We hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!
Cold and clear is the forecast for the foreseeable future and that is going to change things up substantially for the river fisherman. Cold and clear is not ideal because you will see river levels drop and become very clear. This slows fish movement and makes them much more wary. For a couple systems that have been high all season this will make fishing spots more accessible but overall it will make the actual fishing more challenging. Chum numbers have improved but are still not good. So, if you’re headed out be sure to be prepared from clear conditions and cover lots of water. This week we look at all the major spots and Aidan has a piece on the valley sloughs. They could be worth a scout over the next week.
Jason has an update on the saltwater fishing front and as always check out the video version of the report where Matt gives an overview of it all.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia – Policy Conference and Big Splash Gala and Fundraiser
On Thursday, November 15th, 2019, the SFI will hold its Annual Industry Policy Conference and Fundraiser at Vancouver Convention Centre – West in Vancouver overlooking Burrard Inlet.
Join us on November 15th for presentations and timely dialogue with experts from our sport fishing and scientific community and DFO at the SFI Policy Conference – Striving for Certainty & Stability. Stay on for the evening Big Splash Fundraiser, a lively and social evening that begins with a cocktail hour, includes live and silent auction items, raffles, some brief presentations and a superb sit down dinner planned by the innovative and talented chefs at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This event is expected to draw more than 300 guests and supporters from all over BC.
Get your tickets here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
We’ve got two spots left in this month’s Fly Fishing Egg Patterns course with Matt. If you’re thinking about attending this class – don’t delay. Sign up today by calling the shop at 604.872.2204.
Fly Fishing Egg Patterns
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Nov 13 Guided: Nov 16 or 17
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder River is starting to transition into its late
season phase and if you think it’s a bit earlier than usual, you would be
correct. The productivity has cooled off significantly and there have been a
number of slower reports over the last seven days. Now I’m not saying there are
no fish; there are definitely still a bunch of fish in the system. Both coho
and chum will continue to roll into the river over the next few weeks but the
numbers will start to dwindle from here on out. This time of year can be fun as
the crowds are generally much more spread out and even though it may not be
fast and furious action, it is still very possible to grind out a few. You will
want to put in some footwork as the fish will be concentrated in certain runs
in the mid and upper sections now, and if you can find one of these schools you
will be golden. There will still be a good amount of chrome fish in the system
and there will be for the next 2-3 weeks, so keep moving until you find them.
We are not expecting much rain, if any, over the next week so expect the water to continuously drop and stay clear. Roe at first light can still pick off some of the fresher fish moving through, although at this time of year I like to fish reaction style presentations such as twitching jigs, spoons, or flies. When fish are picky flies or very small spinners can out fish everything else.
In Matt’s What’s in My Coho Fly Box video he has some great patterns for low and clear condition with picky fish if you haven’t watched it check it out here.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish has been a bit of an odd ball this year. It has shown moments of brilliance and other times it has been almost void of life. To say the least, this season has been a bit of a grind. When we see a season like this the best advice is to cover as much water as possible and bring a few different presentation setups so that you can effectively cover the most amount of water as possible. Personally, I like to carry a 5 wt fly rod for fishing trout beads, a 7 or 8 wt fly rod for swinging streamers and if that fails, I now even carry an 8’6″ medium action spin rod so that I can twitch jigs and throw spoons and spinners.
Clarity of the main stem has been all over the map this year. It’s tough to pin point the cause of this as it has been cold enough overnight lately that the main stem should be clear. There could be a rock slide further up that is making things dirty or it could be early slow melt. The other rivers in Squamish are either low and crystal clear or have a touch of colour to them. Make sure to cover water and plan on hitting multiple areas if you are planning on spending a day fishing up here.
Jordan was out with Ben on Wednesday and they put a full day in on multiple systems. They threw everything at every spot that they went; jigs, spoons, blades, beads and flies and they managed only a couple of fish between them. If you are fishing the lower river, in town, make sure to time your day around the flood tide. Once the tide starts to come in it takes fresh fish about 20-45 minutes to get to spots like Fisherman’s Park and the Mamquam Bar. Cover as much water as you can if you are thinking of going out and eventually you will find fish.
I have also heard of a number of Grizzly Bear sightings this year. It is getting to that time of year where they are bulking up as much as they can before they hibernate. Keep an eye out for tracks and you should generally be “Bear Aware” anyways. Make sure that you have bear spray with you and make noise as you hike to different spots. Generally, they will be more afraid of you but still keep your distance and stay calm should you encounter them. I know that this is easier said than done in the moment. I have come across numerous bears and wolves on the Squamish so I know the unease that comes with a close encounter, just keep your cool and back away slowly.
Stay safe out there and see you in the shop!
Harrison/Chehalis Fishing Report
Last week saw some high water on the mainstem Harrison, with levels reaching a 9.06. As of Wednesday evening, it was higher, coming in at 9.16 making the parking lot seem like a beach. That said, it is dropping so if there is no rain for the next few days, by the weekend or just after it the river should be wade-able as long as it goes under an 8.90. Those who have found decent fishing have been hitting it from a jet boat, allowing them to fish side channels or deep pools that are not shore accessible. Overall these reports have not been stellar but there is hope. More chum have shown up and with this cold spell over the next week it could come into shape nicely. Historically November is a great month for this system.
Remember to be careful and wade safely, and to always let someone know your plan when going into canyons.
Tight lines and loops,
Although our local slough’s haven’t been producing particularly well recently, they do offer up an interesting change of pace from our more popular waterways. With very little rain in the forecast, the water will be low and crystal clear, requiring you to have a bit more finesse but over the next 2 weeks if we get a bump of water, we can expect it to be prime time for the backwaters. With that in mind if fishing becomes challenging on the major fisheries with clear water if could be a good area to look for some scouting and to get away from the crowds.
fly fisherman, very sparse flash flies or muddlers casted and stripped on an
intermediate sink tip line is the way to go. For gear fisherman, I’d go with a
smaller body spoon or small spinner such as a Croc, Koho, or Mepps. With clear
water, you should be able to see fish holding around structure. So, keep your
eyes peeled for deep spots around submerged logs or rocks that would give fish
a place to hide.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave continues to be on the more “hit and miss” side right now. Since my last report, we have seen chum numbers increase substantially although it is still nowhere near what it should be for the end of October/early November. There are still large stretches of empty water in the main stem and a good portion of the fish seem to be congregated in only a few places. Coho numbers continue to be decent although with an increase in chum presence the coho bite has been relegated to mainly first light. We are most likely going to see chum numbers peak over the next week or so before declining, at least according to my archives. Coho fishing on the other hand should be good until the third week of November before tapering off. Once the chum start moving on it should open up more coho opportunities for the back end of the season.
For those wanting to catch and release chum, a simple purple, pink, or fuchsia jig tipped with a prawn under a float will work wonders and is all you really need. Fly fishers will want to swing streamers in similar colours on a slow sink tip. Coho fishing at first light can still be productive with roe, sparse flash flies, twitching jigs, spoons, and spinners.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Reports
Well it finally does feel like winter chinook season now. Halloween has come and gone, the docks are frosting up at night, and you can see your breath in the morning as you head out in the darkness of 7:30 am. As per usual, the fish are moving around a lot, here one day, gone the next, as they search our local waters for herring and anchovy.
There have been a few fish up in Howe Sound, we haven’t heard much from Vancouver Harbour, and there have been a few fish over in the Gulf Islands. Prawning has been decent as well, and remember to release all egg bound females.
As per usual, keep your gear relatively close to the bottom. The water is fairly clear in the winter and the bait fish usually stay close to bottom in an effort to hide from predators like birds and salmon. Unfortunately for them, the chinook can easily intercept them at these deeper depths. Be prepared to fish deep, with 18 pound cannonballs being the norm, not the exception, and make sure you have at least 300 feet of cable or braid on your rigger. Flashers and spoons are the go to as the popular glow finishes work well down deep where it is dark and you can troll fast and cover a lot of water with artificial vs. bait.
See you in the shop or on the water,