We hope everyone enjoyed a great Canada Day Long weekend. It looks like we will see nice weather this week and it should make for good fishing weather. This week we will keep the report short and sweet.
In the freshwater fishing report section, we have an update on the Chilliwack and the Capilano. We also have an interior lake fishing report as well as a saltwater update. A number of the staff are off fishing this week so there will be updates from those trips and more details in next week’s report!
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: (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report
As expected, the first week of the summer salmon season on the Vedder/Chilliwack has been quite slow. I’ve heard of a small handful of chinook being caught, but it’s still early and the fishing hasn’t been very good; high water levels won’t be helping the situation much either.
That’s not to say that it’s not worth heading out there… now is the perfect time to scout your favourite areas with a rod in your hand to familiarize yourself with what the “new” river looks like at the current water levels. There are definitely a few fish around; there’s always the chance of running into one if you’re lucky enough.
The number of chinook in the system typically ramps up quite quickly around the end of the 2nd week of July, so there’s still some time before the bulk of the run arrives. The summer chinook run is unique, in that it’s a small and of short duration, so getting your timing right can be a bit tricky; prime-time is the 2nd – 3rd week of July. As mentioned, the water levels are fairly high, so locating fish can be tough; your best bet will be covering water and looking for active fish, instead of standing in one spot all day. Larger presentations, ideally with some scent, vibration and/or profile, will be beneficial in the current conditions; most of the fish I’ve heard of have been caught by float fishing roe, which isn’t surprising at all.
I wrote a detailed introduction to the summer Salmon fishery, which can be found here, check it out if you’re looking for a more detailed overview of techniques, timing and nuances of this fishery. Stay safe out there!
Capilano River Fishing Report
This past week we have seen some good fishing on the Capilano, as both gear and fly anglers have been producing fish. At the time of writing, the river is sitting at a 1.4m, which is very fishable. Although the weir is up in the estuary, given the right tide and a bump in water levels, fish will still continue to make their way up from the ocean.
Anglers float fishing roe, beads and blades have been picking off fish in the right places. In the upper canyon pools, fly anglers have been having good success casting and stripping flies on full sink flies. The name of the game this time of year is timing. There are days where fly anglers will be most effective and days where the gear anglers will be more effective. See if you can time your outing to most effectively cater to your style of angling. Check the water level reports often and use them to your advantage. A small bump in water levels can change the fishing from slow to hot very quickly.
There has been consistent success for the fly anglers for the past couple weeks. We have an excellent selection of Capilano specific flies, tested and designed to be used in the upper canyon pools. Early mornings and late evenings usually produce better than midday.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
The lake fishing has been predictably unpredictable over the past week. The fish are still feeding but their diet has been changing drastically through the day. A few others and I went up into the interior and fished various lakes independent of each other and we all noticed that their feeding selection would shift every few hours. Fish were caught on mayflies and dragons in the morning, leeches and chironomids in the afternoon, and caddis in the evening. A throat pump and your fly-tying gear is an absolute must if you want consistent success as you can learn the timings of emergences and adapt your patterns. A rewarding part of this style of fishing is when you notice the little details, match the hatch, and have great success the next day. It’s also pretty vital to have more than the standard two rods if you want to be quickly changing up throughout the day or have a versatile fly box to match your retrieve rate and fly line.
I had the most consistent success stripping #14-#18 pheasant tail nymphs variations in 8-15 ft under a full floating line with a long leader. I tie my mayflies quite heavy so I can use a quicker retrieve while keeping it near the bottom. Use an intermediate line if your best patterns are unweighted. A hover or emerger line is awesome too as you get the best of both worlds and can use a shorter leader making it easier to cast further.
The caddis hatch is now into the swing of things too. I did have a few fish rise to my large Mikulak sedge but it wasn’t near as prolific as it should have been, which may have been due to the volatile weather patterns. The best caddis fishing typically happens after a sunny hot morning, followed by overcast weather and a rain, and then a flat calm and beautiful evening. There’s a lot of factors that need to work out in your favour but the conditions are in place for that to be a reality. Stock up on some caddis pupae imitations in olive and brown to have yourself covered.
Best of luck!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well, we are a week out from July 15th and the question on everyone’s mind is will we get a chinook retention opening in Area 29 and 17 like we have had in the last few years. The reality is nobody really knows until the Fisheries Notice actually comes out.
We are also waiting for the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan to come out. The IFMP usually comes out in June and has wording that will indicate what we can expect in the months to come. The actual Fisheries Notices are the legal notices that open and close the fisheries and reflect the wording in the IMFP. The IFMP is at the Fisheries Ministers office, Joyce Murray, so pretty much everyone in DFO management is waiting for it to come back from there as well.
Joyce, if you are reading this, let’s get the show on the road! It’s not like local business, local anglers, and tourists are trying to plan things in advance or anything like that!
What I can tell you is that there is currently no indication from my meetings with DFO that we won’t be open on July 15th for one chinook a day between 62 and 80 cm, hatchery or wild. This will be the same opening that we have had the last 2 years, so you will need to fish W of Gower Point on this side or cross over and fish in Area 17 NW of Thrasher Rock.
What I can also tell you is that anything can happen, so although I am optimistic there will be an opening July 15th, you never know given the current political climate and DFO’s willingness to pander to First Nation and Environmental Groups demands and disregard the science that supports sustainable fishing opportunities and all Canadians’ rights to access hatchery chinook stocks.
Locally, we have been fishing for coho and it has been spotty for the most part. It should pick up as the river drops in the summer months and more fish are forced to stage along West Van. We have also had some fun trip over at the Gulf Islands with some great C&R chinook fishing and consistent bottom fishing.
Crabbing continues to be worth the effort but things usually start to slow down right about now due to commercial pressure in the harbour. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram as that is where I will be posting about the Fisheries Notice if it comes out next week.