June is moving fast and everyone has fingers crossed for the travel restrictions to be lifted on the 15th. With this in mind, Sterling has an interior lake update where fishing has been good but is shifting. He will go through the bugs and strategies below. Local lakes are still worth looking at this weekend too. A handful were stocked at the end of last month and we have included the latest stocking report in the lake section below as well as some rigging updates for fishing when things warm up.
The Capilano is another one to look at this time of year. Fishing continues to be challenging but we are hearing of more fish both in the river and along the north shore beaches. Taylor has details in the freshwater report section.
Matt is off this week when it comes to the video report but he is looking at snow packs and water levels eagerly awaiting July 1st when many of our interior trout streams kick off as well as the Chilliwack chinook fishery. It is always a matter of water levels being low enough to fish so make sure you are subscribed and expect a deep dive on water levels and an outlook for the 1st of July in next week’s video report. If you want to check out last week’s video report, there is still some good info there – forgive the sound levels being a little off!
If you are dreaming of river fly fishing don’t miss the new book, “Hatches of BC Trout Streams” by Danie Erasmus – We still have a few copies in the store and it has great detailed info on all the bugs you might encounter when things kick off next month.
On to the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
BC Family Fishing Weekend – June 18 – 20, 2021
B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend is an annual celebration of fishing that coincides with Father’s Day weekend each year. During the three-day event, residents of Canada (individuals who have lived in Canada for the preceding 12 months) can go fishing without a license.
The requirement for residents to buy or carry a non-tidal (freshwater) basic license during the third weekend in June, and the Friday immediately prior is waived. This is also true for those who want to go saltwater fishing. Be sure to check out the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s webpage for important licensing exceptions.
This is a great opportunity to get together with family and friends and try fishing!
There are no in person events this year but there is Free Family Fishing Webinar Series put on by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the B.C. Wildlife. This day of free workshops for all ages will get you ready for BC’s 22nd Annual Family Fishing Weekend through Learn to Fish lessons, lure making, fly-tying, door prizes and more!
For more information visit the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s webpage!
CLASSES AND COURSES
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. The course is comprised of two sessions; a 3hr evening Zoom seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Jun 16 & 20, July 14 & 17, Sept 21 & 26
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 course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt of River Runs Through It fame as you will ever be! The course is comprised of one 3hr evening Zoom seminar.
Date: Wednesday, June 23
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
Following several weeks of higher than usual water levels, the Capilano finally seems to be settling down a bit and falling into its usual pattern of running very low through the summer months. It will be interesting to see what the little dump of water yesterday will do to the dam but, as we write the report, it is low.
This means that fishing in the river itself will be getting more and more challenging… it’s too low for fresh fish to push up, and the fish that are already in the river will be getting stale very quickly. Having said that, there seems to be a reasonable amount of rain in the forecast, so there’s a chance that the dam could open back up and make what I’ve just said irrelevant.
If water levels come up with the rains, you can have a look at our previous reports on the Cap; they’ll explain the nuances of fishing the Capilano when the water is high. If the water doesn’t come up, then that means three things… the effectiveness of fishing gear in the river will diminish rapidly, the effectiveness of fishing appropriate small flies in the river will increase, and the beach fishery at Ambleside will start to pick up as well because fish will stage off the mouth.
As the fish in the river get stale, they usually “turn off” of gear and almost completely refuse to bite bait of any kind, beads, blades, or anything else you try to throw at them… but the guys who know how to effectively fish the upper river pools with appropriate flies, like Cap buggers…, will continue to catch fish. Keep in mind that when I say, “continue to catch fish”, I don’t mean “slaying fish” … I mean “grinding out a couple fish in the mornings”.
As I’ve said before, the mid-summer, low-water Capilano coho fishery is usually very challenging, and the people who catch the most fish are the ones who are out there several times a week early in the morning.
Sometimes you’ll be able to see the fish milling about in the pools, and it can be frustrating to watch them completely ignore your gear. If you feel tempted to try flossing or snagging the fish, don’t.
If the in-river fishery isn’t your thing, you can also give the beach fishery a shot. When the river is low, fish will stack up at the mouth and wait for higher water, and they can be targeted by casting spoons, spinners, jigs, buzz bombs, or small flies at Ambleside. Ideally, you’ll want to be out there for a low tide so you can wade out to the sand bars and cast farther. Low-light conditions are also beneficial. Bear in mind that these fish will also get stale if they sit out there for long periods of time.
As always, pay attention to your surroundings when fishing the Cap… it’s a dam-controlled river, so levels can fluctuate rapidly and dramatically with little warning. Always be ready to get away from the water in a hurry, and have exit routes planned out. Also, all steelhead must be released with care.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
Local lakes are still worth a look this weekend. Below is the latest stocking report. A handful of lakes were stocked at the end of May and many were stocked in the middle of May. As long as things don’t get very hot, we should see good fishing on these lakes.
If you want to up your game, consider using a bottom rig not a float rig when things get warm. The fish will be swimming deeper right now. A bottom rig with a bait floating off the bottom is much more effective at getting your presentation into the zone. If you want to brush up on the technique, check this video out that Matt did a few years ago on Fishing with Rod:
Interior Lake Fishing Report
Well, the weather last weekend was about as terrible as it was forecasted. Nasty rain and wind made it tough for a lot of anglers. Persistence paid off for a lot of those anglers as fish had a mishmash of prey items ranging from size 14 limeys to size 8 bombers to mayflies to leeches, etc.
Fishing is never the easiest in tough conditions, but it’s always worth keeping at it and even getting unconventional in those situations. The colder front seemed to push a lot of those fish back up into the 11-18 ft of water from the deeper slots in lakes above 1000m elevation as the water cooled off considerably. Heavy winds also provide ample cover for fish so they feel less wary to travel in shallower feeding lanes. A lot of us don’t get the chance to choose what days we get to fish so it’s all about fishing to the conditions.
Saying all that, the weather is looking nicer this coming weekend. Expect those fish to dive back down deeper and go back to fishing those larger chironomid patterns in lakes above 900m elevation. Lakes under that elevation will have considerably slower hatches occurring meaning it’s time to break out those full sink lines with dragonflies, blobs, and booby flies.
They’re the best options to find those active fish who are feeding at 25+ ft depths. Keep in mind that fish are willing to move considerably out of their way to pick off a larger prey item. It’s not absolutely imperative that you keep your fly at 22 ft in 25 ft of water if you find eager and active trout as they’ll make work easy for you. Just keep moving until you find those fish. Deer hair gomphus patterns in olive and grey are tried and tested patterns that are going to get bites if you get over top of the right fish.
Get out in the evenings and early mornings in shallower depths using similar tactics if 25+ ft depths still feel like too much water to cover. It’s also a side note at this point but I expect caddis hatches to start getting full blown with this warmer weather in lakes above 1000m elevation. Get out in the evenings because there’s a decent chance for some dry fly action if we get steady 20-degree temperatures for a couple of days.