Happy Friday 13th everyone! Hope no bad luck comes your way and the fishing gods are kind if you are out on the water!
Though we don’t buy into the superstition, we are still not getting lucky with the weather this weekend. Last week we saw forecasts that had above seasonal temps coming this week but things remain cold.
This continues to help some fisheries and hinder others. Though we have slowed down on river reports we will note that a number of our local rivers are still in shape and fishing well even though it is way past their normal prime time. We don’t have reports on the Squamish or Chilliwack this week but check your river levels and regulations and go for a last kick at the can – they could be good.
On the interior lake fishing front, we are going to see unsettled weather for the weekend and again in the 14 day report temps are way below seasonal norms in Merritt. The reports we have heard continue to be good but we would like to see things warm up a little to get more consistent chironomid hatches going. Sterling has details on everything we have heard and a number of the guys are out this weekend so we have our fingers crossed.
A fishery that is helped by the cooler weather is the Fraser River sturgeon fishery. Hot temps will jump Fraser’s water levels making it more challenging to fish. With the cooler weather, we are still hearing great reports and Ethan has a little update on the tides and water levels worth looking at if you want to get out this weekend.
We are tuning in on a fishery that we have not talked a lot about over the last few months. We are hearing the early whisperings of coho in the Capilano River. Taylor has some details in the freshwater section of this week’s report.
Lastly, we have a short saltwater update. Weather has made crossing a little bit challenging but it has been productive if you can get out. Check that out if you want to get out on the ocean this weekend.
On to the report!!!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Due to ongoing Broadway Subway Construction, there is no street parking available on Broadway. Check out our parking map here for some great parking options in the neighbourhood.
We also can reimburse you for the cost of parking if you park in the roof-top parking lot at 130 W Broadway, on top of the old MEC building. Once parked, choose the $2/90 min parking option. Bring your receipt in and we will reimburse you the $2. It’s as simple as that and this lot is just two short blocks from the store. *Note this program only applies if you park in the 130 W Broadway lot.
CLASSES AND 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.
Date: May 18, 2022 – ONLY 3 SPOTS OPEN
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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 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 28, 2022
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report – Primer
We’re well into May now, which means that the first batches of early-run coho have started showing up to the Capilano river. We’re already starting to hear some reports of fish from a few of the seasoned locals, so there are certainly some fish scattered throughout the system already. The cold, rainy spring we’re having has been causing river levels to go up and down like a yo-yo, which can result in some challenging fishing at times… the fish tend to move through the system very quickly when the water is higher, which makes intercepting them a bit tough. There is a decent river level chart available online through Metro Vancouver, which is available here: http://www.metrovancouver.org/riverlevels.
The bait ban doesn’t take effect on the Capilano until August 1st, which is a good thing – these early season coho are almost all jacks, and they go nuts for roe when they’re fresh. Float fishing with cured prawns and other baits will work, but roe is pretty much always deadly for these early season fish. Casting spoons, spinners and twitching jigs can also be fairly effective in the right conditions, so I usually take a spinning rod with me… just in case. Fly anglers will usually get out fished by gear guys when the fish are fresh, but the tables do turn when the fish have been in the system for a while – small “Cap Buggers”, California Neils and Coho Buggers can catastrophically out fish gear when the fish are stale, so keep that in mind when river levels have been low for a while and there aren’t many fish moving up.
The Cap is famous for having a very distinct “first-light bite”, so being out there first thing certainly helps, especially when the river starts to get busy. Fishing below the canyon can also be good after a high tide, especially if the river is high enough for fish to freely move around. Some people may be interested in fishing the beach at Ambleside but be aware that the beach fishery usually doesn’t start consistently producing fish until temperatures rise and river levels drop for an extended period of time.
Now for the obligatory safety briefing – the Capilano is a dam-controlled river, so water levels can fluctuate greatly in a very short period of time. Always have an escape route and plan in place to get to safety quickly if necessary. Exercise caution when hiking in the canyon; it’s a long way down if you lose your footing, and river rocks aren’t very nice to land on.
Fraser River Water Levels Report
The freshet seems to have officially started on the Fraser River. Water levels have been trending upwards as well as a noticeable increase in debris coming down river. It has risen roughly 0.5m within the last week so it’s safe to say that spring freshet has begun. The weather has been all over the place the last few weeks but as of now warmer weather is forecasted throughout most interior regions. This, coupled with an above average snowpack in BC this year, will make for potentially an extreme spring freshet this year.
This will make fishing more difficult as the flow will be much stronger. In the lower Fraser using tides to your advantage is a must this time of the year. The high tides will have much less flow and allow you to fish with less weight, keep your bait from moving as well as make it much easier to detect bites. I’ve also seen much more success when fishing the high tide. I’ve found that during freshet, especially fishing the high tide will slow down the flow to a fishable level but has just the right amount flow to spread the scent of your bait. If you’re interested in getting into this fishery from last week’s report, I did a gear rundown and dug into the shore fishing aspect of dino fishing.
Ethan Da Silva
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Reports
This weekend should have some great fishing with sunny weather on Saturday. Fishing has been solid throughout the interior but we’ve seen a bit of a lull through the week as the weather was quite moody meaning hatches were inconsistent. Ethan was lucky enough to be stuck out in a blizzard the past week and fishing was tough.
It’s tough to say how each lake is going to fish with this latest cold front as quite a few lakes have started to drop back into the high 40’s degree weather. The majority of lakes in the 900-1100m seemed to be fishing the best as they have been ice-free for around 3-5 weeks now. Those lakes are seeing some decent chironomid hatches. The lakes in the 500-900m range seem to be slowing down a bit with the fish pushing a bit deeper and being a bit more selective. It’s important to make sure you’re running full fluorocarbon leaders on these deeper setups as fluorocarbon can cut through the water quicker than monofilament and won’t coil near as much.
Expect the fishing to get better over the next week as the weather starts clearing up and the fish start to adjust. I’d still stick to the staple patterns for now as mayfly and damsel hatches will still be minimal. We really need the weather to be consistently hitting around 20 degree weather to warm up the weather for mayflies to start showing up. Callibaetis will be the first to show up when the water starts to touch 52+ degrees. The key for a mayfly hatch is warm enough water and having overcast conditions. I’m mentioning mayflies but I wouldn’t really use them except as a last resort if they’re off the chironomid bite and conditions stay overcast. Damsel patterns, such as BMWs and pumpkin heads, are a great option to have now too if the chironomid bite is a bit quiet. Both damsels and mayflies are always worth having in your box but I don’t expect to see any significant hatches for another week or two.
Best of luck out there!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
I just looked at the forecast and I feel like I am writing a report for September or even October, not mid-May! SE winds, rain, and morning temperatures in the single digits. One of these days it is going to dry up and get warm, but it won’t be this weekend. If you are heading out, bundle up and get the rain gear on.
It will be a bit dicey crossing the Strait on Sunday, but Saturday looks a bit better. You can fish catch and release chinook there and lingcod and rockfish are open. We have been getting a lot of new bottom fishing gear in stock lately, so if you are headed out come by and stock up.
There are a few coho in the Capilano River already but we still have to wait until June 1 for most of the productive areas to open up. This river gets about 12,000 coho back each year. Chinook will open over at Thrasher and Entrance on July 15.
The commercial prawners have been at it for over a week now, so prawning has slowed down in most areas; that said, crabbing has been solid so don’t forget to bring those traps with you!
See you in the shop or on the water,