Spring fishing is in full swing. We will see some mixed weather today and Saturday both locally and, in the interior, but she looks to be the start of another week of good weather come Sunday.
The pressure is dropping today and tomorrow in the interior and this may affect fishing a little but all the reports from the interior lake fishing have been excellent and Sunday looks great. On their days off all the guys have been sneaking up to lake country so we have some good intel in this week’s interior lake report.
Once again we saw some great saltwater fishing this past week . When winds allowed we were fishing off South Bowen from Cowan to Roger Curtis and when it was windy we have been tucking into Seymour Bay or Hole in the Wall. In any location the fish did not disappoint. Details on best depths and gear are in this week’s report.
Sturgeon fishing is another thing worth looking at this time of year. It is relatively easy, minus the pulling on a 6ft dinosaur part and you can do it 20 mins from the shop. Zach was out a couple time over the last few weeks and he has a great “how to” article in this week’s report. If you have wanted to try this fishery or would like some tips to tweak your setup, you will not want to miss the report.
Last, but not least we are starting to hear reports from the Capilano. The Capilano is one of the first rivers to see coho and they are starting right now! Alex has a full primer report to get you ready.
We’ve got a host of great classes coming up in May and June that have a couple of spots left, including the coveted Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Course. Check out the full listing below and also don’t miss out on joining us at the Vancouver Club next Thursday for an an evening with Mark Hume where he shares from his new book Trout School!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Next Thursday – don’t miss it!
Join us for a fun, social evening celebrating fly fishing in beautiful BC. Mark Hume, an experienced angler and former Globe & Mail reporter, will give a captivating visual presentation from his new book, Trout School, which shares insider knowledge from legendary angler Mo Bradley. Mo is the undefeated master of catching Kamloops trout. This is your chance to learn from the master.
Featuring: Door prizes. Drinks. Catering. Cash bar. Books for sale.
Brought to you by Pacific Angler, Vancouver Club, and Pacific Salmon Foundation
RSVP at psf.ca/events<http://psf.ca/events>
Date: Thursday May 30
Location: Vancouver Club, 915 West Hastings Street
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.
Dates: May 27, 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: $50 + GST
Dates: May 29, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 6hr seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Cost: $350.00 + GST
Seminar: June 2, 2019
Guided: June 8 – 2 spots left!, June 21 – 1 spot left! – June 22- 1 spot left! June 24 – 2 spots left! All other dates sold out!
Seminar Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm – with a one-hour break for lunch. There is a restaurant on site for students to have lunch at their cost. Coffee/Tea and water will be provided. Seminar held at Pacific Gateway Hotel – 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC
Guided Day: Full day on the water
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques
Chironomids are the number one food source for trout in BC’s lakes; however, few anglers have taken the time to become true masters of this discipline. Those that do are often rewarded with the largest fish. Trevor is a former member of the Canadian Fly Fishing Team and an excellent chironomid angler. Dedication to his sport has helped Trevor become one of the top fly fishermen in the province as well as a fisheries biologist working for Hemmera. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Date: June 3, 2019
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: June 5, 12, 19, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish is a challenging fishery to look at in the warmer months of the year. Heavy snow melt, referred to as “freshet” makes the water high and dirt. There are still opportunities to fish but limited shore access and obvious high-water safety concerns are not ideal.
Though there may still be windows of fishing on the system, for the most part, fishing will be over until the end of summer. We will tune in when we start hearing reports of pinks showing up around July/August.
Capilano River Gear Fishing Primer
The first freshwater opportunity for salmon fishing is well underway with the arrival of the Capilano coho. These early fish show up in May are small but feisty and tasty. At this point in the season it is a timing game but as we get into June and July the fish will start to stack in the canyon pools, morphing it into a more technical fishery. For this week’s fishing report, I will outline what sort of gear you will want to use to target these fish.
There are two methods to targeting these early Capilano coho with gear: drifting and casting. I will break down each of them below:
Rod: Long and light, that is the name of the game. A couple of my favourites are the light Trophy XL’s in the 9′ or 10′ range and the 2106 Trophy Titan. Your typical 10’6″ medium powered drift rods will work too, albeit they will be a touch on the heavy side for most of the Coho you will encounter. Softer rods will fare better as these coho have soft mouths and are very good at throwing the hook.
Reel: Either a baitcaster or a centerpin reel is the best choice. You will encounter a lot of slow pools so having a quality reel that has a really good free spool is imperative to getting natural looking drifts. For the baitcasters, I like to run low profiles as they are much lighter and more ergonomic. In all honesty there isn’t any reason to use a full-round for this fishery unless you are trying to balance a much longer rod. I really love the Daiwa Fuego for a mid-priced contender and the Shimano Tranx 300 for the guys who want more line capacity but still retain that low profile feel. As for centerpins, most will do the job just fine although the Islander Steelheaders and Milner Kingfishers have the lowest start up inertia and are the best for slow currents. In these conditions the fish has much more time to scrutinize your presentation so having a natural drift can make the difference between limiting out and getting skunked.
Presentation: Early in the season, drifting pro-cured roe is king. It truly is hard to beat. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can try jensen eggs, wool ties cut to look like eggs, pro-cured shrimp, or small Colorado blades. Straight green wool also works for those that want to keep the tackle to a minimum.
Rod: For casting setups, a spinning or baitcasting rod in the 7′-9′ range with a moderate-fast action is ideal. A medium-light rod is perfect, although mediums will work too and will double as a big fish rod later in the year. There are a ton of options although the G. Loomis E6X lineup has some amazing models as do the Fenwick HMX and Luhr Jensen North Coast lines.
Reel: As iterated earlier, I prefer to keep my early Cap Coho setups as light as possible. This is why I am a huge fan of the Daiwa Tatula and Daiwa Fuego spinning reels. Two of the lightest reels you will find in their price point, they are also very smooth and are built to last. In addition, the Daiwa Fuego is mag-sealed so you can take it down to Ambleside for some light duty saltwater fishing when the Coho and Pinks stack there in July-August. If you are looking for a cheaper option the new Okuma Avenger series is robustly built and may be the Endgame to your budget reel needs (sorry I had to). For the baitcasting combos my pick still goes to the aforementioned Daiwa Fuego (the baitcaster, not to be confused with the spinning version). The Daiwa RG is a good contender too and the Abu Garcia Black Max combo, while primarily a Bass fishing combo, will do just fine as a cheap alternative.
Presentation: Spoons and spinners in orange, blue, copper, or green are your bread and butter for this fishery. Gibbs Crocs and Blue Fox Vibraxes have proven their worth over the years, although don’t be afraid to throw something different like a Mepps Aglia. I have had success with twitching jigs as well, although I have found it to be much more effective later in the season when the Coho have stacked up and gotten a good case of lock-jaw.
Both of these methods can be very effective at this time of year so pick one that you enjoy and get out on the water. In about a month we will see a transition into more fly fishing friendly conditions and next week’s report will explain why.
Whether you are just starting or have many seasons under your belt with this fishery, come see us at the Shop and we can set you up with everything you need.
Lower Fraser River Sturgeon Primer Report
Over the weekend I got out on the water to hunt one of my new favorite species, the mighty sturgeon. Generally, I fish for these river monsters in the lower portion of the Fraser River which is from the Mission Bridge down to Steveston. The tides aren’t the best at the moment as we just had a full moon, so we are seeing big tides which really gets the currents going and can cause the fishing to be fairly slow. We saw a few fish jumping throughout the day and even marked a few on the sounder but we weren’t able to find any willing combatants. We started the day in the Steveston area and then did a big run up to the mouth of the Stave River and then we worked our way back down over the course of the day.
Since I don’t have much to report on the actual fishing, I am going to take this week to teach you all the basics of sturgeon fishing. This is such an easy and accessible fishery that anyone can do it and when you get the timing right you can pop down to the river bank after work for a few hours and you can have some amazing fishing action. Generally, the fish that we see in the lower portion of the Fraser can be a bit smaller than what you will find on the upper portions of the river, but it is not uncommon to find fish in the 6-8 foot range. Obviously, it’s best if you have a boat of some kind so that you can get to a couple different spots, but this is a fishery that you can easily do from shore as well. All you need is a beefy spinning rod like an Ugly Stick in a 9′ Medium Heavy action or a Daiwa BG combo which comes in a 9′ Medium Heavy configuration as well. Your spinning reel will need to be big enough to hold about 200-275 yards of 80-130lb braid. If you are fishing from a boat, I like to use the Trophy Sturgeon King and a Penn Squall 30LD reel paired up with the same kind of line. If you want to take things up a notch in your boat gear, then I really love the Shimano Technium Sturgeon rod paired with either the Penn Squall or the Shimano Torium 30HG. These reels also double as our favorite options for bottom fishing in the salt as well so you can use them for more than just sturgeon.
The rod and reel makes up the majority of your cost when getting geared up for sturgeon. The terminal end is quite easy and inexpensive to get up and running. All you need is 1/0 – 3/0 swivels, 10-12mm beads, a collection of wedge weights from 12-18oz, sliders, Gum Puckys – these you might have in your salmon tackle box and for sake of ease some pre-tied sturgeon leaders. A basic terminal kit will set you back about $50.
For bait I generally like to fish with Eulachon. These little fish are super oily and can send out an awesome scent trail that draws sturgeon in. Obviously, the more rods and bait that you have in the water the better the chance you have of drawing in more fish. We are nearing the tail end of the Eulachon run which generally happens during April and May. As we start to see salmon entering the rivers I like to start fishing with roe as well as salmon bellies. You basically want to “match the hatch” when it comes to bait. Sometimes it’s a good idea to have different baits on hand and another one that we like to fish is Lamprey Eel.
The rig is fairly easy to set up. You will want to know how to tie a Braid Uni Knot which is super strong, and I use it to connect my mainline to the swivel and again to attach my leader to the swivel. If you want to tie up your own leaders, you will want to learn the Snell or Bait Loop Knot. 80 – 130lb dacron is the line of choice for leaders as it is thick, and wax coated so it won’t cut through the sturgeon’s mouth. Depending on your hook choice you will want anywhere from a 6/0-8/0 barbless hook.
Please remember that Sturgeon are protected in BC and you must take the utmost care when fighting, handling and releasing these fish. Things to remember are to use only heavy rods and reels with high pound test line to reduce the fighting time. Don’t drag sturgeon onto shore or into your boat. Never grab them by the gill plate, and when you have to handle a sturgeon please wear gloves. Remove hooks quickly and gently, if a fish is hooked deeply cut the line and leave the hook in the fish. If you want a more detailed guide on how to properly handle sturgeon please check out the following link,
That’s pretty much it for beginner sturgeon set ups. We are all well versed in sturgeon fishing here in the Lower Fraser. Come on into the shop and we will be more than happy to get you all set up and show you a couple of spots to get you going!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
We are having a very good early local lake season. These fisheries are great for a morning of fun or for getting new anglers out on the water. All the Lower Maniland lakes were stocked at the end of last month and should fish well for the next 2-4 weeks.
Rice , Como, Green Timbers, Sasamat, Sanctuary Pond, Deer, and Rolley Lake are a few to check out. If you’re looking for something close to where you live be sure to check out GoFishBC for a full map along with updated stocking reports.
Float and bottom bait fishing setups are typically most productive and all you need is a simple spinning rod setup to make this happen. We are well stocked on worms and powerbait options so come down and we can get you into a lake fishing setup and walk you through how to rig everything up.
Interior Lake Fishing Report
The past 2 weeks I have been up fishing some lakes in the Merritt area. Last week, fishing was good as the weather was warm and there was a noticeable chironomid hatch. This week started off good with nice weather; however, my trip out yesterday was hindered by some variable weather conditions. I experienced it all: sun, rain, clouds and even thunder. Yes, this did affect the fishing, and made things difficult as it was too cloudy for a chironomid hatch. I still managed fish on small chromie-style chironomid and another with a gunmetal body and red rib suspended a foot off the bottom. I found the key was to move around lots and to continuously scan the lake looking for rolling fish. Move spots every 15 minutes or so if nothing is happening. A throat pump is also key, so you can accurately match your flies (chironomids) to what the trout are eating.
The forecast for this weekend looks like the uncooperative weather will continue as we are in for some rain. Take this opportunity to restock fly boxes, tie more patterns, fix your leaders, or come by the shop in preparation for next week. If the weatherman is correct, we could be in for some amazing weather next week starting mid Sunday/Monday, with Merritt reaching the mid 20s and, Kamloops a whopping 30 degrees! This will really get the bugs moving. Expect to see larger scale chironomid hatches with the size of chironomids getting bigger. We may even see some mayflies.
Make sure you are prepared for your next outing with flies and a throat pump, because during a hatch, the trout tend to key into specifics on colour and size and may refuse other presentations.
If you have any questions on lake fishing feel free to give us a call or come by the shop and we’ll help you out.
Good luck out there,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Once again we saw some great fishing this past week. When winds allowed we were fishing off South Bowen from Cowan to Roger Curtis and the fish did not disappoint. If you have been following us on Instagram and Facebook, you have seen some of the action and that some nice size fish are showing up. Best depths were from 80-130 and we hooked fish on bait, spoons, and hootchies. The brighter colour gear, aka green and chartreuse, is working well as the water does have some colour to it from the algae. In past reports I have gone into detail on colours for flashers and lures, so please check out our past reports for more detail or drop by the shop for expert advice on what is working.
When it was windy we tucked into Seymour Bay or went up to Hole in the Wall and for the most part we have had some great fishing in those spots as well. The fish at “The Hole” have been a bit shallower than off Bowen, from 60-120. I would say the fishing off South Bowen is a little better, but these 2 spots do give you some options when the winds are blowing.
Crabbing has been good but prawning has slowed down, as one would expect with the commercial prawn season upon us.
The protest we had at the Fisheries Minister’s office earlier this month did result in a direct meeting with the Minister on Thursday. Myself and 3 others met with him for an hour and discussed the current situation, the science, and of course the politics. We presented him some options where the science shows we have no impact on Fraser stocks, even less than the 1% we have been telling him about. We are hoping they will look at our recommendations and open up some of these areas to provide us the opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook. I am working on a more detailed article to bring everyone up to speed and I should have that ready for next weeks report or I might send it out in a special mail out. Until then I encourage you to get out there and enjoy the awesome fishing, easily some of the best we have seen in years.
See you in the shop or on the water,