon leaders with 4-5 lb tippet. Small split shot anchored above you tippet knot will get you into the zone, and though some people prefer fishing without in indicator, using one is very useful in higher water. It not only allows you to see the bite better but it gives you a clear picture of how the water is effecting your drift. For flies, we love golden stones, olive stones and black stones. Hare’s Ears and Prince Nymphs are also a staple on the Skagit. We did hear of a number if fish coming up for dries even though we did not hear reports of a definable hatch. When things are like this more atracter style dries are good searching patterns. Royal Wolfs found fish this last weekend and we also like smaller simulators in orange and standard grey Adams patterns in the classic style or parachute design.
We are hoping for hatches soon. The early hatches are usually small mayflies in grey or green. We recommend medium size indicators for nymphing but it is also useful to have some smaller emerger style patterns. If you see fish rising but there are no bugs on the surface they are hitting emerging nymphs just under the surface. Imitating this is a challenge but if you use a small indicator that will not spook the fish and put it one foot above your fly you can suspend you presentation in this zone. On a note on dries and emergers, avoid using fluorocarbon leaders and tippet because it is denser and will sink your dry fly. Also do not forget your dry fly floatant. The dust style floatant is great for very small flies and when your fly is getting water logged. The liquid grease style floatant is great for medium patterns and I also like to apply it first when I start fishing a fly. It penetrates the material and stays on longer. If you have either of them you are in the game but if you are a die hard dry fly addict bring both is useful.
Good luck and thanks to all the guys who sent in pictures!
Vedder River Report
On Tuesday I headed to the Vedder River for my first trip since the re-opening on July 1st and, while I was not entirely optimistic about finding fish, my main goal was to get a visual on the water levels and to gauge how much success the early-season anglers were . Upon reaching the Crossing Bridge, conditions were looking favorable with 2-3 feet of visibility and a slight green colour; perfect for stalking these early without the risk of spooking them. The clarity dramatically increased in the upper river. In terms of water levels, it is still a tad on the high side; however it is very fishable and we can expect it to hold over the next week or so even with light rain in the forecast.
While I did not find any myself, I received reports of small schools of Sockeye showing up throughout the river in addition to a handful of being hooked, mainly from the Crossing Bridge down. These numbers are consistent with past opening weeks and catch rates will continue to increase as we progress through July. Roe and Colorado blades with a drifting setup will work well in current conditions, and once the water drops a casting outfit with larger spoons such as a Koho or Kitimat become viable options.
Please remember that are strictly catch-and-release in the Vedder River and have a daily limit of 4 with only 1 fish over 62cm.
Capilano River Report
The Capilano River has been extremely low the past week or so, leading to very difficult fishing conditions. The are schooling up in pools and becoming tight-lipped. With very little water flow drift fishing setups are rendered less effective and one should opt more for casting spoons and spinners such as a Gibbs Croc or a Blue Fox Vibrax in the smaller sizes. In addition, low water conditions on the Capilano can lend itself to good fly fishing opportunities. Effective fly patterns for these tight-lipped fish include small olive coloured flies; such as Andre’s Cap Bugger.
With rain in the forecast the water levels may increase. In such a case drifting roe, single eggs, shrimp, and Colorado blades can be extremely effective once fish are on the move. If you are heading out on one of these wet days be prepared for changing water conditions.
Please remember that all Steelhead (regardless if adipose clipped or not) must be released on the Capilano.
Beach Fishing Overview
The Capilano river levels play a huge effect on the beach fishing scenario.The river has been really low for a while so we will have to see if this rain is going to rise the river level or not, however the tides are not in our favor to fish off the beach until Thursday when the tide goes lower than 6 feet again. If you are fishing terminal tackle you can always fish off the jetty or fish off a boat in the bay. Also the full moon will help the coho navigate themselves to there native river so expect to see the numbers of salmon increase after this moon cycle.
The biggest tip I can give you is to change your fly every few casts as you cast to a pod of fish, fishing the same fly and getting refused is not productive so it is important to have a variety of patterns in you fly box. There is no such thing as the “BEST FLY” or my favourite fly, the only way to know which fly worked that day or in that second is when you have a coho ripping line off your reel. Also it is important to fish the fly pattern that you have on correctly and not just strip at one speed. It is fun and reading to figure all this stuff out on your own but if you don’t have time nor the desire to do this then I highly advise to take the ‘Fly fishing on beaches course that we offer.
See you on the beach,
North Shore Beach Fishing Report – The Gear Fishing
Beach fishing for salmon is slowly ramping up you can expect to find numerous coho and the odd Chinook off of Ambleside beach over the next coming months.
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. Unweighted 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 they clean house. Fish them with a enough weight to cast and a 2 to 4 foot leader. Pencel lead, egg weights and spitshot are the weights of choice.
Rods 8’6″ to 10’6″ in length paired with either a levelwind or spinning reel are recommended. For mainline you can use Trilene XL in 12 or 14lb as well as Stren 14lb if you prefer monofilament. Braid is another option. 20-30lb PowerPro 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 Chinooks 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 fishery is very tidal dependent so you want to be fishing off Ambleside on a low slack tide ideally. You can expect fish off the beach first thing in the morning on ebb tides as they will hang out close to shore due to the low lighting. Flood tides are typically not the best tides as fish have lots of water to move around and they typically hold out of casting range but the odd one does get caught. It’s been a slow start to the season but things will pick up quickly as long as the Capilano stays low. The odd fish has been caught but it will only get better as more fish stage off of Ambleside.
Good luck and tight lines.
Vancouver Saltwater Report
Well it looks like we are in for a wet one for the next 3-5 days. I am currently at home treating my rain gear to make sure it is nice and waterproof, as I will be guiding the next 3 days on 10-hour trips. That can make for a soggy day if you aren’t properly prepared! With all the rain in the forecast, hopefully the Capilano River doesn’t come up too much, as so far this year the river has been getting all the fish and the fishing off West Van for the trollers hasn’t really kicked into high gear. There have been a few caught by trolling flashers with white hootchies from Point Atkinson to the Cap Mouth, but it has been far from on fire. There have been a few fish caught off the mouth by anglers using spinners as well. We do expect things to pick up this coming week, so stay tuned. If you are looking for a go to setup for this coho fishery a Purple Onion flasher and a white or white UV hootchie with a 28-inch leader is a great place to start. Try fishing the upper part of the water column as well, from just under the surface to as low as 40 feet.
A reminder that there is no retention of chinook salmon in the following areas as per a DFO email we received today.
Effective dates: Immediately until July 31, 2016.
Waters: Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10 (Fraser River mouth).
Management measure: You may not retain Chinook salmon in these waters.
Where are these areas you ask? Check out this link for the map. Area 29 Map
This management measure is in place to protect early and summer run, interior chinook salmon. This has been the case for the last number of years now, so nothing new. We expect these areas to open up August 1st.
In the mean time you can still retain chinook around the Bell Buoy and there have been some nice fish taken there this week. Try fishing in 90-140 feet of water and 30-75 on the downriggers. Top flasher choices are Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, Chartreuse Glow. For lures, the name of the game is bait. Herring or anchovy in a glow green or glow green and chartreuse teaser head is the way to go. Use a 5 to 6 foot leader from your flasher to your bait. This fishery is just getting going and will be hit and miss for a while but will consistently improve as the month goes on and more Fraser chinook enter our area.
There are still a few fish getting caught over at Thrasher but with the big SE winds and big seas, they have been pretty safe from our efforts the last few days and that might be the case this weekend as well.
Another option is Hole in the Wall. Usually right about now we head to this area and catch some of the chinook heading up Howe Sound on their way to the Squamish River. Much like the Bell Buoy fishery for Fraser chinook, bait is the go to. Fish the same flasher and bait setups and fish from 50-120 on the riggers. Early in the morning on wet and dark days the fish are shallower and deeper on the hot, sunny days. Doesn’t look like we will have to worry about that this weekend!
As if there weren’t enough spots to fish, there are still a few fish getting caught off Cowans and Roger Curtis. Nothing like the action of a few weeks back, but there have been some chinook and coho taken there this past week.
So as you can see, there are lots of spots to hit this time of year. July is full of good options. I think where we head out on our trips the next few days will likely be dependent on the wind. Either way, we have lots of options for chinook and coho so if you are thinking of booking a trip now is a great time. If you have your own boat, come on down to the shop for some expert advice and all the right gear.
Please note that the phone has been ringing off the hook and emails have been pouring in. Many days we are already fully booked. Please give us a call earlier than later if you are planning on heading out on a guided trip this year so we can make sure we get you out on your desired date.