Here comes summer! After an unsettled week of weather in Vancouver we are going to see some real summer weather this weekend. Temps will hit mid to high 20s all weekend and it looks to be sticking around for at least 10 days! Though heat is not ideal for all our fisheries it is sure nice to be out in. One way or another we expect some great fishing. In this week’s report we will look at how the heat will benefit or hamper our fisheries and share some strategies to match your tactics to the conditions.
On the riverfront we are still waiting for the Chilliwack and Skagit to open (July 1). We are hoping this heat will beat down some of the snow pack so we can actually fish when they open. Next week Matt will have his outlook for the Skagit river season. We have seen him watching river levels and geeking out on graphs already. Yes, it is way is way too early and he should be working but stay tuned for that report next week.
This week we have a detailed look at the Capilano River and the Ambleside beach fishery. We were a little off on our report last week. They opened the dam and the bump of water made the river fishing better than we had forecasted. Both the river coho fishery and the beach coho fishery play off each other. Meaning low water is good for the beach and bumps of high water are good for the river. If you want more details check out Alex’s river report, Andre’s Beach fly fishing report and Dustin’s Beach gear fishing report below.
We also have Andre’s custom beach patterns in the shop. If you are planning to hit the beach with a fly rod this summer this is a good time to come down and load up the box or get tying your own!
The sun and heat always make for a great day on the water but as you may know hot weather usually brings wind, so you will want to pay careful attention to the marine forecast if you are heading out this weekend. See more details on the fishing in Jason’s report this week.
On the fly tying front we have a new product on the floor that we are super excited about. UV resins have been around for a while now. They are an amazing tool for building and finished flies. There are many good brands on the market but we have found some are better than others. Getting the correct thickness, good durably and most importantly a tack fee cure has not always been easy. Solarez is absolutely the best UV resin we have found. It comes in a number of viscosities and cures harder and cleaner (no tacky feel) than anything we have experimented with. Jordan has more details in the feature section this week so if you like adding epoxy like finishes to your flies without the hassles of an epoxy turner; check out the write up below.
Last but not least the interior lake fishing is still going strong. For the last 10 days it was a little more challenging with unsettled weather but the heat is going to hit the interior too and this should make hatches more consistent again. In the long run this heat will slow things down on the lower elevation lakes but at least for the weekend we expect it to be a good thing. See Andre’s Interior lake report for more info.
CLASSES AND COURSES
There are still a couple of spots in this months Introduction to Fly Fishing Trout Streams course. Also, if you’re looking at your July calendar we have released the dates for Andre’s Fly Fishing on Beaches course. Book your spot today as this class sells out every year.
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 seminar.
Dates: June 20, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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 courses last year!
Dates: July 10 or July 16
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Family Fishing Weekend – Recreational Fishery Licensing Information
British Columbia’s Family Fishing Weekend (FFW) is a celebration of the great tradition of sport fishing. The Government of Canada is providing an opportunity to fish in tidal waters at no cost (unless you require a salmon conservation stamp) for the weekend dates of June 15, 16 and 17, 2018 only.
For these dates a Tidal Water Sports Fishing (TWSF) Licence is not required to fish in BC tidal waters except for species as specified below. This is applicable to Canadian residents as well as non-residents and covers adults, seniors and juveniles. If you already have a valid TWSF Licence, you must carry it when you are fishing during the Family Fishing Weekend. Please note that all conditions of Licence, closures and catch restrictions are still enforced. Ensure you refer to the conditions of the 2018/2019 TWSF Licence as well as the online BC Sport Fishing Guide (http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/index-eng.html) before going fishing. To fish for salmon in freshwater you will require a free FFW or Juvenile TWSF Licence and a valid 2018 salmon conservation stamp. The salmon conservation stamp can be purchased and added to the free TWSF Licence. Please note if you already hold a valid stamp it will automatically be added to the free FFW TWSF Licence online. If you hold a hard copy salmon conservation stamp ensure you carry it along with the free FFW TWSF Licence for the June 15 to 17, 2018 period. Please note that the free FFW TWSF Licence is valid from June 15 to 17, 2018 only, however, any salmon conservation stamps purchased are valid for the fishing season (April 01, 2018 – March 31, 2019). Additionally the public can obtain a complimentary basic freshwater licence from the BC Government for the Family Fishing Weekend.
Species requiring a free FFW TWSF Licence (June 15 – 17, 2018) include halibut and lingcod, salmon. For more details and to check daily possession and size limits and closures online go to http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/index-eng.html
All tidal area closures and recreational fishing limits and restrictions still apply.
Vancouver Chinook Classic 2018
Save the date – it’s Game On for the 7th annual Vancouver Chinook Classic, the premier, nonprofit catch and release salmon derby fundraiser for the Pacific Salmon Foundation & Sport Fishing Institute. We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water again this August – fishing and having fun in the sun competing for the large cash prizes!
Date: Sat Aug 18th & Sun Aug 19th 2018
Venue: Pacific Gateway Hotel & Deckside Marina (previously known as Pier 73 Marina)3500 Cessna Drive Richmond
Prizes: 1st place $15,000 2nd place $7,000 3rd place $3,000
Entry Fee: $300 + GST per person
Registration: To make registration easier we have created an online registration process. Register online here: https://www.decksidemarina.com/registration-form
- Entry into 2018 Vancouver Chinook Classic
- Complimentary moorage
- Breakfast Saturday & Sunday morning
- Dinner Saturday night
- BBQ and awards ceremony Sunday afternoon
- Drink tickets
- Discounted room rates at the Pacific Gateway Hotel
If you have any questions please give us Deckside Marina a call at 604-970-4882 or email email@example.com
For more details have a look at tournament website www.vancouverchinookclassic.com
Thanks to all who participate, donate and support! We welcome all anglers from novice to expert and look forward to seeing everyone again soon – let the fun times begin!
Your VCC Derby organizers,
West Coast Fishing Club
Pacific Gateway Hotel
A lot of anglers have recently seen a big increase of UV resins being used to increase durability, add life-like features, and to open up the doors of creativity. Out of all the ones on the market, my favorite is Solarez.
Solarez was originally a company specializing in resins for coating and fixing surfboards. They have now delved in to the fly fishing world. By creating a true tack-free finish that dries incredibly hard and clear, it is no wonder that surfers and anglers alike are finally realizing it’s potential.
When we were first playing with samples at the shop we put a drop on the front counter. It cured like a bead of glass and it took a screw driver to chip it off.
Available in a variety of easy to use viscosities, it can be used as a head cement or shell back, as well as used to build up bodies or create bombproof coatings to delicate thread or tinsel bodies.
We have also brought in their UV light. We have a number of UV lights at the store from the cost affective ones we use to charge up saltwater flashers, to the higher end curing lights. The Solarez High output UVA 385nm flashlight is like a light saber. The resin actually smokes when you use this light on it. Though the other lights work, this guys is on an industrial level!
If you’re curious about how to use any of the Solarez products, or have any questions, come on in and see me- I’ll be more than happy to talk about it with you and show you some cool tips!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano got a much needed bump in water last Friday, literally hours after we had posted our weekly fishing report. This gave the fish an opportunity to come into the river and push past the weirs down on the Reserve. While the higher water level was short-lived we did get a few reports of good fish activity in the upper stretches of river over the weekend. The lower river remained pretty quiet and it’s pretty safe to assume most of the fish shot through at night during the higher water and made their way straight to the top.
As of this particular moment of me writing the report the levels are back to “normal”; low but still with a little bit of flow. However, we are expecting to see blue skies and soaring temperatures so expect the water to drop back to dirt low conditions this coming week. Now is the time to hit the river if you want to fish it as once they turn off the water again the fish will start stacking at the mouth (see Dustin + Andre’s overview of that fishery in this week’s report as well).
If you can get into a spot with some flow then drift fishing pro-cured roe is king, though small colorado blades and egg imitations will work well too. For flat water, casting and retrieving Blue Foxes or Gibbs Kohos and Crocs can work wonders in addition to stripping small flies. Fly selection is more crucial than other fisheries, with Andre’s Cap Bugger being one of our go-to’s. In saying that if you don’t have that particular fly then try small and sparse streamers in olive, blue, or brown colours. In the upper river you want to fish your flies on a full sinking line to get down to depth and to stay in the strike zone as the canyon pools are quite deep.
This is not an easy fishery but it is close to home, so if you have an hour or two to kill then it’s not a bad idea to stop by and wet a line. Hit it right and you just might be rewarded with one of those beautiful (and tasty) Capilano coho.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
We heard some good reports over the last week but most are reporting that the chironomid fishing was slower with the unstable weather. We had reports of sedge, mayfly and damsel hatches. Since we had that high pressure in May we have had unsettled weather the last two weeks but it looks like nice weather is on the way for this week. This makes it tough for lake fishermen but on a positive note the lakes are not done.
I have had some reports from Merritt and Kamloops lakes with damsels hatching; the water temps are still around 70 degrees so we still have time to hit the lakes. If you’re heading out I would recommend to fish higher elevation lakes 4500 and over or start fishing the Cariboo lakes but before you go make sure to choose a high pressure window if you have the choice for better fishing. Don’t forget to have a few dragon damsel and caddis nymphs in your tackle box as they are hatching already. This a great time to fish dries in the evening if you want to prolong your fishing day.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing was pretty decent this past week with some success locally as well as decent fishing around Gabriola. The hotter fishing has been on the other side on the days we have been able to get there, so let’s start there.
For the most part the fish have been fairly deep and we are fishing inshore on the structure. Depth of water can range from 120 to as deep as 240 and our gear is generally close to the bottom as that is where the bait is. Hootchies seem to be producing the best, in particular the blue splatter, green splatter, and chartreuse splatter hootchies with as 32-35 inch leader. Productive flashers have been blue glow, chartreuse glow, and green glow. If you get your chinook, try going shallow and head offshore into 1000 feet and look for coho as there has been schools of coho feeding offshore. We have seen some on the surface but generally productive rigger depths will be 25-100. White UV hootchies are always good producers for these fish. Bottom fishing has also been decent.
Locally there has been a few fish around off South Bowen and up to Gower Point. There are little pockets of bait and fish and when you find them you can have decent action. Best depths have been 90-150 on the riggers. There seems to be lots of “just unders” in the area as well, so looks like we have a good number of feeders in the area. If this fish continue to hang around and feed on anchovies and herring, it could give us some good action later on in July.
Crabbing has definitely picked up the last couple of weeks with some of the best sets of the season these past few trips. The commercial fleet will be open in the next week or so and that makes it much slower, so best get your crab while you can.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Beach Fishing Prep – Fly Fishing
It is getting close to the arrival of salmon at our local beaches. Yes it is time to get ready for another season of beach fishing for coho. I have checked the beach a couple of times for the past two weeks to see if by any chance there are fish, but haven’t seen much to shout about. I will be going regularly for the next 4 months, as it is my favorite fishery. We need the Capilano river level to stay low for the salmon to start accumulating in the estuary. This year its just coho so there won’t be any pinks to entertain you while you are waiting to hook one of the stubborn coho.
Get your 7-8 weight rods with a floating or intermediate line and be sure your gear rods and terminal tackle are ready for the closest and convenient fishery in our city. The flies are already in the store. I have spent the last 32 years on our local beach gathering information about ocean entomology, behaviour of the fish and experimented with different tackle setups so if you really want to have a better understanding of what to tie. Dustin has been gear fishing the beach for the last few seasons and blow this report he has a great write up on which spoons and spinners to use if you are gear fishing. As always please come to the shop and we’ll fill you in on more details.
Beach Fishing Prep – Gear Fishing
It is almost the time of the year that people would be starting to fish off the Ambleside beach for salmon. There are lots of methods to chase the elusive coho salmon off of the beach but I will be focusing on the gear side of this fishery.
For tossing lures we prefer spinning rods that are in 8’6″ – 10′ in lengths. Because we are casting lures that are less than a half ounce (sometimes a 1 1/2 oz zingers) we shouldn’t use rods longer than that as longer rods will take away the accuracy needed to hit areas that have jumping fish. It is also never fun to tangle with other anglers when you are out fishing
Our favorite rods are:
- Trophy Coho Series $109.99
- Fenwick Eagle $109.99
- Fenwick HMX $139.99
- Berkeley Buzz Ramsey Series $159.99
- G Loomis E6X fiber-blend rods $304.99
As for the reels, we want them to be at least saltwater shielded. Fishing in the saltwater with regular freshwater reels can be quite annoying. You won’t have problems for the first few days however if not maintained properly the reel will start feeling rough and will soon be unfishable. So here is the list of Saltwater reels:
- Penn Fierce II $119.99
- Penn Battle II $169.99
- Daiwa Fuego LT $179.99
- Daiwa BG $179.99
- Penn Spinfisher V $219.99
- Daiwa Tatula LT $289.99
- Daiwa Saltist $319.99
The best lures to use in this fishery are size 4 Blue Fox Vibrax, 3/8 oz Gibbs Croc, size 4 Koho & Kit-A-Mat, Spinz Hoochie spinners buzz bombs and zingers. If it is a problem getting some distances due to the wind and any other factors you should add some weight. You can add a small bit of pencil lead split shots or Egg sinkers above your swivel. You can also get the bobber/trolling weight from P-line.
The ideal timing for the fishery is low tide when you can walk out to the small island. However, don’t stay out there for too long as the pathway becomes less visible. If you see people leaving, leave with them. For fly fishing it is very challenging to fish any time except the low tide. Though it is not as good as low tide, gear fisherman (because of the distance you can cast) can fish at other tides but you will need to learn where to stand so you do not snag up. Fishing off the rock jetty or at the mouth of the river is an option at almost all tide levels.
If you do have any questions about the set-ups and know-hows give us a call at the shop, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have fun and stay safe out there.