Welcome to June everyone! Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t look all that “June” like. We are going to see unsettled cooler weather right into next week. This means unsettled fishing in the Interior and a little wind in the forecast for the saltwater guys. This week, we have a Kane Valley report from Brendan where he hit some interesting weather. For the last two weeks he has been having awesome fishing but, this week, the weather made things a challenge. He has some tips for how to deal with unsettled weather and he still managed some nice fish.
Continuing with the lake fishing, Zach has a video and recipe for the chironomid that was producing on his interior lake trip last week.
On the river front, we have a Capilano update as well as a sturgeon fishing from shore piece from Alex. This is an interesting one that you can do on the Lower Fraser at almost any time of the year.
Jason is going to be on ESPN radio with the Outdoor Line boys this weekend talking salmon. If you are interested in listening, it goes up on Saturday the 6th at 1:30PM on their website here. Also be sure to check out Jason’s report for the updates on saltwater fishing with more info on the radio show spot at the end of the report.
As always, be sure to watch the entire report in video format. Matt has a bit of a rant on one thing the government/fisheries managers have done right in the last couple weeks and then talks about a couple things where they are falling short. He also goes over all the fishing news and shares a beach fishing pattern from Andre because we are getting close to that time.
Watch this week’s video version of the Friday Fishing Report Here:
Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Mason for sharing your picture of your bass you caught this week.
CLASSES AND COURSES
Join us in the virtual classroom this month! Matt will be back teaching two classes this month!
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 (A River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! The course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Date: June 23, 2020 – Zoom Seminar
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. The course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.
Dates: Zoom Seminar June 22. Casting June 28
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
The reports off the Capilano have been “ok” this week. We haven’t seen great numbers but there are fish in the system and those that are putting in their time are consistently hooking fish. The Capilano coho are small at this time of year and you can target them with float gear as well as heavy sinking line in the upper pools with your fly rod.
Overcast skies produce better than on warm sunny days with this fishery. With mixed weather in the forecast it could be a good look this weekend. You want relatively stable water levels so check the river levels before heading out.
We have a great selection of bait, small colorado blades as well as small flies in the store specifically for this fishery so if you want to tackle this fishery come down to the store and we will get you pointed in the right direction.
Shore Fishing for Sturgeon
For many anglers, this time of year is a bit of a struggle as there aren’t many fishing opportunities that are hot. If you ask me, however, this is a great time to be able to branch out and try alternative fisheries that often are overshadowed by salmon and trout. I’ve already done a write up on bass, but now let’s look at another cool one. This is a fishery that gets you up close and personal with a river monster, and you don’t need to be Jeremy Wade to experience it as it is in our own backyard. Of course, I am talking about the mighty white sturgeon.
The white sturgeon is a prehistoric beast that resides all along the lower stretches of the Fraser River. They can grow upwards of 12′ and over a 1000 pounds. Many hardcore sturgeon anglers use boats and state of the art electronics to chase these giants, but you can do it all from the comfort of a lawn chair on dry land. Not to say that it will be easy once you hook one, but it doesn’t take much gear to get started. You do, however, need the right gear. I will outline what you need below.
The first thing you will want to consider is the rod. The is probably the most important piece of equipment in your setup. Does it need to be fancy and expensive? No, but it does need to have the ability to handle one of the largest fish in North America. A broom stick would probably work, but what fun is that? A couple of rods that we really like are the Trophy Sturgeon King and the Shimano Technium Sturgeon rod. Both of these rods are actually designed for boat fishing as they are 8′ in length. As such, they have a tremendous amount of lifting power. However, their shorter length does not detract too much from their shore casting abilities. What’s more, these short rods also give you more leverage when fighting large fish, especially close to shore. There are other options like the larger Shakespeare Ugly Stiks that work as well.
The second most important part is your reel. Ideally, you will want to go with a lever drag reel, especially if paired with one of the above rods. Our favourites are the Penn Squall and the Shimano Torium. Both have great construction and adequate stopping power. A lever drag reel will help you cast from shore as there is no level wind to get in the way. Spinning reels can work too, however, you will want a very large reel in at least a 6000 size. Regardless, 100lb braid is the benchmark for your reels, and make sure you have lots of it.
Your terminal tackle will consist of a weight attached to a slydo, which freely slides on your main line above a large swivel. Your weight will depend on water speed, which at this time of year is relatively fast due to freshet. Your weight range will be anywhere from 10oz-16oz or even more. You will want beads on both sides of your slydo as to not damage your rod tip or your swivel knot. For your leader you can run heavy mono in the 100-130lb range or braid of the same strength. The heavy leader will help with abrasion, especially with the sharp spines on the back of a Sturgeon. On the business end of your terminal, you will want a 7/0-8/0 Big River bait hook or a circle hook. Bait varies wildly, depending on the time of year, though right now, eulachon, lamprey, and dew worms, if you can find them, are your best bet.
Other accessories that are nice to have are a rod holder and a rod bell. They aren’t necessary, but it makes fishing a lot more convenient.
So where are the hot spots for sturgeon? Well here’s the thing; you can walk up to pretty much any spot on the Fraser and catch one. There are certain holes where they do tend to congregate, but most docks or sand beaches along the Lower Fraser will produce something. Remember that you are chucking a huge weight on a heavy rod, so lob it carefully. It doesn’t have to go far; a sturgeon has an account olfactory sense and if there is one in the area, it will find your bait. In the meantime, sit back, put the rod up, and get ready for that big bite. If you want to get set up, come into the shop and we can help get you started!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
Over the past week or so, I have been fishing the lakes in the Kane Valley region with some good success and consistent fishing. Last week we saw a consistent weather pattern in the latter half the week. This made for favourable conditions with a consistent barometer and the reports showed that. I had consistent chironomid fishing on Harmon last week along with many other anglers. Most of my success came from indicator fishing in around 20-25 feet of water suspending chironomids right off the bottom. I found the chironomids in throat samples to be fairly small, anywhere from a size 14-16. In addition, patterns like a Chromie or and ASB with a black or brown rib seemed to be the ticket.
This week however hasn’t been as favorable. We got hit with a dropping barometer and a big storm system Sunday. This really made fishing difficult coming into Tuesday when I was up last. I saw rain, clouds, very little sun and encountered lots of wind. On this trip conditions were difficult to say the least. I still managed to find a few fish on staple food sources such as leeches and scuds, yet fishing wasn’t amazing. Throat samples showed no chironomids and most of the fish were filled with scuds or had a leech in them. I never really saw any true hatches with the weather playing a major factor.
If you find yourself in conditions similar to this, think of switching your presentations away from chironomids. I find stripping leeches and scud patterns, or fishing boobies/blobs on full-sink lines an effective way at locating a few fish when the conditions are difficult. You may even get a chironomid hatch if you find a window where the wind decides to die down and the sun comes up. It can be in this small window when you will see the best fishing of the day as the bugs will finally decide to move around enough to get the fish going. Always be prepared with multiple set-ups in your boat as conditions can change quickly on the water. Being prepared to switch from a leech to a chironomid can pay dividends and help save a day in some cases.
Looking ahead at the forecast, it looks like on Saturday we are in for some rain. I anticipate seeing larger scale chironomid hatches when we get the first shot of warmer weather. We may even see some mayfly emergences as we are getting close to that time of year. Make sure you come prepared with chironomid rigs and flies ranging from sizes 12 through to 16. Some main stays that I would bring in my box are a Chromie style pattern, an ASB with either a red or brown rib, and any gunmetal or black and red rib variation. As always with chironomid fishing this could change, and the fish could be eating something else. So, make sure you have a throat pump and a good selection of bugs in order to match that hatch for when the trout become selective on a specific chironomid hatch.
Brown Olive Chromie
When I was fishing the Kane Valley last week we pumped a bunch of chromies out of fish with varying colours of ribs; red, black, olive and brown. I changed patterns a few times before I tied this pattern on and its mix of colours was the winning ticket. Sometimes you just need a pattern with all the colours that you are seeing in the naturals and this chironomid is a staple in my box.
Check out the video and materials list below
Hook: Size 12-18 curved nymph
Bead: 5/64” black
Gills: White yarn
Thread: UTC 70 Olive, UTC 70 Burnt Orange
Rib: Silver Flashabou, X-Small Brown, Copper or Red Wire
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Hard to believe it is June and I am writing this report while I am taking a break from working on the fleet. Usually I am doing this in April, not June, but it feels good to be down on the docks and getting boats ready for trips.
If you are thinking of booking a trip, now is a good time. The chinook fishing locally and over in the Gulf Islands has been very good. You can’t keep a chinook right now, but just being on the water and fighting this powerful fish on single action reels with 10-foot 6 medium action rods is a lot of fun. Crabbing is also very good so there is a good chance you will be going home with some Dungeness.
I expect the coho fishing to start picking up as well. Usually we see these fish show up off South Bowen right about now and the same goes for the Gulf Islands. These fish are usually pretty shallow, like in the top 60 feet of the water column, so set your rigger depths accordingly. Productive flashers often have more reflective and UV qualities and less glow. Some of our favorites are Betsy, Twisted Sista, Green Onion, Purple Onion, and Metallic Herring Aid. For lure choice, it’s hard to beat a white or UV white hootchy with a shorter leader, about 28 inches. If you want to get setup with this gear, we are fully stocked up at the shop. The limit for coho is 2 hatchery a day, over 30 cm.
Okay, back to chinook. Depending on water colour and location, the fish have been 60-150. The fishing continues to be very good both at Thrasher and off Bowen and into Howe Sound. When it comes to lure choice, spoons and bait have been productive. If the spoon has some green and glow you are on the right track. Two Face in green, Irish Cream, Trailhead, etc, have all been productive.
If you are thinking about prawning, the commercial fleet is open so best to keep your pots at the dock now and give them some room and let them do their thing. They have a short season and we get to prawn all year.
As far as fisheries decisions, still nothing…. I would expect we will hear the news, good or bad, next week. Decisions are based on politics these days and we need numbers to play that game. Google the Sport Fishing Institute of BC and the Public Fishery Alliance. Become a member, support by membership, your time, or donate. They can use the help in today’s ultra-complicated world of fighting for your rights to access water and fish.
See you in the shop or on the water,