May continues to be consistent fishing. With most of our local river fishing winding down we’re thinking lake fishing and are starting to scout out the Capilano if we need to stay closer to home. Alex has Part 2 of his bass feature this week, which focuses on gear! Have a read of it below.
Saltwater fishing has continued to be consistent. There really is a lot of chinook in our local waters as well as across the straight. We have been picking our spots based on the wind and we have not been disappointed wherever we’ve been fishing!
On the course front Andre’s popular Tying Beach Fly Patterns course is coming up later this month. Beach fishing is just around the corner so now is the time to think about getting your fly box stocked. The second offering of Matt’s Introduction To Fly Fishing Lakes course is also coming up the last week of May. Call the shop today to get your spot.
CLASSES + COURSES
Tying Beach Fly Patterns
Join Pacific Angler for a 3hr evening seminar of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt, fly selection is critical while beach fishing.
These flies are often not commercially available, so successful beach anglers learn to tie their own patterns. Your instructor will walk you through each fly pattern step-by-step.
This Tying Beach Fly Patterns course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: May 28, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes
This course will give you an in-depth look at the fundamentals of fly fishing lakes. We explore equipment, techniques, major insect hatches and ideal lakes to begin with. You will learn all you need to plan your next successful lake trip to one of BC’s 5,000 lakes! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Cost: $45.00 + GST
Dates: May 29, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
Early Cap coho reports are starting to come in. Although not big, the fish are quite tasty and can be easily targeted when they come in bigger schools later in the season. Usually the first decent run of fish in the river start to show up mid to late May to mid June and they continue to come in until the water levels drop.
The fish are quite easy to get if you are at the right spot. The best method is to drift roe however; you can get them on light gear with spoons and spinners. If they stack at Cable Pool you can try fly fishing for them with patterns like Cap Buggers or very small prawn patterns.
When float fishing with colorado blades or roe, keep in mind that these fish aren’t that big. A size 4-2 hook is adequate and small clear 8 g floats with a single split shot will up your game with better sensitivity. When the water is a bit faster use 20 g-25 g floats with a larger weight as a small weight won’t be able to sink the presentation.
Look for pockets and slow water, you should be moving downstream to find schools of fish when they are stacked heavily in certain spots, casting 3/16 crocs spoon is a good technique to entice them.
This fishery won’t be affected by bait ban as bait ban is far out in august.
Once the dry season comes, usually around the end of June, we will see more fish starting to stack at the mouth of the river and people can start fishing at the beach for them.
There is a chance that you might run into a steelhead, please release all steelhead with care when and if you do encounter them. Finally remember to release all wild coho with care, if there is an adipose fin present that’s a wild fish.
Squamish River Fishing Report
When you look the graphs going back a few years it is almost like clockwork for the Squamish to surge by the second week in May. This year is no different. The river is at 4m on the graph. This level makes the water quite dirty and access an issue. With temps rising in Whistler to the high 20s for this weekend we expect the river to continue to rise, making fishing opportunities on the Squamish system very limited.
It is still worth watching the weather because some years we see a regression with cold temperatures dropping the river back into shape at some point over the next 3 weeks but on most years this doesn’t happen and we do not see quality fishing on the main stem Squamish until September.
We hope everyone had a great season on the Squamish and we will tune back in next season in September when we will start seeing coho and early chum returning to the system.
FEATURE – LOWER MAINLAND BASS FISHING PART 2 – GEAR!
After our initial 2018 bass feature last week we had a few inquisitive customers with some gear-related questions so we thought a quick run-down would make for an interesting report feature. As mentioned before this fishery is very different from the local salmon and trout scene so it might be a little daunting looking at all the different types of bass gear. For this week I will get into a little more depth as to what to use and how to use it. Full disclaimer that I am not a “bass master” nor would I ever claim to be one. I am just going to share a few pointers for what works for me and might help someone just getting into it.
One of the easiest yet very effective ways to catch a bass is to use a texas rig. A texas rig consists of an extra-wide gap hook (EWG for short), which has a special bend that allows soft plastics to be rigged weedless on it. When a fish bites, the plastic compresses down along the shank and the hook point is exposed. The rig also consists of a sliding bullet weight just above the hook. It is extremely versatile as you can fish it through weeds, along the bottom, along the surface, pretty much anywhere. The soft plastic usually is a crawfish imitation of sorts, but anything with lots of appendages or even worms work. This one works great as a generic bass setup or when the bite is tough as it will usually grind out a fish or three.
Arguably the most exciting way to catch bass is with surface lures. They can be very explosive surface feeders and the blow ups are heart-stopping. It doesn’t always work but on the right day it can be dynamite. My favourite top water lures are hollow-bodies. They are, as their names suggests, hollow frog, mouse, or fish imitations and made of a very soft material that easily collapses when a fish bites. Typically they are rigged with dual EWG hooks that are flush with the back of the body of the lure, effectively making them snag proof until crushed by a fish. These are exceptionally good at fishing through lily pads and under trees. It is a little tricky learning how to set the hook when using these lures and before you have it dialed in you may find that your hook-up ratio is pretty dismal. The gut instinct is to set the hook the second that fish breaches the water to take the lure but if you do that you will miss them pretty much every time. Count to 2 after the fish blows up on it while picking up the slack in your line, then on 2, swing for the fences. It usually works and with good quality hollow-bodies that collapse properly I bat 80-90% for hook-ups.
If you want to cover a lot of water then search baits are what you are looking for. Spinnerbaits and swimbaits are my go-to’s when I want to fish quickly and these will draw up the most aggressive fish. Both of these lure types have big profiles in the water, make a lot of noise, and present a nice meal that is worth chasing down for a big bass. They do spook fish more easily but they more than make up for it by allowing you to fish quickly.
This list is most definitely not exhaustive as there are many other presentations that will successfully catch these fish. If you are set on not buying bass-exclusive gear, then there are a few lures that are probably already in your arsenal that will produce. Spinners like Panther Martins, Blue Foxes, and Rooster Tails are great and I have personally witnessed my friend Dustin catch some nice largemouth on Gibbs Crocs. I have also caught them on colorado blades, flatfish, curly tails, and the good ol’ bobby and worm. All of these have all worked for me and if it catches fish for me, it will catch fish for you too.
If you have any more questions at all about this fishery come visit us at the shop and we’d be happy to help out.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
As we wrote about last week the local lakes are becoming more consistent as the weather warms up. As the days get warmer focus your efforts in the morning or the early evenings.
There are a lot of different options for lakes to hit in the Lower Mainland and a variety of ways to fish. From dry fly fishing, chironomid fishing through to spoon, spinner and bait fishing, anything goes.
Drop by the shop and we can help you get setup. Don’t forget to visit gofishbc.com for detailed information on lakes, stocking and even some dates where you can take in a Parent and Kid/Teenager fishing events!
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Lake fishing is getting good! More positive reports are coming in from the interior lakes as lakes continue to warm up. It is still a little bit cold on some of the lakes but for those who can choose the nicest day to be out there are rewarded with good fishing. The predominant food source is still leeches and scuds but for those who love to fish chironomids it is just beginning to produce. I have seen pics posted from Brian Chan with small sized chironomids with a couple of immature damsel nymphs and blood worms in the glass vile. This indicates that the water temps are rising day by day. The fish are still in the shallows so start your day by fishing a leech under a strike indicator and change up to fishing scuds as the day gets warmer always have a chironomid out on your second rod. I saw pics from fishermen’s post of pumped stomach content in glass vials full of chromies in size 16. Also some lakes are starting to turn over so always look out for this. I had solid reports from Tunkwa, Bleeker, Peter Hope, Corbett and Englishmen. The road to Stump lake flooded a week ago so please check the latest update before using the old Kamloops road to access.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
For the most part the fishing this past week has been nothing short of exceptional. There was the odd morning where it was a little slower because some transient orcas passed by, but besides that, the fishing has been very consistent.
Most of the fishing pressure has been around South Bowen, and for good reason, as the bait has been thick and that means chinook. Most of the fish have been full of 3-4 inch herring and we have seen some anchovies in the mix as well.
When we have ventured out of this productive area (when it slows down) we have been rewarded with some great fishing off the QA and Bell Buoy too. There really is a lot of chinook in our local waters and they are definitely not confined to South Bowen. There has been some great fishing along the Mile Markers, Bell, QA, and the Hump. So pick your spot based on the wind. Speaking of wind, it looks like we are going to see a pretty big NW on Saturday, so expect it be a bit lumpy out there. A good tactic would be to grind out to the QA and fish back into the Bell or Mile Markers with the NW on your stern.
Productive depths on the downriggers in all our local spots have been from 70-130 for the most part. Flashers with UV green and chartreuse blades with glow tape on one side and reflective tape on the other have been working well. Some good ones for us have been Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, BC, and the Phantom with a chartreuse blade. 3.5 and 4.0 Kingfisher and G-Force spoons have been good, as has the Skinny G. There are a lot of good ones to choose from, so if it has some green and some glow on it, you are good to go. We have also been doing well on hootchies. Splatter back hootchies in green, chartreuse are working well, and so is Army Truck glow. We are generally fishing 4 rods on our boats and 2 will have spoons and 2 will have hootchies and we put gel herring or anchovy scent on all of the. These are aggressively feeding fish, so trust your spoons and hootchies, cover some water, leave the bait at home, and catch fish.
With all the fish locally there is definitely less pressure at Thrasher this year. The fish are there, and just like our local spots, the fishing has been good to exceptional. We haven’t had the conditions to run across on some days and even if we did, it takes a few hours there and back and 2 hours of fishing locally can be a lot of fish these days, so we are sticking closer to home until it cools off around here. If you do decide to cross, the fish have been deeper, and productive depths have been 140-180 on the riggers. There are fish offshore on the “Highway” and there are fish on the structure, so take your pick.
PA good guys Greg & Darcy rocking lucky PA hats over at Gabriola. Lots of fish and calm waters that evening.
Want to be featured in the Friday Fishing Report? We love hearing about your success. Send us some photos!
The commercial prawn fleet is out there now, so best to leave your prawn gear at home and focus on the crabbing, which has been pretty good lately.
See you in the shop or on the water,