• The Pacific Angler blog is your source for fishing reports, industry news, sales, events, classes, courses, guiding and destination travel!

    This blog will let you know what is going on in the local fishing scene; when to go, where to go, and what to use! It will keep you updated on the latest and greatest rods, reels, lines, lures and flies.

    It will keep you informed on weekly specials, sales events, and contests. We will also be highlighting some great fishing pictures, videos, and information on our trips around the world in pursuit of game fish!

    In short this is Vancouver’s blog for the fishing enthusiast! Intoxication may occur with excessive use, enjoy responsibly.

Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: June 14, 2024

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: June 14, 2024

kokanee_fishing_bc

OUTLOOK

Happy Father’s Day and Family Fishing Weekend everyone! In this week’s report we share the details on how you can take friends and family out fishing on this weekend’s Family Fishing event!  We also have a look at interior and local lakes we take a have a deep dive on river water levels around the Lower Mainland so if you are thinking about getting out on the rivers in July and August you will have a rough idea of what to expect.

We also have a piece on fly fishing for rockfish and ling cod plus a simple fly that all fly anglers need in their box if they are heading up the sunshine coast or over on the island.  

Matt also tunes in with a video version of the report so if you want to sit back and listen to all the details check that out here.   

INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES

BC Family Fishing Weekend

This is your chance to get out on the water this weekend with family and friends.  There are many free fishing events hosted by our friends at the Freshwater Fisheries Society so be sure to check out their website for various events throughout the province.

Licences are also free for June 14-16, 2024 for both fresh and saltwater anglers.    Specific on this vary a bit so have a look at the  website for licensing info. and the fun family events!

BC Family Fishing Weekend

FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS

Summer Trout Stream River Levels Outlook

Every year in the middle of June I take a moment and look at how freshet is progressing. It will dictate a lot of what we will be doing in July and August when it comes to river trout fishing.

This year we have been very concerned about levels and snowpack. If you had asked me in May, I would have been predicting one of the lowest water level years on record. Though we still need to be vigilant and careful, the cool and relatively damp spring has helped. When we look at the numbers (at least on my read) it is not as bad as we might have predicted.

Fraser River

Right now, the Fraser is still high but low for the time of year. You can see here how the cooler spring at least pushed it out of the “lowest ever” levels.

Fraser River Water levels
Fraser River Water Levels 2024

When we are talking about river levels it is very important to look at current snowpack levels. Again, things are very low, but they have not been melted off at a high rate this spring and because of this they are not as low as we feared. Below is a graph from the north shore. This graph is similar to many of the other snowpack reports I looked at from across the lower parts of the province.

North Shore Snowpack 2024
North Shore Snowpack 2024

Now let’s apply this to some of the rivers we fish in July and August. When we look at the Skagit (Yes It will be open this year) It is sitting at 5.6 – 5.8m realm on the graph. This puts it higher than last year. When we look back at our fishing journals it is low but nowhere near the lowest it has been in the last 10 years.  We see this trend on the Chilliwack, Thompson and a number of other major rivers.

Skagit Water levels2023 and June 9 2024 5.67m
2023/2024 Water Levels.
Skagit Water Levels 2020 and 2021 6.05 June 10
2020/2021 Water Levels.
Skagit Water Levels 2019 and 2020
2019/2020 Water Levels.

What Does This All Mean?

I expect high but fishable water levels come July 1 and at least on the Skagit this will mean you will need to be careful wading. If things don’t change, crossing the river will be a challenge if you head out on opening day (July 1).

We will have more details as things progress but if you are planning a trip rushing out on opening week might not be the best plan if you only have one or two trips planned this summer.

I will tune in again with details on how to tackle the summer trout fisheries and if you want to sit down with me for our Stream Fishing Course it is next week on the 19th. Look to the Classes and Courses section at the top of the report for more details.

STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS

Local Lake Fishing Report

Here is a salute to the fishing parental types out there! B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend is an annual celebration of fishing that coincides with the Father’s Day weekend. To celebrate, you can fish for free (without a license) from June 14-16. You will still need a conservation stamp should you choose to retain non tidal salmon. All the info can be found here including information on the saltwater regulations and the specifics on the Family Fishing Weekend Saltwater licensing (its free but you still need to get the free licence) should you want to try some saltwater fishing as well.

The local lakes will be a popular venue for families to gather this weekend. The Freshwater fisheries society is known to do a small stock of catchable fish in the most popular urban lakes for the weekend festivities. Keep an eye out the next few days as you might find a few more fish milling about the local docks.

You may also see a few more anglers… maybe a few new anglers. Fishing with little ones can be a lot of fun, especially watching the joy and chaos unfold during their first trout catch. Here are a couple tips to help put a few trout on the dock with kids.

Gear: Keep it simple and fairly light. The average stocker trout is not very big. Smaller light weight rods will be better suited to the fish and be better for small hands to handle confidently. Your average lightweight 6ft rod will be great. With kids and crowds, I might gravitate towards a moderately priced durable combo option.

Tackle: Don’t get too fancy. A worm and a bobber are a rite of passage for most anglers. Floats with bait presentations are relatively simple and very effective. You will find the most productive bait anglers will have a few different baits to try. Fishing the bottom with a floating bait yields similar results. Be sure the bait you pick is specifically floating and you use smaller light gauge hooks to help keep it suspended well off the bottom. Bait fishing requires a little patience, but if you are willing to keep your attention you will be rewarded. If you prefer a more dynamic setup you can tie on a spoon or spinner can cast to your heart’s content. This is a great way to build confidence in casting with new anglers. Because some locations can get crowded it can be a good idea to do some practice casting with little ones in the park before going live ammo with hooks. This brings me to my next point… Pinch your barbs. I know it’s legal in the lake to fish with barbed and treble hooks, but with kids it’s always a safe bet to go single barbless.

Water safety: Most public docks are very safe places. I encourage parents to think about using a PFD with smaller children at the lake. You can’t be everywhere at once.

Go prepared to have a good time: Have the right clothing and footwear for the location. Most urban lakes offer easy access trails and paths, but some are more rouged. Stock up on snacks, drinks, chairs, and maybe even a big umbrella and blanket if the weather is poor. If everyone is comfortable it’s easier to be engaged in the fishing. Pick out some awesome treats, and a new fishing lure to have a little extra something to look forward to.

If at first, you don’t succeed: Don’t get discouraged. Have a few different baits and techniques to try out. If you’re not getting strikes in 30 min you need to make a change. Change baits, change depth, change locations. This can usually yield a fish or two when is gets tough, and keeps anglers engaged. As always, its fishing and sometimes the fish don’t co-operate. We are always happy to talk you through the gear choices we would make at the shop and help add a few new tricks to your tackle box.

Its sure to get a little crazy, but don’t take it to seriously and everyone is sure to have some fun. Be courteous to your fellow anglers and leave your fishing area cleaner than when you found it.

Eric Peake

BC Interior Lake Fishing Report for Mid-June

There has been some decent fishing in the Kamloops area recently.  Anglers are doing well on chironomids, mayflies, and damselflies.  The cooler weather that made some of the fishing in the Cariboo difficult these past few weeks has benefited some Kamloops lakes in many cases.  Lakes that are usually well into the 60’s are still hovering in the high 50’s and fishing well with anglers enjoying some mid-June chironomid action in some cases.

Once again it looks like some mixed weather is on its way for the 7 and especially the 14 days forecast.  As I mentioned earlier, the cooler weather made for a much tougher and sporadic May season, especially the back half of May.  The positive side to this is we can now expect some lakes to fish well into late June or even early July if this cooler weather sticks around.  It looks pretty hot on the 22/23 weekend, but besides that, it remains relatively cool and I don’t see any temperatures starting with a 3!  Many of the lakes up on the plateaus that are higher than 4000 feet still have temps in the low 50’s and have some good weeks ahead for sure.

As I mentioned in previous reports, be prepared.  You should have chironomids, mayflies, sedges (caddisflies), dragons, leeches, bloodworms, boobies, and blobs in your box if you are heading out this time of year.  My colleagues have had good days on all of these the past week or so.  It really depends on what lake you are at.  Some of the lakes had no hatches and the B&B show made for some good fishing (blobs and boobies).  Others did well on leeches on the indicator or stripped, while the luckiest anglers hit good hatches.

interior_lake_fishing_british_columbia
Big fish eat little bugs! There is still some good chironomid fishing going on in the Kamloops region due to cooler than normal June weather patterns.

Kokanee fishing has also been quite good on all the major kokanee lakes.  We have a full selection of gear for these scrappy and tasty fish, so if you want to get in on the action come down and we will get you set up for success.

kokanee_fishing_bc
Long time PA customer, Kevin, came in and got geared up recently and did very well for kokanee in the Kamloops region.

Good luck out there as there is still lots of season left!

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli

SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS

Fly Fishing for Lingcod and Rockfish

Many BC Fly Anglers that don’t have a boat never think about targeting rockfish and lingcod. It is a shame because it is one of the easiest and most rewarding fisheries if you know a couple tricks and understand where to go.

Let start off with the where. First you need to check your regulations to make sure you are not in a closed area or rock fish conservation area. Do this before you go and note there are no areas close to Vancouver that will work. But if you are heading up the Sunshine Coast, the inside of Vancouver Island or even better to the West Coast of the island there are hundreds of miles of coastline that will be productive.

The simple plan is to go on Google maps and find the closest classic nasty rocky shoreline to where you are staying. Again, as long as it is open for fishing (be sure to read and understand your regulations) and has an abrupt vertical rocky drop off, there will probably be rockfish, greenling and maybe lingcod within casting distance of shore.

Rocky Shoreline for Lingcod Piece
Any coastline that looks like the above, more than likely has rockfish living just off the ledge of the shoreline.

Once you have found a good stretch of rocky shoreline check out the tide charts. You want to be fishing at low tide so that you are fishing where the rockfish live. You can fish high tide, but you will want a heavier sinking line and flies to get down to a depth where the fish will live. At low tide you are much closer to this depth of water.

Grab your 6-9 WT fly rod and some good boots. Flip Flops are a bad idea.  The rocks can be slick, and you will need to move. This is not a “stand in one spot” kind of fishery. A stripping basket is also very useful to keep your line out of the rocks as you are moving.

I use a sink tip line and stout 7-8ft 15-20 lb Mono leader, but you can do this with a floating line and a long leader if it is all you have.

Some anglers use full sinking lines if the shoreline is very steep, but I have found the sink tip or floating line is easier to keep from snagging.

Below we are going to share with you the steps for tying a large Clouser minnow. Many flies will work but this one has been my top producer for years and works everywhere. It’s also great for salmon in smaller sizes.

Fish the shoreline like a bass angler fishes structure. Find a spot you can cast from and try to pick apart any rock or crevice in the shoreline. Cast out, let your weighted Clouser sink and then with a popping retrieve, bring the fly back up the drop off. After a cast or two to each spot, if you don’t hook fish, move 10-15 feet down the shoreline and pick apart that section of the drop off wall.

Come down to the show and we can show you the gear as well as some more tips on this fishery. If we have time, we can sit down with google maps and the regs to find a good spot close to where you are heading.

Matt Sharp

The Mega Clouser Minnow

Materials

  • Hook: 3/0 – 6/0 Saltwater hook
  • Thread: Uni 8/0 White
    Eyes: XL Red Lead Dumbbell Eyes
  • White Tail: White Unique Hair and White EP Fiber
  • Chartreuse Tail: Chartreuse Unique Hair and FL Chartreuse EP Fiber
  • Flash/Lateral Line: Krinkle Mirror Flash
  • Adhesive: Krazy Glue

Method

  • Mount hook in vise, start thread, and advance thread to just shy of halfway point of hook shank
  • Wrap thread back forwards, stopping when the distance between the thread and the hook eye is the width of a pair of dumbbell eyes 
Clouser 1
  • Figure 8 wraps to secure dumbbell eyes, drop of adhesive to secure eyes to shank
  • Tie in Krinkle Mirror Flash behind eyes and make four or five wraps forwards. Fold flash material back towards tail and tie down and taper flash
Clouser 2
  • Tie in white blend of Unique Hair and EP Fibres behind dumbbell eyes, extending ends over top of dumbbells and tying down in front of dumbbells
    • Artificial hairs are slippery!  Add a drop of glue to the wraps behind the eyes for extra security
  • Invert hook in vise (or rotate if using rotary) and tie in chartreuse Unique Hair/EP Fibre mix in front of, and then wrapping backwards towards eyes
Clouser 3
  • Form a neatly tapered head and tie off thread
  • Trim loose/straggly fibres and form proper baitfish taper with scissors
    • This is a great application for tapering scissors!  Come by the shop and ask us about tapering scissors to make this job quick and easy and to take your baitfish patterns up a notch or two!
  • Coat head with cement or lacquer of choice, adding a drop to the top of the dumbbell eyes for good measure
Clouser 5

Happy tying!