Happy Father’s Day everyone! Before we get started, we wanted to remind everyone that we still have some awesome Father’s Day Sale deals on at the shop. The sale runs until close on Sunday so there is lots of time to pop in a grab a little something for the Dad or other Father figures in your life. Our full sale list is here , if you missed it earlier in the week!
Another little house keeping item you may not know about is that we have a loading zone right outside the shop. This loading zone is free to use for any customer if you are stopping by the shop for a quick visit. You do not have to worry about getting ticked or towed so take advantage of it!
Now let’s talk fishing report stuff. The middle of June is an interesting month for fishing in Vancouver. We are eagerly awaiting some fisheries like the Skagit and Chilliwack to open July 1 and we’ll have more intel on these two fisheries in the next 2 weeks. Coho fishing in the saltwater is going well and the catch and release chinook fisheries are hot. Lake fishing is in a time of shift with more diverse hatches, but we are also seeing more “moody” fish in the warmer water.
June is also a great time of year to tackle some of the less thought about fisheries. With that in mind, we have a Fraser River sturgeon report. With the relatively tame freshet this year it is time to get out for either shore fishing or boat angling. If you are thinking about an easy Father’s Day outing check out the report.
This is also a great time of year to start carp fishing on ponds and lakes from here to the Interior. We are going to re visit an old article where we went over the basic rigs and techniques you need to tackle this easy access fishery.
Last, but not least, it’s Family Fishing Weekend – check out more details on that below and we’ll see you on the water or in the shop this weekend!
On to the report!
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. 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 14 & 17, July 11 & 15, Sept 19 & 23
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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.
Date: June 20, 2023
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Fly Fishing On Beaches Course
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. 2023 is a pink salmon year in the Lower Mainland and remember, east coast Vancouver Island has a pink salmon run every year.
Date: Wednesday June 21, 2023
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATE
Family Fishing Weekend
Family Fishing Weekend is here! This is a great weekend to get out on the water with family and friends.
From June 16 – 18 licences for both fresh and saltwater are free. Check out the links below for more details on getting your free licences, for both freshwater and saltwater, as well as some fun events throughout the Province that are setup by our friends at the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Fraser River Sturgeon Report
It’s early June and the sturgeon are active. These large freshwater fish put up a great fight and can be caught 15 minutes from Vancouver.
Recent highwater has made shore fishing tough, as at most spots, the current is ripping too hard. Slow eddy’s, current seams, and slots next to the fast current is generally your best bet. Upsizing your weights in order to keep your bait on the bottom is key, as sturgeon won’t bite if your bait is bouncing around.
When fishing for sturgeon from shore, we tend to use 9–12-foot rods to cast your presentation to the desired area. Pair these rods up with an 8000 sized spinning reel or equivalent sized level wind equipped with no less than 275 yds of 100lb braid and you’re in the game.
Bait such as eulachon, lamprey, pikeminnow and even worms are staples until July. Contrary to popular belief, sturgeon like the freshest bait possible – if you can catch your own bait and keep it fresh, do so. Be sure to match the size of your bait to the right sized hook. Typically, we like to run Owner or Gamakatsu hooks in sizes 6/0 to 10/0 tied up with a soft, dacron sturgeon leader to prevent injury to the fish during the fight. Keep your leaders short to keep your bait on the bottom – 1-2 feet is all you need.
Lower Fraser sturgeon fishing success is largely dependent on the tides. Timing your outing two hours before and after high tide is best, as the current will slow down, and the fish will start looking for food. Another benefit to fishing the slack tides is you can get away with a lighter weight. The faster the current, the heavier the weight. When shore fishing, we typically use 12-24 oz weights depending on the current speed.
As for spots, anywhere along the Fraser between Hope and Richmond is a good place to start. These fish tend to move around, so don’t be afraid to try new spots. Make sure to bring plenty of weights in case of snags!
This awesome family friendly fishery is so close to home and is often overlooked. The fishing will continue to be productive throughout the summer months and will only get better during the Fall. As always, pay attention to the tides and you should have success.
Good luck out there,
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Carp Fishing – 2023 update
For years Matt has been doing a family summer trip to the Okanagan. It has never been a fishing trip, but he has found a way between the wine tours and family time to have some excellent fishing. The below article is a compilation of how we target carp across the province starting with the simplest low impact strategies all the way into technical rigs and fly fishing.
I know many of you head up to the same area and I am going to share some tricks on how you can literally use your child’s starter rod or that old spinning rod in the shed to catch fish. I will then talk about how to take it a little farther and get technical. Lastly if you really want a challenge, I have some tips for catching them on the fly, a feat that is not for the easily frustrated but one that is a ton of fun and great training if you like flats fishing down south in the winter.
So, let’s start with the lazy man’s carp game. Head out to any area on the lake (Okanagan, Osoyoos, Skaha and many lakes around the Lower Mainland) and look for a nice place to set up a lawn chair with a large expanse of 2-8ft water near a drop-off. Use a basic bottom rig. A size 7 egg sinker is what I use with a small bead, small black barrel swivel and 3 feet of 10lb fluorocarbon with a small yet strong hook. Carp are quite hook sensitive so don’t skimp out on bulky cheap hooks. Size 10-6 hooks seem to work best for me.
I forgot the key ingredient! You will need to go to the supermarket and get a can of corn; leftover corn cut off the cob works too if you have some left from dinner.
Put 2-3 pieces of corn on the hook hiding the hook as much as possible. Now cast out the rig 30-50ft offshore. When the weight hits bottom reel in a few feet to straighten out the leader and put a slight bend on the rod. Set the drag on your reel so it keeps a bend in the rod but will give line easily. Now stick the rod in the lawn chair (a spiked rod holder is way better but not needed) and sit back and enjoy the view, or a glass of wine.
You will hook pike minnows and carp using this method and it’s a great way to get kids into fishing because they can be playing happily on the beach and when the fish bites you can yell them over.
Ok – for hardcore carp guys, they are probably rolling their eyes at the above tactics. You can get way more technical and getting technical will pay off if you have the will and the time to put in. When I am taking things seriously below are the key essentials to really up your game and consistently catching a lot more fish.
The first game changer is rod holders. Using a forked branch just does not cut it. Having your rod horizontal is important in keeping your connection from your reel to your bait direct. To achieve this, we use 2 separate rod holders, one in the back and one in front. Typically, the holder in the front has a bell or electronic bite alarm attached with the rod seated on top. Your bite alarm serves exactly as it sounds; to alert you when you have a big carp running away with your hook!
Spring Feeders are the next big upgrade. They act as your weight and anchor to your bait, and uniquely they are a method to house your ground bait. While chumming is prohibited in freshwater fishing in BC, you are permitted to use ground bait as part of your presentation as long as your hook is incorporated into your spring feeder to make one presentation.
Lastly, on the rigging front, and probably the most important upgrade is the Hair rig. It is a way to present your bait specially to target the unique way carp feed. Carp are bottom feeders that do a 3-stroke process of sucking in potential food items, blowing out unwanted items and then quickly sucking in any food items that the carp deems edible. The bait is never actually on the hook, instead, hair rigs have a hook protruding behind the bait, allowing for the hook to catch onto the carp’s mouth before blowing it out. There is a unique way of attaching bait onto a hair rig and it requires a hair rig tool.
Bait will either make or break a carp outing. Having the right baits and flavors can attract carp from long distances to your presentation. There is a catalog double the thickness of a bible with the different carp baits produced worldwide. Most of our preferred baits include boilies, dew worms, dough baits and canned corn; you get to home in on the fun of being a mad scientist. Using a commercial ground bait blend such as the Monster Carp ground bait and adding your own spices and flavours with some trial and error makes finding “the recipe” very rewarding. Ingredients I add to my bait include canned corn, vanilla extract, Jell-O mix, Kool-Aid and oats.
We have all the technical gear and bait as well as the simple gear here at the shop so come on down and we can walk you through how to set it all up.
In future reports, we will be updating our Carp on the Fly article as we have learned a few things over the last couple sessions – so stay tuned for that.