Happy May Long Weekend! We are looking forward to a long weekend in the shop and all the nice weather that has finally arrived. With it we have a big report for you all!
The temperature won’t crack 20 in Vancouver but we will see high teens today, Saturday and Sunday. Lake fishing is going strong and the weather looks great for Sunday even if there will be some unsettled weather today and Saturday.
This week, we have a number of lake updates and some interesting observations from fishing trips over the last 10 days that will hopefully be useful if you are heading out this weekend. Matt has some important simple boat gear tips with some cool gear. Every year we hear about guys and girls losing rods over the side. We saw a few over the week or so. If you are heading out and maybe renting a boat or going in someone else’s boat, a few simple pieces can change the game for fishing and will save rods.
We also have a local lake update if you can’t get out of the Lower Mainland. With the cooler than normal weather the stocked lakes are still a great option. Eric has details there.
Another great fishery to look at this weekend is carp fishing. We now have carp gear in the store! Everything from bite alarms, boilies, bank sticks and the proper terminal tackler. Gavin knows this fishery and has a great overview on how to tackle this fishery. Check it out below.
In the freshwater report section, we have both a Capilano River and a sturgeon update. Freshet is probably going to kick in with the warm weather this weekend but there are still options to get out as long as you are mindful of rising water.
Matt goes over all of the report in this week’s Friday Fishing Report Video version which you can check out here.
Or if you just want to sit back and watch a fun time-lapse of the spring cleaning of Matt’s lake boat fly box, check it out here – if you pay attention, you can get a good idea of the patterns he likes.
Last, but not least, here are our May Long Weekend Hours!
Friday May 20 | 10AM – 7PM
Saturday May 21 | 10AM – 6PM
Sunday May 22 |11AM – 5PM
Monday May 23 | Closed
CLASSES AND COURSES
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
This past Monday, the Capilano bumped up to 2.45M and prior to that, fishing has been rather spotty due to low water. After the bump, a good push of coho have made their way through the system. At the time of writing, the Capilano is at 1.8M and on the drop, so expect the fishing to slow down until the next bump of water comes. It is a good idea to check the water levels frequently before your trip as the Capilano is dam fed so levels can go up or down rather quickly. Linked below is what I use to check water levels.
The best fishing for early Capilano coho usually occurs when 2 things coincide: tide and water level. Days when there is large high tide 2 hours before sunrise usually convince pods of coho to move into the system. The Capilano is typically rather low during the late spring through the summer when the early coho run exists. Rain or a dam opening will always push fresh pods of coho in. When a night time high tide and a bump in levels occur at the same time, one can expect good fishing. Arriving for first light is critical for this fishery as they can turn off rather quickly once the light hits the water most days.
Float fishing with roe has been producing well for anglers. Anglers fly fishing in the canyon have been having success as well. Typically, higher in the system fly anglers will have better success while the lower you go, float fishing produces better.
Have a look at last week’s report for gear recommendations for this fishery.
Fraser Sturgeon Fishing Update
Since the last report, the Fraser has dropped slightly. At the time of writing this the water level is still well below seasonal averages. The fluctuation in water level has made the fishing somewhat inconsistent over the past week. The higher water also brought near zero visibility to the Fraser. With that being said, if you’re boating the Fraser, be extremely vigilant as faster current and higher water will also bring a considerable amount of debris down the Fraser which will continue to get significantly more in the weeks to come.
With higher water, the sturgeon will now be slowly moving out of their typical wintering holes and into the shallows to feed. This will usually scatter the fish considerably. If you have access to a boat, make it a point to move around and search for them. Shore fishing can be on the tougher side this time of the year as the concentration of fish in certain areas seems to dwindle and moving around isn’t usually a possibility from shore.
Using the tide to your advantage is necessary this time of the year as the high tide will slow down the current significantly. During freshet, in particular, timing the tides correctly in the lower Fraser can be the difference maker. Fishing low tides will be extremely difficult right now as the current will be extremely strong. It will be hard to detect bites as well as keep your bait from moving. This time of the year I have found the most success slightly before or slightly after slack tide depending on where you’re fishing as typically the river will have enough flow to spread the scent of your bait but also lessen the effects of freshet. With more debris coming down river make sure to check your bait and clean your line more regularly as it will get covered in grass fairly quickly. Trying different baits this time of the year can also be productive. Eulachons still seem to be the bait of choice but don’t be afraid to change up baits. Fishing dew worm clusters, pikeminnow and even roe can all still be beneficial this time of the year.
Ethan Da Silva
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Vancouver Area Lake Fishing Report
Local lake fishing is a fantastic way to get in to sportfishing and share it with younger generations.
The Lower Mainland has a variety of close to home, and urban lakes that are stocked with feisty rainbow trout. These lakes are a great place for new anglers and families to learn to fish. Most stocked lakes are easily accessible with docks and multiple shore fishing points. Many offer launch points for small boats and personal watercraft.
The spring is a great time to get out and explore the local lakes. The stocking programs are well underway and will continue until the heat of the summer. Most lakes have already been stocked with one or two rounds of fish. Looking forward to June you can usually expect to see some additional stockings closer to Father Day. A detailed list of stocking reports is available on Go Fish BC’s website – just select your region and see what is happening!
Tackle and Tactics:
Stocked rainbow trout are aggressive bitters and can be taken on a wide range of gear. We have designed a “How To Trout” info graphic that details some of the most effective trout setups. This includes float fishing, bottom fishing, and casting lures/spinners. Keep your gear light and you will have lots of fun fighting these fish.
- Float fishing is an effective way to suspend your presentation on a lake. Try using baits with a fair bit of sent like salmon eggs, deli shrimp and worms.
- Bottom fishing works well with floating baits. Power bait (paste or pre formed nuggets and balls) are effective in a range of colours. These baits float and produce alot of sent. Alternatively, you can also add a small corky to your leader to help float your bait.
- Casting or trolling smaller spoons and spinners works wonders on active trout. Weighted spoons and spinner like Crocs and Roostertails cast well and fish deep. If you are fishing light lures, you can always add a few lead weights to help, get casting distance or troll deeper. You can add some extra distance to your casting by using light weight braided line. The thin diameter line reduces drag and helps light presentations cast further.
Fly fishing can also be productive but finding areas to fly fish can be tricky. Having access to a float tube or small boat, when permitted, will really help put fly anglers on fish. Look for quick drop offs and shoals to troll or strip small leeches and spratlys. Chironomids and balanced leeches can be suspended under an indicator. Remember to change up your flies or presentations if you’re not having success.
Remember, these are meant to be accessible fisheries suited to new anglers and families… so get out there and have fun!
Interior Lake Fishing Report
The May long weekend finally feels like we’re going to get a weekend with great weather across the Interior. The weather has been very spotty across the province meaning having any type of consistency has been tough. Saying that, we’re seeing high teen weather in the Cariboo and double digit weather throughout the weekend in the Kamloops/Merritt area.
The high teen weather in the Cariboo is a welcome one as it feels like it has taken forever for the area to get going. I was up on Highway 24 last weekend and the water was still hovering between 45-48 degrees depending on the lake. There were sporadic chironomid hatches but it’s a far cry from what was happening at this point last year. Saying that, I still found success on chironomids and leeches throughout the day but it was spotty at best with a lot of smaller fish being the only eager ones. There’s always going to be some lakes that warm up quicker though and there were lakes north of 1000m that had some great hatches. It all comes down to how long those lakes have been ice free, which is why it’s vital to be monitoring ice off conditions for the best success. I always find that the biggest hatches will happen 4-6 weeks after ice off.
For Kamloops and Merritt, the double digit weather means that damsels and mayflies have started to emerge. Fishing patterns like BMWs, pheasant tails nymphs, grizzly damsels, and pearly damsels in olive, tan, and black are all great choices to cover your bases. Chironomids are still staples but it’s time to start diversifying the box in case the fish are keying on different prey items.
Matt wrote a little blurb on blobs and how they were a day saver for him when nothing else was going on. I’ve talked about them quite a bit in my last couple reports but they’re a must have in the box when the weather is as unpredictable as it has been. They really thrive in the mornings up until a hatch starts, which can be much later in the afternoon when the weather is rainy, overcast, and sunny all in the span of a couple hours.
LAKE TIPS & OBSERVATIONS
Must Have Lake Fishing Items – Mounts, Rod Holders and Anchors!
Stop losing Fly Rods When Indicator Fishing! Every year we hear sob stories of “I wasn’t looking at my rod and a fish pulled it overboard!” If you have your own boat setup for lake fishing this is a must have if you don’t already have it but this write up is for all folks who love renting a boat in the interior or going out with friends who have a boat. With these simple things I can get a non-fishing boat into fishing shape in 30 seconds.
First, is the Scotty Clamp on Coaming/Gunnel Mount. This guy is super useful for plugging in lots of Scotty accessories, whether it is to move a sounder around or a rod holder – it adds a ton of options when setting up a boat.
The second piece you need is the R5 Universal Rod Holder. These are great and you can even troll with them. The second you see an indicator go down, grab and set. If you have the old fly rod holder mounts on your boat I would highly recommend upgrading.
The final mounting accessory, a Slip Disc, is one that I only started using this season. It’s cheap and darn useful. It’s a simple slip disc to go between the mount and the rod holder. These can go on any Scotty accessories but it allows easy adjustments when you need to get your rod at the right low angle or high angle depending on what you are doing.
Making sure you have the right angle to line your gear up in the wind is critical and its common I move the mount around multiple times throughout a day of fishing. I even bring this system with me when I am on our boat – its set up quite well but there are still times I want to make a quick change – move a rod holder to the other side of the boat or just have an extra mounting option. And yes, you can put a cup holder in it if you need a convenient beverage holder!
The last thing I always carry with me is a 20lb pyramid anchor and 50 ft of rope. I don’t know how many times I have been on a boat with only one anchor and it’s a pain to fish when the wind starts spinning the boat. You also find that many boats may have anchors but they are way too light to hold in a wind. Throw the 20lber in the truck and even if you don’t own a boat, you will use it.
Come down to the shop where we can show you how to set all this stuff up. Good luck out there and I hope this will save you a rod or two over your fishing career.
Over the last few weeks, we have been hearing good reports of anglers using blobs. Love them or hate them no one can say that the blob doesn’t catch fish. I have only had a handful of solid days with blobs but, last week, I had a day that was interesting and we thought it might be useful to share some observations so if you see something similar on a lake you might be able to dial it in.
Previous to the day in question the lake had seen unsettled weather. We caught fish but the bite was noticeably inconsistent and we could not dial in any specific hatches. The next day conditions were perfect – sun and cloud with a little wind but there were no major hatches coming off in the morning. We dropped indicator rigs and began cycling through standard searching patterns. We finally managed to catch a couple fish but it was far from consistent.
All the stomach pumps were packed with daphnia. At about 10:30 I threw on a blob under an indicator at 18ft in a good cruising lane off a steep drop off. The indicator went down right away. From that point on it was pretty much non-stop. We had lots of double headers.
Though a few other guys were catching the odd fish on other patterns it was obvious that the fly was making a difference. I watched closely and even at 1230 there were still no signs of hatching insects and the blob bite was still going strong. This lasted till about 12:30 when the bite stopped. At this point, I remember scratching my head and looking down at the water. Sure, enough there were now chironomids surrounding the boat. It was the first time I had noticed them all day. We switched to chironomids and indicators started dropping again.
Long story short, I am sharing this in the report because if you see similar conditions with no hatches, stomach pumps full of daphnia and you know you are on hungry fish, try the blob. Colors didn’t seem to make much of a difference but you can see in the above picture one that was working for us.
Good luck and if you skipped it above be sure check out Sterling’s report for more specific lake intel.
Carp Fishing – Gear and Setup
While often misconstrued as a nuisance or garbage fish locally, carp sustains a billion-dollar fishing industry in Europe, Asia and the US. Fishing for carp is the crown jewel of sportfishing in many places, but not many people know about this opportunity locally in BC.
Carp are a hard fighting brute that at times can be virtually impossible to entice due to their high level of intelligence. Most anglers in this fishery practice catch and release, consequently the largest carp become the wisest and are cognizant of hooks, leaders and anglers.
They are found everywhere in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. They are also found in many large lakes in the interior with Okanagan Lake being the most well-known. Every slough, canal and ditch does have a high chance of having carp in them as they are not too demanding in terms of survival needs.
Some local places to look for carp:
Spinning reels are the most popular option for carp fishing worldwide, but you can also repurpose your steelhead/salmon centrepin for carp fishing in the spring and summer. In fact, that is the original purpose of the Centrepin reel in the UK, allowing a carp to freely take line without feeling tension. Having the ability to peel drag smoothly while in a seated position is critical. Having a reel large enough to accommodate 150yds of 30lb-40lb braided line is important to cut through vegetation.
3000-5000 Spinning Reels:
Amundson TCP X3
Rods for carp are typically much longer than your trout or bass setup. A longer rod affords you a greater casting distance, which increases the area you can fish. Another advantage to longer rods is being able to control carp in and out of heavy cover. Carp specific rods are rated by test curve instead of casting weight or line rating; test curve is the weight in pounds required to pull the tip of a rod until it’s reaches a 90-degree angle to the butt of the rod when the butt is in a horizontal position. The heavier the weight needed, the more the rod will bend, and the higher the test curve value. A rod in the 2.75LB-3.0LB test curve is the most well rounded and will get you covered for the local systems.
Spinning rods 9-13ft long:
Monster Carp Rod
Trophy XL 600 Series
Centerpin rods 10-12ft long:
Sage 3106B, 3113LB, 3113MB
Trophy XL Titan 3113B
Trophy XL Custom Series
Braided Lines are the go-to for conventional carp fishing; there are quite a few benefits to using braid compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon. Zero stretch is critical when you have bait anchored to a stationary spot; it allows you to see even the slightest bites immediately. Braid also allows you to cut through weeds, reeds and branches where carp are most often found. In any other fishery, braid would be considered highly visible to fish. With carp fishing, braid camouflages very well into its surrounding; a dark green braided line resembles small branches, weeds and grass quite effectively. Leaders are braided lines as well, for the same reasons. 30LB-40LB is usually the go to for our local fisheries.
Other Must Haves:
Rod holders are critical to having success with conventional carp fishing. Using a forked branch just does not cut it anymore. Having your rod horizontal is important in keeping your connection from your reel to your bait direct. To achieve this, we use 2 separate rod holders, one in the back and one in front. Typically, the holder in the front has a bell or electronic bite alarm attached with the rod seated on top. Your bite alarm serves exactly as it sounds; to alert you when you have a big carp running away with your hook!
Spring Feeders serve several purposes, they act as your weight and anchor to your bait, and uniquely they are a method to house your ground bait. While chumming is prohibited in freshwater fishing in BC, you are permitted to use ground bait as part of your presentation as long as your hook is incorporated into your spring feeder when you cast it out.
Hair rigs are the rig utilized to target the unique way carp feed. Carp are bottom feeders that do a 3-stroke process of sucking in potential food items, blowing out unwanted items and then quickly sucking in any food items that the carp deems edible. The bait is never actually on the hook, instead, hair rigs have a hook protruding behind the bait, allowing for the hook to catch onto the carp’s mouth before blowing it out. There is a unique way of attaching bait onto a hair rig and it requires a hair rig tool.
Bait will either make or break a carp outing. Having the right baits and flavors can attract carp from long distances to your presentation. There is a catalog double the thickness of a bible with the different carp baits produced worldwide. Most of my preferred baits include boilies, dew worms, dough baits and canned corn. What you have on your hook is not as important as what ground bait you have. Your ground bait is what creates the feeding frenzy and attracts the carp in; your hair rig/bait is just the device that hooks them. Ground bait can be as simple as flour and corn or as complex as a 34-ingredient secret concoction; you get to hone in on the fun of being a mad scientist. Using a commercial ground bait blend such as the Monster Carp ground bait and adding your own spices and flavours with some trial and error makes finding “the recipe” very rewarding. Ingredients I add to my ground bait include canned corn, vanilla extract, Jell-O mix, Kool-Aid and oats.
We are very excited to announce that we just got in a whole new carp section this week so come by and check out this new fishery!