• The Pacific Angler blog is your source for fishing reports, industry news, sales, events, classes, courses, guiding and destination travel!

    This blog will let you know what is going on in the local fishing scene; when to go, where to go, and what to use! It will keep you updated on the latest and greatest rods, reels, lines, lures and flies.

    It will keep you informed on weekly specials, sales events, and contests. We will also be highlighting some great fishing pictures, videos, and information on our trips around the world in pursuit of game fish!

    In short this is Vancouver’s blog for the fishing enthusiast! Intoxication may occur with excessive use, enjoy responsibly.

Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 15, 2020

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 15, 2020



The long weekend is coming and with the world focused on easing restrictions in a socially responsible manner we have a number of fisheries worth looking at. Many parks have opened up to day use in the last 24 hours  there are still a number that remain closed and along with that some fishing access points. We expect more openings to come but it wasn’t a blanket opening so be sure to check specific parks open and access information here http://bcparks.ca/covid-19/ before heading out

On the fishing front we have got some information on local lakes, some news on very good salmon fishing out in the salt as well as an update on the Capilano River opening for salmon fishing. Jordan also has a write up on bottom fishing techniques and Zach has another great scud pattern for you guys to throw into your interior lake box.

Check out the info below on the lakes, bottom fishing rigs, Zach’s fly and saltwater report then check out the video version of the report for some breaking news on new fly fishing products from Sage and Redington as well as info on the Capilano salmon fishing.

If you haven’t watched it yet, head over to the store’s instagram page and watch the video we shared from SFI President Rob Alcock.   It will be 2 minutes well spent.   If you haven’t done so already, take action and write a letter. For info on what to say in your letter and where to say it visit the Pacific Angler Blog from April 16th. Your letter makes a difference, act today! 

We’ll be open today and tomorrow for phone and email hours and you can pick them up curbside or we can ship them out to you.   Starting next Tuesday (May 19) we will be opening the doors with some COVID-19 style with some new protocols to make sure our team, our customers and our community stays healthy.   We look forward to seeing you in shop next week! 

Long Weekend Hours
(Phone/Email Orders with curbside pickup or shipping)

Friday May 15 | 10AM – 5PM
Saturday May 16 | 10AM – 5PM
Sunday May 17 | Closed
Monday May 18 Closed

Tuesday May 19 – back to regular hours and in store shopping – yes we said in store shopping!   We will be reopening our doors with some new protocols in place.

As always be sure to check out the video version of our Friday Fishing Report here:

On to the report


Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes

Seminar will be taught online!  Watch and learn from the comfort of your own home!

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! 

Date:  May 26
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $50.00+GST


Capilano River Fishing Report

The Capilano is open for fishing. If the Cap is close to home for you now is a good time to get out and fish the river.  From beginner to the more experienced angler this fishery is a great option to get out and enjoy some time on the water.

Matt has an overview of this fishery and some tips for both fly gear fisherman.

As always be sure to be up to date on regulations  – both related to COVID-19 and fisheries related ones here.  


Local Lake Update

With a lot of the rivers swelling up and blowing out due to freshet, this is a great time of year to look to your local lakes to scratch the fishing itch. I did a write-up on our local Bass fishery last week, but if you are more in the mood for chrome instead of green you don’t need to look very far! Many of the lakes in the Lower Mainland are stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and while they typically aren’t very big, it can be a ton of fun on light tackle. 

The lakes have been fishing well up until now and should continue to do so until we get into our summer doldrums. This fishery is great for beginners and hardcore anglers alike as it is a fairly easy fishery to get into and catch a few fish, but you can also get technical with it and go from a few fish day to a 20-30 fish day. Not to mention that you can get that feeling of a fish on your line without leaving Metro Vancouver and you can see the appeal behind it. Many happy customers have been getting fish on a myriad of small spinners and spoons as well as casting and stripping flies like Doc Spratleys, Carey Specials, and Pumpkinhead Leeches. Fly anglers can also catch these fish on chironomids and, though it isn’t a main forage for the fish in our local lakes, it is a great practice run for your Interior lake trips so don’t neglect bringing your blood worms and chromies. Many different styles of bait can work well too if you want to kick back and relax, which includes but isn’t limited to worms, shrimp, krill, and Powerbait (worms, eggs, and/or dough). 

If you want to learn more about this cool local fishery or need to get stocked up and kitted out give us a call at the Shop. We are fully supplied on the lures, flies, terminal tackle, rods, and reels that you need to tackle these fish with the right gear.

Alex Au Yeung


Pregnant Glass Scud

The Pregnant Glass Scud is a must have for your fly boxes when fishing the interior lake. You can tie this pattern with our without the bead but you will want to have a selection of both in your box. I tie these with a fairly light bead and I fish them on a full sinking line. This combination allows me to fish a shorter leader which gives me more control over where my fly is in the water column. You can tie this pattern with a brass or tungsten bead and a floating line as well for really shallow waters. Make sure to have these tied up in a couple shades of olive with and without beads.

Material List:
Hook: Size 10 or 12 scud hook
Thread: 70 denier or 8/0 olive thread
Bead: Medium orange glass, 1/8″ or 7/64″ brass/tungsten orange bead
Wire: Small Black Ultra Wire
Dubbing: Olive Simi-Seal or Ice Dub
UV Resin: Solarez Thin

Give the Shop a call and we can help you if you want any of these materials 604-872-2204


Bottom fishing opportunities have opened in select areas and many anglers have been getting out to take part in this fun and exciting fishery. With bottom fishing being just that, anglers will want to be set up with the appropriate gear to help give them the edge and help find success. 

For the gear, most people will use shorter, stouter rods to help with leverage when lifting heavier fish and to also help give their jigs action. These shorter rods are also up to the task when fishing heavier swim-baits and paddle-tails. 

bottom_Fishing Gear
Some of our favourite picks for bottom fishing gear. 

For reels, the most common type is level-winds or lever-drags. Level-wind reels with their classic star drag are quite popular due to their ease of use, but many experienced anglers tend to lean towards lever-drags as their drag pressure is more customizable depending on whether using jigs or bait. 

Jigs are a whole world on their own but are actually quite easy to navigate. In all honesty, match the weight of the jig to the depth fishing in relation to tide or current. That said, you can’t exactly go too heavy. 

A couple common techniques are to drift or “troll” swim-baits near the bottom. Rigging a slydoo on your mainline above your terminal will allow an angler to switch out weight as needed.

Here is an example of the slydoo rig.

From there, a short and stout leader around 2′ of 60lb mono is all you need.
This allows you to switch out the amount of weight you need to maintain a sleight angle. Keeping a sleight angle while drifting helps keep the swim-baits moving as the weight is always trying to drop, causing it to ‘swim’. In shallower water or lighter current, you may only need 6-8oz of weight. In deeper water or heavier current, you may need to go up to 12-16oz, depending on the speed of your drift.  Smaller 4oz and similar swimbaits are a good size for this with the larger ones being great for vertical jigging. Adding on gel-scents are also a great addition to help draw fish in and to trigger strikes.

Lower your swim-bait down to your desired depth and place it in a rod holder. As you drift or slow troll, your swim-bait and paddle-tail will do most of the work for you. I always like to set my drag a little less than perfect. This allows a fish to take the lure and set the hook themselves, without putting too much pressure on the fish or gear. I find I can always tighten the drag quickly but loosening it can escape one’s mind. 

Another great way to rig this, similar to that above, is to clip your terminal to a spreader bar. You can clip on your weight to the short end and from the long arm, attach a short leader to your swim-bait. This is a great solution to help manage tangles if they start to become a problem. 

Drifting or slowly trolling along ledges and shelves is a good idea as rockfish and lings will use this structure to help break current while also allowing them to seek shelter for protection or to provide cover for ambushing prey. This does not necessarily mean deep. I have consistently caught ling cod in some spots as shallow as 45-50′ deep. That said, I do have some spots that are around 220′.  

Please note that a descending device is required on all boats while bottom fishing, and must be readily accessible to use. Having one ‘on board’ but stowed away while bottom fishing will not suffice. 

Jordan Simpson


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

Well what can I say, its mid-May and there are a lot of chinook around including some big hatchery fish.  We are still waiting to hear from DFO if they will accept some of the SFAB chinook management proposals.   We might see some decisions early June.  In the meantime, we have been heading out a few times a week and doing some DNA sampling for the Avid Angler South Coast Stock Assessment Program.

Greg with a nice hatchery chinook released over at Gabriola on Tuesday.

There are a lot of options for chinook right now.  There are fish in Howe Sound, off South Bowen, the Hump, the QA, and over in the Gulf Islands.  Productive depths have ranged from 60 to 220 and it really depends on the water clarity and what you are seeing on your sonar.  Productive lures have also ranged from hootchies, to spoons, to bait.  I have been fishing a fair amount with brighter gear, as the places I have been fishing have had dirty water due to algae blooms or Fraser run off.  So, the chartreuse Gibbs and Oki flashers have been working well.  Familiar names like Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, Lemon Lime, should be in your arsenal.  Brighter spoons and hootchies have been working well, like the Yamashita splatter back hootchies in green or chartreuse or Gibbs G-Force spoons like the Trailhead, Irish Cream, No Bananas and Outfitter.  I have been doing well on these in 3.5 size.

Derek with a chunky Howe Sound chinook from Wednesday.

Bottom fishing has been good as well.  Check out Jordan’s bottom fishing information in this week’s report for specifics on what to use and how to set it up.  I was into some decent bottom fishing this past weekend using a slip rig and adjusting my weight to the depth of water and the tidal current.  This setup works well for me and I like the fact you can unclip the weight when you are done for the day. It’s a productive rig when paired up with Gibbs Delta Power Paddles.  We have a full selection of bottom fishing gear at the shop, so give us call and we can get you dialed in.

The results of Jason and his family’s afternoon bottom fishing efforts in the Gulf Islands using a slip rig and Gibbs Delta Power Paddles.

I haven’t been dropping the crab traps, but those who have seem to be doing pretty good, which is normal for this time of year.  I haven’t been prawning for a while, but I think it has slowed down a bit.

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli