We have a beautiful weekend incoming! With temperatures well above the seasonal average and sun throughout the entire weekend, it should be a great time to go fishing! We will see the same weather hitting the Interior, with temperatures reaching into the 30s on Sunday and Monday. However, this rise in temperature comes with some concerns due to the dramatic shifts we have witnessed in the seasons over the last few years. We can expect these changes to affect fisheries both positively and negatively. Now, let’s talk about the good news first.
We anticipate excellent lake fishing this weekend across the board, and many of the higher elevation lakes are beginning to ice off. While some lakes are still in the process of turning over, the majority of the major mid-elevation lakes have completed their turnover and are fishing well. We have received positive chironomid reports from all the lakes that have iced off this past week. If you are considering heading out on the water this weekend, venturing into the Interior is one of our top recommendations.
Moving on to the saltwater front, we do expect some wind in the forecast due to the heat. However, in the Georgia Strait southern region, the wind won’t be too severe. As always, check before you go especially when there is rising temperatures. We use the government site here to check.
Bottom fishing reports have been good, and even though there is no chinook fishing in the immediate Vancouver area, spending a day enjoying catch and release fishing across the strait for chinook, followed by bottom fishing for rockfish and lingcod, is a great option.
Lastly, regarding the rivers, this weather will cause water levels to spike across the province. We need to be aware of possible high-water events, similar to what we witnessed last week in Cache Creek. In this week’s report, we will briefly discuss water levels on the rivers. We have heard some positive cutthroat reports and Jordan has some intel on that, but our primary focus will be on the lakes!
On to the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Learn How To Fish With Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
If this good weather has you thinking about getting out fishing with the kids don’t miss out on some of the Learn To Fish and Rod Loan Programs put on by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
The Learn To Fish introductory program is appropriate for kids 5-15 and their families. This half-day course will teach the basics of how, when and where to catch fish in fresh water and is held at lakes in municipal and provincial parks throughout the Lower Mainland, southern Vancouver Island, Kootenays and Thompson-Okanagan.
Check out more details on the program and their event calendar for dates coming up this month and into the summer.
Sport Fishing Institute of BC Big Spring Raffle
It’s back! The SFI’s Big Spring Raffle. The deadline for the early bird raffle is just 6 days away. Buy your raffle tickets online and be entered for some amazing early bird draw prizes as well as some other great prizes including a Kingfisher boat with Yamaha power and Scotty downriggers, a trip to Langara Fishing Lodge in Haida Gwaii, and much more!
As a refresher here is a bit about the SFI – The Sport Fishing Institute of BC, representing the interest of hundreds of thousands of anglers and working together with community and industry groups across the province, is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting the public ﬁshery on BC’s west coast and its vital role in our economy, and our traditional coastal culture.
Support the SFI and the important work they do and get your tickets here! Good Luck!
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 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
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
We anticipate that fishing on the Squamish River will be challenging for the foreseeable future. Although there may be limited opportunities if temperatures cool off in May, based on the current forecast, we are not expecting that anytime soon as the 14-day forecast is showing unseasonably warm temperatures.
These warmer temperatures will affect the water levels so something to keep an eye on if you are looking to get out on the water for some late season action if things cool off earlier than anticipated.
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Similar to other rivers in the Lower Mainland, fishing on the Chilliwack River this weekend will be challenging due to high water levels. For the latest regulatory changes, please refer to the updates in last week’s Friday Fishing Report.
As with the Squamish Report above if you are heading out again, please be sure to keep an eye on the water levels and be safe.
Fraser Valley Cutthroat Fishery
The cutthroat fishery has continued to be great on systems that are producing fry as they migrate out towards the estuaries.
Various side channels of the Fraser River, such as sloughs and creeks are common areas to focus on, with the Stave River being one of the most common. Fishing the lower areas of these systems on dropping tides can play a vital role as it helps flush fry down to waiting fish.
Timing your tides are an important factor, making this a fishery that can produce action lasting from hours to only minutes. Often the feeding window is on the dropping tide until it starts to slack.
Keeping in mind the tide distances and how it relates to timing is important. If the tide is dropping in Vancouver at 9:00am, you’ll want to be there at about 12pm-1:00pm (add 3-4 hours ahead to the Vancouver tide).
Being patient is important. Some days you’ll wait and wait, only for a flash in the pan of activity. But be patient- you will start seeing the slashes here and there spread out sporadically- and then with more regularity as the water starts flushing the fry to the Fraser River.
There is often a lot of walking involved, including sand and mud. Having your casting up to par can be a great asset, and being able to cast upwards of 70ft can sometimes be important in certain locales such as the Harrison River.
The Harrison itself has been fishing well below the railway tracks, but due to water height and location is boat access only.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior BC Lake Fishing Report
Well, we wanted some heat, and we are about to get it! In classic fashion these days we are going from one extreme to the next. A long and cold spring to a heat wave. It is what it is, so here is what to expect on the lakes.
This heat will definitely warm up the lower elevation lakes that have now been off for some time. Expect chironomids to be coming off still but this will definitely trigger some mayfly and possibly some damsel fly hatches, so be ready for that.
The higher elevation lakes will now be off, and any that are hanging on will definitely be off once this heat hits them in the coming days, with temps in some parts of the interior over 30 degrees. I had a friend who scouted out one of his favorite lakes the other day at 4200 feet and it was off, probably just recently as it wasn’t in turn over yet and there was some snow on the ground, so you can use that as a reference point. The usual early season tactics will work on these higher elevation lakes, but I suspect the chronies will be coming off quickly with all this heat.
I was talking with Brian Chan the other day and he did confirm it looks like a total kill on Roche Lake and also Forest Lake. Hard to believe but all reports seem to be confirming this. Pretty devastating as a lot of people fish both these lakes, and for good reason. I am not sure where all that effort is going to go, but I do know people will be trying some new or different lakes so it might be busier than you would think in some unusual places.
Also note the Stump Lake Rec Site & Launch will be shutting down for construction from May 15 to June 30. I am not sure what genius thought this was a good idea. With all the effort on Stump these days and the loss of Roche Lake, this launch and rec site is desperately needed. I get they are making improvements, and applaud this effort, but to do so in the prime-time lake season seems irresponsible to me. Last fall would have been a better choice or July or August of this year. The good news is the two launches on the highway side of the lake will remain open until further notice and the lake is out of turn now and should be providing some good fishing in the coming weeks.
So, keep that chironomid box open but have your mayfly and damsel fly boxes ready. Get out there and enjoy the heat and some lake fishing as we are now in prime time. See you out there!