It looks as though we were going to see more rain this week but the weather man has changed his tune as of Friday morning and we are looking at pretty nice weather over the next 5 days. It will be a perfect mix of sun and cloud for fishing in Vancouver. In the Kamloops area and other parts of the interior, we will see a little more rain early next week but the weekend looks great. We are also seeing a nice extension of our spring lake season with cooler seasonal temps making for more great lake reports.
This week, we will keep the report short but we have good intel on the Capilano as well as an update for the interior lakes. We also have an outlook on the Chilliwack where we have looked at water levels and snow pack to give everyone some predictions or at least some data looking at if the river will be fishable when it opens on the first of July.
If you are thinking about trout fishing next month, you might have missed last week’s report where Matt looked at some of the challenges facing our summer trout streams as well as the water level predictions. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/XA7FEeHGczU and stay tuned for next week when he updates the data and also looks at the Chilliwack in more detail.
Last, but not least, Father’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, June 19. We have some great items in stock to gift the Dad in your life. If you’re looking to spend the day with your Dad, why not book him a guided trip? You can call our Guide Operations Manager, Lee, on our Charter line,778.788.8582, and he can run you through all of our great trip options.
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: (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
Introduction To Fly Fishing Trout Streams
Stalking trout on mountain streams defines fly fishing. In this course we will teach you the fundamental techniques for fly fishing trout streams; dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing.
This Introduction to Fly Fishing Trout Streams course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening zoom seminar.
Date: June 28, 2022
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report – Outlook
The Chilliwack Vedder River opens on the first of July for summer chinook. Historically, the river is high on opening day and there are not many fish in the system. The bulk of the run historically starts showing up in the middle of the month. With it, water levels drop and become more “fishable”.
A couple factors might affect this year’s fishery. The first is much higher stocking numbers from the Chilliwack Hatchery 1, 2 and 3 seasons ago. If you want to look into these numbers check out the Chilliwack hatchery stocking reports. It is interesting and could make the bell curve for the runs timing much larger as fish might come earlier.
The second factor is the major changes to the Chilliwack River due to the flooding last fall. With much broader water and less deep “old” pools, we are not sure how things will go. Fly fishing has always been a challenge in deep pools but with more broad water we might see the swung fly become more successful. On the flip side, it also might make finding holes where the fish are stacking up harder.
In terms of snow pack, when we look at the snow pack right now it is noticeably higher than normal for this time of year.
As we write the report the river is at a 2.8-2.85 on the graph. It is too early to predict what will happen but, if we run off some river level numbers from steelhead season after the flooding, we can make some general predictions. Before the flood, 1.6 was what we considered low and 2.1 was high. Now, post flood, 1.8 is on that low hard to fish side and 2.3-2.4 is high.
The highest freshet level last year was 2.7 in early June and it took 1 month to get down into good shape around the 5-10th of July.
We are not going to make any bold predictions yet but the general consensus is it will be high in early July and won’t be at good fishing levels until the end of July. We will see how the river changes affect the fishery and cross our fingers for those higher stock levels to translate into more fish.
Some food for thought when planning your July – fingers crossed!!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano continues to run at levels that are consistently higher than what we’ve seen in the past several years, which has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, fresh coho are pushing into the system every day, which means there are always good numbers of fresh, aggressive fish around. The downside is that they can scoot right up to the hatchery in less than a day if they choose, which can make locating them a challenge at times. The thing is, this year’s early coho return seems to be quite strong, so there are good numbers of fish scattered all over the place… as such, lots of anglers are finding fish with minimal effort and having successful days.
It’s always a good idea to check the river level gauge that’s provided by Metro Vancouver before you head out; it’ll give you a reasonably good idea of what the river is doing and what to expect in advance of landing on the river. Here is the link to the Real-Time Hydrometric Data Map anything over 100 cm/s is very high, anything under 30cm/s is quite low.
Anything over 100 cm/s is very high and anything under 30cm/s is quite low.
Traditionally, gear has outproduced flies when the river is running high and flies have outproduced gear when the river is low. While this is still true, some fly anglers have been consistently getting fish, so bring whatever rod you want to bring. Gear folks will want to float fish with bait, especially roe, beads, blades, yarn or jigs, but casting spoons, spinners or twitching jugs can also be quite productive. Fly anglers have been getting fish on the standard Capilano patterns, but an abundance of fresh fish means more traditional coho flies are also working quite well. There are also some steelhead hanging around; these fish are either spawned-out winter-run kelts, or early Summer-run fish. These fish aren’t doing too well these days, so common sense dictates that these fish should be treated with the utmost care and if you see noticeably colored fish, please refrain from targeting them. In short, if you see a giant 12lb fish lurking in a shallow tailout or slow deep pools with heavy red or dark green coloring, hold back the urge to cast.
Remember that the Capilano is a dam-controlled river, so water levels can fluctuate quite rapidly. Keep an eye on water levels and always be ready to pick up your gear and get away from the water in a hurry.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
The waters are warming up but the hatches are still going strong. The cooler weather earlier in the season means that hatches have been holding on longer than they did last year. Chironomid hatches have still been solid on lakes north of 3000ft. Most lakes have been seeing the fish diving deeper than 20-30ft meaning that full sinking lines are a necessity unless you really want to splurge on fluorocarbon to make extra-long leaders under a floating line.
There have been a ton of lakes that have had solid hatches in the 10-20 ft water column too, so don’t always expect to be fishing the deep stuff. Sizes 14-16 are still the most common size of chironomids popping up but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that some bomber hatches are happening. Start tying up or putting wood duck chironomid patterns in your box too as they start showing up with the warmer water.
Mayfly hatches have been pretty full blown throughout the province. I wrote a pretty detailed report last week about how I search for trout using mayfly patterns so make sure you have weighted and unweighted patterns to match what fly line you plan to use. The weather looks like it is going to be overcast this weekend after a warm week so mayflies and damsels should be out. Maybe some caddis on some of the lower elevation lakes but I don’t expect them for another 1-2 weeks.”
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing pressure has been light locally, as one would expect with the lack of chinook retention opportunities in Vancouver waters. Some boats have been heading across to the Gulf Islands where there are retention opportunities for lingcod and rockfish and you can fish catch & release for chinook. We have been doing that when winds allow and have had good bottom fishing and chinook fishing. On our local trips we have been doing some DNA sampling and there are quite a few chinook around, as usual for this time of year.
Most Vancouver anglers have been waiting for some coho to show up and the first ones are already in the Cap with the recent rains. These summer run coho usually start to show up in better numbers in the marine waters right about now. In fact, George, one of our guides, got into a hatchery coho off West Van on Thursday, so there are definitely some starting to show up.
Success for these fish will pick up as more fish push in later in June and all through July, August and even into September. You can catch these coho offshore on the Hump, South Bowen, Point Atkinson, the entire West Van shoreline, and the mouth of the Capilano River. Early season we often prefer to fish the Hump or the tidelines off South Bowen, but if it’s too windy to fish these areas, the West Van shoreline to the Cap Mouth is always a good bet. Keep an eye out for commercial traffic off the Cap Mouth and try this area on the flood. On the ebb try more along the West Van shoreline around the Pink Apartment all the way down to Point Atkinson.
Fishing for coho is quite a bit different than your usual chinook tactics. For starters the fish are shallow. Best depths are usually in the top 50 feet of the water column, especially for actively feeding coho found this time of year. In recent years my most productive depths have been 25 to 35 feet. This is especially true earlier in the morning or on overcast days. Later in the day or on sunny days the fish can be a bit deeper, 45 or 55 is often productive.
We also like to use lots of flash and less glow. We generally aren’t using flashers that have glow tape on one side because at 35 feet this is just going to be a white tape. Flashers that incorporate UV Purple or UV chartreuse blades with reflective tapes like Prism, Moon Jelly, or Laser are all excellent choices. Some top producers are the Gibbs Delta Twisted Sista in UV Purple or UV Chartreuse blades, the Oki Betsy and the Green Onion or Purple Onion.
In terms of lures, hootchies and spoons are the way to go. Keep that buck a bite bait in the freezer for when you really need it later in the season for chinook. Coho love hootchies that are white UV or white UV with a pink stripe, or just old school white plastic. To give the hootchies a bit more flash, you can insert a mylar skirt. I also like a shorter leader to give the hootchy more action. Try 28 inches and experiment from there.
Spoons should incorporate a lot of flash as well so stick to the nickel or silver finishes from Gibbs Delta or Silver Horde. Top producing models are G-Force 3.0, Kingfisher 3.0 or 3.5, Skinny G and Wee G. A 6-foot leader is standard for chinook fishing but to add more action to your spoon while coho fishing, don’t be afraid to try a 3 to 4 foot leader.
The last tip is speed. You are fishing artificial (hootchies and spoons) so don’t be afraid to troll on the faster side of speed spectrum. The coho like a faster troll and hootchies and spoons fish well faster than slower. Make sure to check the regulations for area 28 and 29 as well. In most areas the regulations are 2 hatchery coho a day and they must be 30 cm or greater.
See you in the shop or on the water,