Summer is officially here and we are looking forward to another great summer on the water. This past week Matt was in the interior doing some lake fishing and he also did some scouting for the upcoming river season. He has some interesting water level observations. If you are planning on hitting the Skagit when it opens July 1st or you plan to do the Thompson or other rivers in the Hope, Interior or the Pemberton areas you will want to tune in to his report below. His lake report is full of tips as well so be sure to have a read of that one before you head to the lake this weekend.
With nice warm weather we often see a strong NW wind come in and that was the case on the saltwater on the middle part of this week. That made it challenging to get across the strait or even out of the harbor on some of our local trips Despite this there was some decent chinook fishing and we are seeing good number of coho being caught as well. Jason has more details at the end of this report.
On the weather outlook we are going to see a little rain over the next week. It will not be a sizable dump and temperatures in both Vancouver and the interior will not go below seasonal averages. Overall the overcast skies and damper weather is probably a good thing for fishing and just life in general.
TO THE REPORT!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Vancouver Chinook Classic – 2019
Save the date – it’s Game On for the 8th 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 17th & Sun Aug 18th 2019
Venue: Pacific Gateway Hotel & Deckside Marina
3500 Cessna Drive Richmond
Prizes: 1st place $15,000, 2nd place $7,000 3rd place $3,000
Entry Fee: $350 + GST per person (max 4 anglers per team)
Registration: Register online here: https://www.decksidemarina.com/registration-form
- Entry into 2019 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 Deckside Marina a call at 604-970-4882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
Pacific Angler + Pacific Gateway Hotel
CLASSES AND COURSES
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 courses last year!!
Dates: July 9 or July 15
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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.
Dates: Seminar July 17 & Casting July 20
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
If you have been following our fishing reports, this week’s Capilano report might sound a little familiar. If you go into the upper canyon you will find coho in most of the pools, however with the low and clear water conditions they are pretty tight lipped. That’s not to say that there isn’t any action; we have had lots of reports of fish chasing lures and flies although getting them to commit has been tricky to say the least. The two biggest factors you can swing in your favour are presentation size and time of day. Downsizing your lures or flies can turn those followings into grabbers, while hitting the river at first light gives you a crack at those fish after they have had all night in the dark to reset.
While conditions are not particularly favourable for the river, the beach fishing at the mouth will be heating up really quick now as the fish start to stack due to the low river level. We will have an amazing beach primer coming up next week! So, stay tuned as the beach fishing will run straight through to the first big rains in October so it is definitely a fishery you will want to dial in on in the next few months.
Squamish River Fishing Report
For those of you looking for a report on the Squamish we are eagerly waiting for the pinks to show up. This usually doesn’t happen until mid-July/August. While there are some limited opportunities to fish before that it is challenging. With freshet the river is usually high and dirty with limited shore access. We will tune in when we start hearing reports of Pinks showing up around July/August.
River Trout Season Has Started??
So, if you have been tuning in to our last couple reports I have been looking at water levels. What we consider the river trout season consists of 3 major fisheries and a bunch of no name minor ones. The big three are the Skagit, Thompson and Birkenhead. Historically they are very high this time of year from snowmelt and even if they are open, we do not really consider them “go to” fisheries. We like to wait until river levels drop and historically this happens around mid-July with good fishing from then until the first big cold snaps in October.
We are looking at a much lower snow pack this year and when looking at all the numbers we seem to be about 3 weeks ahead. This means river levels should be getting into decent fishing levels right now.
With this in mind, we drove up last weekend and looked at a couple spots to gauge river levels and we took a few hours to fish the Thompson. It was very cool. The water was definitely high. There were a number of spots that we couldn’t access because of the water levels but the water was clear and the fish were hungry. There was a sizable brown caddis hatch going off. With the tight banks it was very common to be holding on to bushes or pushing through them and each time resulted in a cloud of caddis escaping the rustling brush. Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised. Fishing was obviously a challenge with the limited space. We did 90% role casting but I fished classic big dry flies and hooked a ton of fishing ranging from 10 inches all the way to 19 inches.
A few of the guys I fished with ran black stonefly nymphs and hooked a bunch as well.
I use a 4-6wt for this fishery but if you have a trout spey in 3-5wt it would be perfect for the conditions we saw on the weekend with the tight banks.
There are tons of access spots on the Thompson from Gold Pan to Savana. There is no point in giving out exact spots, it is just a matter of picking an access point and covering water. Come into the shop and we can walk you through some simple access points.
So overall it was well worth the trip and if you are comfortable with role casting or you have a trout spey to help with the tight banks it is worth the trip. If you want optimal water levels, I would still wait a couple weeks.
On the overall outlook for the rivers this season I expect things to be good across the board come July 1st
See you on the water,
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
I hit Stoney Lake last weekend and overall it was a great trip. Talking to the team at the lodge they had some good hatches about 2 weeks ago but wind and cooler weather has slowed things down on the bug front. We did get some good hot weather on Saturday and though it wasn’t on fire my boat hooked about a dozen fish over the day.
We were seeing a fair number of damsel nymphs making their shoreward migration and there was a short-lasting cream colored mayfly hatch mid-morning. We worked patterns to imitate both of these bugs but we hooked most of our fish indicator fishing from 8-14ft in 12–16ft of water with a classic large (size 8-10) black with red rib chironimid pattern. In the evening we did some casual trolling and the vampire leach and a sparkle purple egg sucking leach produced a few more nice fish.
Overall, I was impressed with the facilities at Stoney and the staff were amazing. I recommend it to any intermediate lake angler who is looking for a lake with a healthy bug population and a good number of decent sized fish with great facilities.
From talking to other anglers fishing other interior lakes this weekend, the reports mirrored what we experienced on Stoney. We heard reports of solid fishing, noticeable hatches of damsels, mayflies and chironomids and lake fishing is still well worth the trip.
This is an interesting time to be lake fishing and though the crazy fish numbers of the early season is coming to an end, we will start seeing consistent hatches of damsels, mayflies and traveling sedges over the next few weeks with larger chironimids in the mix. If you are going up you will want to make sure you have all the above food groups in the box.
With the weather cooling down this weekend and possible rain, fishing on some of the higher elevation lakes could suffer but the overcast skies might help the lower elevation lakes. If it stays warm and the wind holds off, overcast days can make for some very intense hatches. It will just be a game of finding a lake at an elevation where it doesn’t get too cold to turn off the bugs.
Keep sending in the reports and good luck out there.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Let’s start with a look at the past 7 days and then take a look at opportunities for this weekend. Fishing last weekend and early in the week was good, despite some big tides from the full moon. There were decent catches of chinook from South Bowen up to Gower Point and Lower Howe Sound. Offshore off South Bowen and out on the Hump, there were some good numbers of coho being caught as well. A quick reminder all chinook are catch and release at this time and you can retain 2 hatchery coho a day. Unfortunately, mid-week the big NW winds showed up and that put a damper on the fishing and we even had to cancel a few trips, as we just couldn’t get out of the harbor.
During all of this I was in the Gulf Islands, working on a deck at our cabin. Although fishing wasn’t the priority, I did manage to sneak out a few times to fish Gabriola. As you can imagine, I was the only boat there as nobody could make the crossing because of the NW winds mid-week. In short, there are a lot of chinook around and in a few hours, I was into plenty of fish to scratch the itch. Most of the fish were hatchery chinook in the 8-15 pound range. This bodes well for when this area opens up for retention on July 15th, fishing should be good… I spent some time with the swim baits in the shallows and some friends and I go into some decent lingcod as well, but I didn’t manage to make it out into the deeper water to see if there were any coho around as it was too rough. Historically there are lots of coho offshore in 500-1000 feet of water out in front of Nanaimo, Entrance, and Gabriola this time of year.
The winds look pretty mellow this weekend for the most part, so that gives the local angler a lot of options. Close to home there should be some chinook around South Bowen and you can head offshore for coho. It might not be a bad idea to poke around Point Atkinson or West Van for Cap coho as well as there are already fish in the river. If you want to burn some fuel and do some exploring, head over to the Gulf Islands. There are a lot of chinook around and there should be some good numbers of coho offshore. There is always the option of bottom fishing once you make the crossing as well.
Prawning has been slow, as the commercial fleet has beaten down the local stocks. Crabbing has been decent but there has been some commercial boats working the Bell to Spanish Bank area and our catches of legals have dropped and we have had some traps taken, as have others.
See you in the shop or on the water,