We are at the end of May and things continue to move in the right direction both on the world front and the fishing front. Though it has been a slightly cooler than average this past month, fishing is ramping up. As we look to June we are hearing of more things are starting to open in terms of access and operators including our own saltwater charter operation that we are hoping to open up in early June. If you’re thinking of a trip don’t hesitate to call us on the charter line (778.788.8582) and we can chat dates!
This week we have a great lake fishing update from both the Squamish direction and the interior as Jason was up that way taking the new boat out for a test fish. We also have a late addition on the lake info front as Jordan and Zach where up the Kane Valley as we were writing the report yesterday and we have some great fish pictures as well as pictures of the fly that was getting the job done. Check that out in the lake section and we will have more details on the Kane valley trip next week!
With lake fishing in mind, Matt broke open his lakes box and shared some of his best essential lake patterns in a new video in the What’s in My Fly Box series on our YouTube channel. Make sure to check that video out here:
Speaking of flies, we are giving away a FREE chironomid box! Details on how to enter are at the end of the YouTube video above. We also have these boxes in the video for sale. We have the essential “Meat and Potato Lake Box” with some must have trolling / cast and strip patterns for $149.99 and then we have an essential Chironomid box with a great selection of the flies you will need if you are tackling this fishery. If you are new to lake fishing or would just like to add these key patterns into your kit call the shop at 604-872-2204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org , you can pay via credit card and we can reserve one for you or come down to the shop and pick up these boxes while you’re in!
On the saltwater side of things there are lots of places producing fish, from Howe Sound, South Bowen, and Thrasher Rock. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report for more details on what gear and depths he’s fishing this time of year.
For a little change up from all the trout and salmon fishing, be sure to check out Alex’s post spawn bass report and our updates on the Capilano.
As always if you want to see the video version of the report click here where Matt goes over all the updates and he also shares some cool flies from Andre this week as well!
CLASSES AND COURSES
As we look to June we’ve got a few more virtual classes for you! Check out all of the details below.
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 (River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Date: June 23, 2020 – zoom class
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.
Dates: Zoom Seminar June 22. Casting June 28
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Capilano River Fishing Report
Since the shop has reopened we’ve been getting more and more reports on the Cap, with anglers having mixed results. After the bump in water levels on Monday some success was had in the cable and dog leg pools, early morning being the key. We should see the water levels bump again after the inclement weather this weekend, which should push the next wave of fish up the system.
Although most of the coho have been caught in the slack pools, we should see increasing numbers pushing through the lower runs as we get closer to the peak. Colorado blades, wool, or good ol’ roe should all be ready to be deployed to trick the fresh fish coming through the system. If you’re more fly inclined, classic olive wooly buggers should be the main staple in your box, along with sculpin and micro attractors. Don’t be afraid to fish small!
It’s still early for this run, however there should be fresh coho coming every high tide for the next month. Try to time your descent from the canyon into the lower section of the river with a high tide to intercept the next wave pushing through.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Sea to Sky Lakes Fishing Report
The sea to sky lakes are fishing really well right now. I was able to get up there twice on my days off last week and had a bunch of fun. These lakes have all been stocked and with the warmer weather that we have been having the fishing has really heated up. This is a great area to explore with the family as you can fish a morning, afternoon, evening or a whole day. It is only an hour or two out of Vancouver depending on which area you want to explore. If you are new to stillwater angling these lakes are a great training ground to expand your skill set. You also have your choice of species as these lakes have rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout and brook trout in them.
For gear anglers bottom rigging power bait is a great way to get into fish from shore. Small spoons and spinners are another great option. If you have a boat, trolling Mini G spoons and wedding bands in green colours are deadly.
For the fly anglers just getting into stillwater fishing these lakes offer you everything that you need to get ready for interior lakes. When it’s sunny most of these lakes get small chironomid hatches, this is a must have technique for fishing the interior. Damsel and dragonfly nymphs are very prevalent in our coastal lakes and these patterns fish extremely well around weed beds. Trolling leeches are always deadly as well.
The fish cat boats are amazing for fishing these lakes and they are extremely packable so they don’t take up much space and can be carried into higher alpine lakes. If you need anything for fishing this area we are your local experts that love these lakes. We have all cut our teeth in this area when we were first starting out and we can get you set up for success, so come on in and visit us at the shop!
Interior Lake Fishing Report
I had the chance to get up to the 100 Mile Area this past weekend to do some lake fishing. I grew up fly fishing lakes, but this past decade I haven’t had the time to get up there as much as I would like. Usually in April, May, June I have my hands full keeping 4 Gradys running and the chinook fishing has been so awesome these past years, it’s just hard to get up to the lakes. With no charters because of Covid, I jumped at the chance to get back in the game, despite local chinook fishing being on fire.
The lake I was at is around 4000 feet. On Friday it was windy, rainy, and cold. I was ready for it though, had all my fleece and rain gear I usually wear on the ocean, and I put in a full day. The water temperature started off at 53 and ended up at 56 and there were a few brief periods of activity mid-day, with a few chronies coming off. I managed some decent fishing despite the cold front and was rewarded with some good sized fish.
Saturday and Sunday were a lot nicer and the lake went from 56 to 59 on Saturday and up to 61 on Sunday. I was hoping for a better chironomid hatch on the warmer days, but it never really took off. Regardless it was good to see the indicator go down and I can’t wait to get back up there.
If you are looking to get into the lake game, drop by the shop. We have everything you need to get started, including all the items you need for your boat like pyramid anchors, anchor rope, anchor locks, rod holders, fish finders, electric motors, batteries, and of course all sorts of fly rods, reels, and flies. If you don’t have a boat, we just recently setup a Marlon SP10 and have sold a few of these as well as the SP12. We can get you setup in one of these boats and get it outfitted properly. For more info or a quote, give us a call at the shop. If a boat isn’t in the budget or you don’t have room, we have lots of great float tube options as well.
If you’re in the Kamloops area this weekend things are going to get hot on Saturday and with it we expect even better reports. There is a little rain early next week but with temps forecast to hit 30 for the first time this year it is time to get out!
Zach and Jordan went up to the Kane Valley yesterday. They are coming back as we write this report but they have sent us some fun pictures and pictures of the fly that was the hot ticket. We will share this with you below and have more details next week.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing
With mostly chrome in our weekly report these days, we thought it would be fun to spice it up a little by talking about a bit of green again this week. What do I mean by that? Bass fishing of course!
At this time of year bass fishing is a viable alternative to the trout and salmon fisheries. As we come into the month of June you will find most of our bass fisheries are transitioning into their post-spawn phase. Not all bass lakes are the exact same in terms of timing as it varies depending on a few factors so you may find a few fish still in spawn mode, but post spawn will be the general trend from now until the beginning of summer.
As its name suggests, post-spawn is when the bass have gone and done their thing and are now ready to move on with their lives. This has a couple of implications. First, female fish that have deposited their eggs will have lost that additional weight, so this is not the easiest time to catch your PB. Second, male and female bass that have recently spawned typically follow distinct and divergent movement behaviour. Male bass stick around the nest and guard the eggs until they hatch. This makes them fairly susceptible to being caught as they are quite aggressive at this point and are up shallow, usually within casting distance from shore. You might find yourself catching a bunch of skinny 10-15 inch fish up shallow; these are your males. What about the lady bass? A majority of post-spawn females will leave the shallows and head out to deeper water to recuperate. Initially they are tough to entice, but over time they will feed heavily in order to bulk back up. Thus, it is totally possible to catch a rotund fish, especially as we get closer to Summer. You can find these bigger fish typically on transition zones between shallow flats and deep water in that 10-20′ range. A small portion of them do hang out shallow after spawn and set up shop there for most of the summer, but be ready to pull them out of extremely heavy cover as this is when vegetation is at its thickest. Having a watercraft will give you a huge advantage now though as fore mentioned it is not impossible to get some nice fish from shore still.
How do you target these fish at this time of year? It depends on where you are on the lake and which class of fish you will most likely be targeting, but with the warmer water and heightened aggression there are a lot of tactics you can use and it is a fun time to get out and experiment knowing you will probably get bit on something. These bass will still relate to structure of some kind. This means that throwing weedless setups like hollowbody frogs and texas-rigged worms, craws, and swimbaits are going to be your go-to’s up shallow. In open water presentations will still work too, but in order to broaden your search area and fish faster you can move to baits that have larger drawing power like buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Keep in mind that the heavier the structure you are fishing, the heavier your gear needs to be too. Otherwise you are going to be throwing a lot of hard-earned money into the lake.
From now through to the end of Summer is when the greatest number of Bass are most active. I have said this in past Bass write ups, but if you are interested in catching a bass to check it off the bucket list but don’t want to dive head first into all of the specialized gear, a spinner or spoon fished near structure will also do the trick. No, you most likely won’t catch many fish over the 2lb mark, but a small hungry bass won’t pass up those lures. The next few months will be the best time to cross this fish off the list, if you so desire to, or just to get a nice tug on the end of your line. If you are interested, come talk to me or any of the other guys at the Shop and we can get you going!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing has been pretty good this past week, as is usual for this time of year. There are lots of places producing fish, like Howe Sound, South Bowen, and Thrasher Rock. Sometimes it is hard to say where to go or which spot is producing the best, but this week it was pretty clear that Thrasher was the place to be. There were still some good amounts of fishing being caught locally, and some big ones, but Thrasher has been on fire for about 2 weeks now. Hard to say what it will be like this weekend, it can go from hot to cold in a tide change, but chances are it will still be good for a few more weeks.
If you are going to head across, check out Thrasher and check out Porlier. Both are usually good this time of year. Productive depth depends on water colour. If the dirty Fraser water pushes over to that side, the fish are shallow, 60-140 on the riggers is usually good. If the water is clear the fish are usually a lot deeper, 130-200 on the riggers. It all depends on the tides, currents, and how that Fraser water gets pushed around. Usually the most productive setup is a flasher and hootchy. You can’t go wrong with a chartreuse glow flasher like a Chartreus Glow Herring Aid, Lemon Lime, STS, BC, or Salty Dawg. Put on a chartreuse or green splatter back hootchy with a 32-40 inch leader and hang on. I like the Yamashita versions of these hootchies and we have some at the shop if you are in need.
If you are sticking closer to home, the same can be said about water colour and depths. Shallower in the dirty water and deeper in the clear water. There have been some fish caught off South Bowen from Cowan to Roger Curtis and Hole in the Wall is worth checking out this time of year as well. The setup mentioned above is also extremely productive over here. Spoons will also work, like Irish Cream, Homeland Security, and Trailhead. Bait is always a good choice this time of year too, matched with some of the brighter teaser heads like glow green or variations of that.
Crabbing has been good lately and should continue to be good until the commercial effort increases later in June.
If you are looking to get some fresh air and do battle with some of the season’s hottest chinook, we are happy to announce we are now taking bookings. We are starting our season with locals, just like you, and we have our Covid plan in place to keep you safe. If you would like to get out on the water, give us a call at 778-788-8582.
See you in the shop or on the water.