May is moving along quickly and we are almost into June. We are all looking forward to the middle of next month when travel restrictions are hopefully lifted. We wish the province had declared fishing “essential” and allowed travel but, if everything goes as planned, we are all eagerly awaiting the middle of next month when things are expected to open up.
With this in mind, we have a light report for you this week. Matt will tune in next week with a video version of the report and Jason will be back with an update on the saltwater front.
In the report, this week, we have a piece on saltwater pier fishing locally in Vancouver, aka “shark fishing”! This is a fun and easy fishery, perfect for anglers wanting to get out but not wanting to travel.
We also look at the local lakes. Things are getting more challenging on this front because, for most lakes, it has been a little time since stocking, and so you will need to get technical with your presentations but, there are still good opportunities.
The weather looks great this week for fishing with a mix of sun, cloud, and nice warm spring temperatures. So, get out there and enjoy!
On to the report!
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. The course is comprised of two sessions; a 3hr evening Zoom seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Jun 16 & 20, July 14 & 17, Sept 21 & 26
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 course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt of River Runs Through It fame as you will ever be! The course is comprised of one 3hr evening Zoom seminar.
Date: Wednesday, June 23
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
INDUSTRY EVENTS + UPDATES
We’re looking for some talented individuals with a passion for fishing and helping others to join our retail team. We have both full and part time positions available. If this is you read on for more details about the positions here.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
This week was another big stocking week for our local lakes. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was out just a few days ago stocking many of our local lakes with spring catchable rainbows. This is welcome news, as many lakes hadn’t been stocked in nearly a month and fishing was starting to slowing down. For a full update on stocking, be sure to check out their website here. Select your region or specific lake, date range and you can get the latest reports.
With water temperatures starting to warm up, mornings and evenings will be your best bet. Lower temperatures and less direct sunlight will make the fish more active. No need to adjust gear dramatically due to pressure, although running your gear deeper is a pretty good idea when the water warms up. All the usual gear, baits, or flies will continue to work, but with summer approaching, the bottoms of most local lakes will start to get pretty weedy… so bottom fishing may not be your best bet anymore. I’ve had good luck in the past using Powerbait, worms or shrimp under a float, or casting and retrieving small spoons or spinners.
Try not to overthink when targeting trout in the local lakes… they’re not super picky or spooky like a river trout or an interior trout would be, and the simplest setups often provide the most enjoyable and successful days on the water. As one of the old-timers at Mill Lake once told me, K.I.S.S.- Keep it simple, Sam!
Interior Lake Fishing Report
For those lucky enough to be up in the interior, I’m sure you’ve heard and noticed by now, but fishing throughout the Interior is full blown. Most of the fish are starting to move away from that 8-12 ft depth and are starting to feed in the 18+ ft zones. There are obviously exceptions to that but that’ll be the general case for most lakes. You’ll typically find that fish may move shallower in the morning and then move into those deeper water columns in the afternoon. Deeper hatches tend to also yield bigger fish so make sure you’re using adequate leader and tippet setups. Long lining chironomids with a floating line can be an extremely effective method to target those deeper fish in windy conditions as your fly can stay in the target zone more consistently. You can also use full sinking lines to get down quickly in 18+ ft conditions. Full sink line takes are absolutely vicious as the takes will happen right under the boat so having good fly rod holders is an absolute necessity. I’d wager that the majority of lost rods over the edge of boats happen on either deep lining or full sink setups.
This is also the point where having an effective leader setup is essential when it comes to chironomid fishing. Having a wide assortment of both mono and fluorocarbon leader material is a great way to be setup properly for those deeper situations. I’m sure you’ve encountered a lot of opinions when it comes to setting up chironomid leaders in the past.
Come through the store at any time to see how we set up our leaders and what we’ve had the most success with so you will be setup when the travel restrictions between the lower mainland and the interior are lifted.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Jason will be back next week with his regular saltwater fishing report but we wanted to share a fun urban saltwater fishery with you this week!
Saltwater Pier Fishing – Spiny Dogfish and Coarse Fish
One of the local fishing opportunities in the Lower Mainland that is often overlooked is our saltwater pier fishing. There are a variety of species to catch which makes it fun for both amateur and experienced anglers alike, from 3-inch-long shiners and sculpins to 3-foot-long dogfish. For this week’s report, we are going to take a look at this local fishery and break it down into a section on just catching a variety of species and on fishing for dogfish in particular. Let’s start with the big ol’ dogfish.
Often times the mention of dogfish will be met with by laughter. Many saltwater fishermen consider them pests as they ruin your bait or leader when trolling for salmon. However, due to their numbers and their aggressiveness towards baits, they also provide great fishing opportunities in our urban waters. They don’t run or jump like other gamefish in BC but they do pull down and being a shark, let me tell you if you’ve never caught one before it’s just cool to see a shark on the end of your line.
They can be found pretty much anywhere locally. Places I would recommend are Ambleside pier and Jericho pier as these provide good access to deep water where these sharks like to live. I have personally had much more success during an outgoing tide after high tide on a sunny day.
When gearing up for them we recommend a bottom fishing rig with bait. As they are a species of shark their teeth can cut regular line like butter. You can use wire leaders to prevent them from cutting your leader line. Also, a hook sharpener is necessary as their teeth can dull your hook easily, so a quick sharpen after each fish may be necessary.
You can get away with light to medium rods ranging from 6’6” to 10’. You do want at least an ounce of weight to anchor the bait off the bottom, typically even 2-3 ounces. For bait, you can use herring, anchovies, salmon trim and squid.
On top of the dogfish fishery, our local saltwater offers many coarse fish opportunities. You can catch a wide variety of species such as greenling, perch, flounder/sole, sculpin and goby.
Using ultralight gear is really fun for these smaller fish and some of the fish put up a surprisingly good fight. You can tie a drop shot rig with size 10 – 4 hooks and put a piece of bait like squid or shrimp on the hook. The reason I like to use a dropshot rig is for the maximum sensitivity as you slowly reel back your slack line and cover the rocky area or kelp beds. The take can be very quick so you have to set the hook in a timely manner.
When targeting larger perch and flounder, you need to cast further out. You can use a three-way swivel to suspend the bait and wait for the bite to happen. This is best off a pier where the bottom structure is relatively sandy so as to not snag up.
If you are interested in getting set up for one of the urban fisheries come by the shop and our friendly staff can steer you in the right direction.