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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: June 9, 2023

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: June 9, 2023



We have some interesting stuff in this week’s report. First off, we have a Father’s Day Sale starting tomorrow and running all week!  If you’re looking for something for Dad, or something for yourself, this is a great time to drop into the shop and pick up that perfect gift!   Check out the sale section below for more details and the link to the full sale list.    

On the fishing front, we have some good news too. In last week’s report, Jason said it was time for coho to start showing up off Bowen. Sure enough, we just started hearing good coho reports late this week. Jason has all the details at the end of the report, but it is time to get out there!  

If you are heading to the Interior, Jason also has some more lake reports to share with insights from his trip last weekend.   

In other fisheries updates, we have a Capilano River report as well as another article on how to approach fishing some of the more challenging larger lakes. This week, Taylor has some strategies for when you are camping on the shore of a less than productive lake.   Check it out if you live close to one of these lakes or have a summer trip planned with the family!   

Lastly, Matt tunes in with a more detailed look at overall water levels for this summer. If you are planning trips for July to Chilliwack, up the Sea to Sky or out to Hope/Interior this can really help with timing water levels. Spoiler Alert – It looks like it’s going to be a low water year. Check out all the numbers below.  

Remember if you are headed into the shop for the sale there is FREE parking directly out front of the shop. 

On to the report!    


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  
Cost: $175.00+GST
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
Cost: $60.00+GST
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 
Cost:  $60+GST
Time:  6:30PM 


Father’s Day Sale – Save All Week Long! 
That’s right – we’re back with a sale just in time for Father’s Day.   Our Father’s Day sale starts tomorrow, Saturday June 10th and runs through closing on Sunday June 18th.   We’ve got a great selection of items on sale for all the Dads or yourself no matter what type of fishing you are doing!    

Check out the full sales list here and we’ll see you in the shop this week for the sale!  


Capilano River Fishing Report – Update  
With this recent bump in water it means some fish have been pushing into the Capilano. During these summer months paying attention to the water levels and tides is key.  

I have heard reports of the fly guys getting into some fish and the gear anglers continuing to do well at first and last light. Fly fishing with sparse olive muddlers on type 6 lines in the canyon has been doing well. Short fast strips are generally the name of the game but don’t be afraid to switch it up, especially mid-day.  

We have also seen a few otters and seals up near the top, which is unusual for this time of year. If they are there, the fish will be tight lipped and spooky. If this is the case, make sure to cover water in search of fresh fish as the stacked fish are probably seeking refuge from the mammals.  

We have been encountering some coho off the salt, meaning some of these fish are on the way to the Cap. Be on the lookout for a bump in water paired up with a high tide and these fish should shoot up into the river.  

Good luck out there and have fun!  

Josh Lo 

River Level Review 
Last week, I promised to tune in on the overall snowpack levels of our rivers around the lower parts of the province. My initial take last week was that we were going to have a low water year but not overly low. I have spent the last 2 hours looking at snowpacks and other factors affecting the levels and I might have to revise my statement from last week – we might see some “Too Low” levels this season depending on what mother nature still has coming.   

Before we get into it, why should anglers care? Well beside obvious ecological concerns of low or high run off it dramatically affects fishing when it comes to fisheries like the Chilliwack Squamish and more Interior trout streams. Many open or become more “fishable” in the months of July. When we see high snowpacks and lots of run-off fishing is almost a waste of time. On the flip side, when things are low, we see great fishing early in the season, but things can become a conservation concern when water levels get too low and warm in August.  

The Chilliwack summer chinook fishery is a prime example of one where low water early can be amazing, but the flip side is if we get extreme heat and low levels, we can see closures like we have seen in the past.  

Before I get into the numbers, I am not a weatherman nor a water flow/hydrology expert. I am just a fishing guide who has spent a fair amount of time stumbling around rivers.  I might be missing some key insights when looking at the data. If any of you are qualified experts and I miss something, email me. I want to learn so be sure to send me an email to matt@pacificangler.ca  With the disclaimer aside let’s look at the numbers.  

North Shore Levels 2023

When we look at the north shore numbers, they are lower than normal but not alarmingly low. This could mean that they keep the Capilano dam closed longer than normal. This translates into poorer gear fishing on the Cap, but beach and fly opportunities can be very good in a low water year. This one will hinge on the amount of rain over the next 2 months.  

Squamish Levels 2023

Up the Sea to Sky, we are seeing seasonally low water levels already and again snowpacks are at well below historical average numbers. This could translate into more fishable water when the pinks arrive next month, and it might be worth a little scout over the next bit if you want to stretch your legs.  

Chilliwack 2022 numbers VS 2023 Numbers 

Chilliwack/Harrison levels are where things start getting interesting. We are noticeably below the 25-75 historical numbers. This could mean more early opportunities when things open next month, and we expect good fishing, but it could also translate into more compressed fishing areas as the river gets low and fish get stuck.  

Skagit Area Levels 2023

Now out the Hope way we are again seeing low levels again so we should see good trout water levels early in July, but the concern will be focused on the later season if we don’t get a wet summer.  

Squamish Levels 2023

Finally, we look to the Interior. The Thompson is already coming down fast. I drove past it last weekend. It is also going to be fishing well early. This is a big change from the past couple years but again we will have to hope for a cool wet summer as to not see heat and level concerns.  

So overall, this is good news for a lot of early fisheries, and we can start to attentively plan trips in July and August – We will need to keep in mind the conservation concerns we could see if we have another scorching hot summer.  

If you want to geek out yourself, this site is one of the best resources for gauging where water levels and snowpacks are sitting. 

Matt Sharp 


Interior Lake Fishing Report 

Some of us at the shop had the chance to get away to the 100 Mile area last weekend.  The weather was stable, and the fishing was solid, but not red hot where we were.  It seems most lakes in the area are in the mid 60s for water temp.  As usual this time of year, depending on the lake and the elevation, there are a multitude of food sources available for the fish.  Some lakes are still getting chironomid hatches in 10 feet of water, others in 40 feet of water or more, and in others, it’s all about the mayflies or damselflies. Added into the mix is that in other lakes the fish are back on staples like leeches and scuds. 

This fish must have found the mother lode leech area and took no prisoners!   

Always be prepared for a variety of techniques this time of year and that means different fly lines.  One line to make sure you have is a fast-sinking line, like a type 6 or type 7.  This is a great line for vertical dangling of your chironomid.  If you haven’t done it before, it’s a deadly way to fish chironomids, especially in deep water.  There are plenty of good videos on the finer points of it, so do a few searches and get educated, or come in the shop and we will set you up for success.  These fast-sinking lines are also great lines for fishing boobies and dragonfly nymphs, so you will get good use out of it. 

Our good friend Chris with an absolute beauty taken using the dangling method in 40 feet of water

It looks like the weather is actually going to cool off next week, which is a good thing after a mini heat wave late this week.  This should help sustain the longevity of the season and I am anticipating some good fishing next week with some cooler temperatures and cloud cover. 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli  

How to Hijack a Family Camping Trip with Fishing! – Large Lake Fishing Strategies 
With summer rapidly approaching, you might find yourself on the shores of a local lake, on a trip that wasn’t originally meant to be a fishing trip- maybe you’re camping on a lake, maybe you’re hanging out with friends on the lakeshore for a day, or maybe you’re trekking to one of the region’s many hike-in lakes. In any case, it’s usually not a bad idea to bring a rod along for the trip, as long as the lake you’re heading to is open to fishing and your friends/family don’t mind if you skive off to go fishing for a few hours.  

Often, the above-mentioned adventures will be taking you to lakes that aren’t necessarily known for their excellent fishing – Chilliwack Lake, Chehalis Lake, Harrison Lake, Jones Lake and Stave Lake come to mind.  All these lakes feature at least a few maintained rec sites and plenty of opportunities for bush camping, day trips and hiking… and all these lakes are quite large and would not be anybody’s first choice for a productive day of fishing, especially if you don’t have a boat. Having said that, a rod, a few lures and a “never say never” attitude can result in at least a few fish being brought to hand… or, worst case scenario, a few hours of relative peace and quiet while surrounded by the beauty of our coastal mountains.  

I usually recommend a simple light or ultralight-action spinning setup if you’re going to be attempting to fish any of the above lakes from shore; there are several reasons for this.  The first reason is simplicity- since you’re on a trip that isn’t centered around fishing, you probably want to keep it simple and not have to worry about bringing all kinds of different rods, lines, leaders, flies, reels, lures, etc.  Another good reason is effectiveness- All the lakes I’ve mentioned are big, so lobbing a spoon as far as you can with a small spinning rod is the easiest and best way to cover as much water as possible. Yet another thing to consider is that there may or may not be enough room behind you to effectively fly fish on some of these lakes, whereas a spinning rod requires almost no room behind you. Lastly, most of the fish in these lakes are either foragers, eating whatever they can find or piscivores, so small spoons, spinners and jigs will replicate anything that these fish might care to eat- or at least get their attention and make them come in for a closer look.  

You’ll want to find an area that features a sharp drop-off close to shore, since you’re going to be limited in your casting range and you want to be able to fling lures into the deeper water that hungry fish will be lurking in.  Freshwater inflows such as creeks, streams or rivers will also be good areas to try, since incoming freshwater brings dissolved oxygen and nutrients into the lake, which in turn will attract fish.  Small spoons, spinners and jigs are usually the best bet, since they allow you to cover the largest amount of water possible… but having said that, a worm under a bobber or on the bottom can be effective as well. There are lots of different species that you might encounter while shore casting the coastal lakes, with the most common being cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, bull trout, northern pikeminnow, largescale sucker and mountain whitefish.  

I spent my last weekend camping with a few friends at Chilliwack Lake, so I figured I might as well bring a rod and do some shore casting to kill some time. I ended up bringing my 6’ ultralight spinning rod and a small assortment of 3/16 oz. Gibbs Croc spoons, since they’re heavy enough to cast well but small enough to attract the smaller trout that I figured I’d be encountering. I had to do a bit of exploring to find a spot that was deep enough to fish from shore, but once I found a spot, the 6’ ultralight was perfectly capable of launching Crocs far enough to get into “the zone”. I wasn’t expecting the fishing to be exceptionally good, and my expectations were correct- I hooked 6 or 7 fish over the course of a few days… not great, but not a waste of time, either. The fish in question were all beautiful coastal cutthroat trout, with the biggest coming in at about 13”- nothing to write home about, but still tons of fun on an ultralight rod… and better than playing Sorry! with my friends and constantly losing.  

A nice little Cutty from my Chilliwack Lake trip

Make no mistake- shore casting into the region’s many larger lakes is usually not a super productive endeavor, but if you’re already going to be at a lake and you have some time to kill, I can find no reason to not bring a rod and do a bit of fishing. Like I said before- worst case scenario, you get to spend some quiet time in the great outdoors.  Best case scenario, you catch a couple fish, have a shore-lunch, if regulations allow, and they usually do, and impress your friends… sounds like a win-win to me.  

Taylor Nakatani 


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report 
I hope you read last week’s report which had a focus on coho fishing in local waters.  I usually do a saltwater report every second week, so this is a bonus report, and it will be short and sweet.  Check out the pic from one of our 5-hour charters on Thursday!  Here we go!   

Some nice hatchery coho and Dungeness crabs.  Not bad for a 5-hour charter 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver!

Step 1.  Read last week’s Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report about coho fishing  here

Step 2.  Go fish off; South Bowen in 200 to 600 feet of water and keep your gear in the top 65 feet of the water column, the Hump which is the large tabletop that is 400 feet deep about 3 miles off South Bowen, Point Atkinson in towards the Fishery Research station is also a good bet in 125 to 250 feet of water. 

Step 3.  Focus on tidelines and/or cover lots of water until you find the school of coho. 

Step 4.  Catch hatchery coho, 2 a day, min size 30 cm.  Carefully release all chinook. 

Step 5.  Pick up your crab traps. 

Step 6.  Be the most popular person on your block with fresh salmon and crab for Saturday night BBQ. 

Step 7.  If you don’t have a boat or just want to fish with the pros, give us a call at 778-788-8582 to book your trip today! 

There have also been reports of good coho fishing around Gabriola, off Thrasher in 200-600 feet of water, off the Grande and offshore of Entrance Island.  So, if you are headed over there for some bottom fishing, give coho fishing a try to round out the day and the catch. 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli