Well, it looks like we have another round of wet weather rolling through this weekend but, depending on where you are planning a trip, it is still worth keeping an eye on river levels and getting out there if the levels don’t get too high!
We continue to hear good reports from the East side rivers as well as up the Sea to Sky Corridor. The Chilliwack is slowing down a little but, there were also some positive reports when things settled this week.
We expect high water in many areas this weekend but, when we look to next week, things get cold and clear. This should clear up rivers fast and provide some great late season conditions.
Jason also has an interior lake update so if you are up that way or heading there soon be sure to have a read of his report below.
For those of you looking for our 2024 course list – the countdown is on! Our 2024 course list will be released this month! Keep an eye on our inboxes and our social media feeds for all the details.
Last, but not least, here are our Remembrance Day Weekend Hours:
Saturday November 11 | 10AM-6PM
Sunday November 12 | 11AM-5PM
Monday November 13 | Closed
On to the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Sport Fishing Institute Annual Conference and Big Splash Fundraiser
There is still time to get tickets and to join friends and colleagues at the Annual SFI Conference and Big Splash Fundraiser on November 24th at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
At the conference hear from guest speaker, Canada’s Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, Federal, Provincial, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada representatives on this year’s theme; Changing Expectations and Opportunities. As a new program addition this year, the Pacific Salmon Foundation will host a morning session from 10:00 – 12:00 to provide updates on marine research and salmon recovery work being undertaken thanks to funds collected through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Salmon Conservation stamp as well as the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.
Don’t miss the annual Big Splash evening get together and fundraiser for the Sport Fishing Institute! This is a great opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, learn who is this year’s Bob Wright Legacy Award recipient, have a great meal, and check out an excellent assortment of auction and raffle items.
Make your plans and get tickets before November 16th and we’ll see you there!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Our classes and courses have wrapped up for 2023. Thanks to all who joined us in the classroom and on the water this year! We will have our 2024 course schedule out in early November. If there is a course, you are keen to get into, feel free to give us a ring and add your name to the waitlist for 2024.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The C/V system ended up blowing out bad last weekend and has been on a steady drop since Monday. Conditions are just about perfect as of writing this report, but that is likely to be short-lived, as the forecast is calling for another bout of relatively heavy rainfall, with current estimations being for between 90-135mm of rain between Friday and Monday. That’s a lot of water, and I’d expect the river to be out of shape by Saturday, assuming the forecast doesn’t change. Keep your eyes on the weather forecasts and river gauges; they’ll help you decide if it’s worth heading out or not.
Reasonable numbers of fish were encountered by anglers after the river had crested and started dropping following the last bout of rainfall, but it’s getting late in the season and the number of fish in the system isn’t anywhere near what it was a few weeks ago. As such, the anglers who have been actively covering water and searching for fish have been the ones who are catching many of the fish. A wide variety of presentations are producing fish, just be sure to adjust the size and colours of your gear based on the river conditions.
Remember that chum are closed to all targeted angling and retention, so if you’re heading to the Vedder, you’re looking for coho- so gear up accordingly. Also, remember that there will be millions of pink eggs buried in the gravel in back-channels, tailouts and near-shore areas, so avoid wading in these areas if possible. Keep an eye on water levels and be on the lookout for changing water conditions. Stay safe out there.
Harrison River Fishing Report
This past week saw the Harrison continue to fish decent, but it has already peaked for the most part. That said, its North-side tributaries, including creeks and sloughs, have been fishing fairly well.
With the recent rise in main-stem water levels, the side channels, sloughs, and creeks all picked up in activity, creating new spots for anglers to try their luck. These often-slower bodies of water may require different tackle and techniques, so don’t be scared to try different things:
- For fly anglers, having a fly line in various densities can often play a crucial role as water height and clarity change. Flies should follow suit.
- For the gear anglers, this can equate to lighter braids and leaders, as well as smaller spinners or spoons.
Small spinners, spoons, beads, and bits of roe are common offerings for those drifting floats, with size and colour intensity following the water conditions.
If fishing seems slow or spotty, just remember that the tidal influence can be another 3-4hrs after the New West tide meter- meaning fish may still be on their way!
Also remember, that coho are the only targetable salmon, even for catch-and-release, and that chum, sockeye, and chinook are non-target/closed.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish has been producing some excellent fish over the last week. After the blow out the river came down quickly allowing anglers to target the fresh fish pushed up by the rains. Coho and bulltrout are throughout the system so it’s a great time to get out and explore.
The weekend will be another wet one. If the forecast is correct, we will see heavy rain Friday evening with showers into Saturday, and a second storm Sunday evening into Monday. The big variable to watch is the temperature! Evening temps are getting colder so we might start to see snow instead of rain up on the mountains. With that in mind, keep an eye on water levels because we will have some great fishing opportunities following the storm.
With rising water, I like to come prepared with a few larger presentations. Larger spinners and spoons with help you get noticed in murky water. Larger jigs in pocket water can also pick up fish. I size up on my flies with larger intruders, popsicles, and x-mass tree patterns. Don’t forget to bring your float rod or nymphing rod with you. Hard and soft beads in brighter colours are the best egg imitations around. I have had plenty of success on trout and coho with brighter beads drifting the slow seams and pocket water.
This should be peak time for Squamish so pack your rain gear and get out there!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
We are getting into the tail end of the interior lake fishing season. Depending on how far north you go and what elevation, some lakes are already below 40F and starting to see ice on shore. A little closer to home in the Merritt and Kamloops area, the lower elevation lakes are now in the mid 40F range or lower and still fishing.
I was out the other day with Brian in the Kamloops area and the lake we were on the water was 45F. It was a typical fall day, and by that, I mean we had to move around a lot to find the fish. When we did find fish, they were responding well to typical fall techniques, stripping leech style flies and hanging blobs under indicators in 3 to 8 feet of water.
The fishing could be summed up as slow, with brief flurries of good fishing for about 30 to 45 minutes in 2 of the many spots we tried. In the end, we each managed a few nice fish, enjoyed the sun and fresh air, and as always it was a pleasure to fish with Brian. It’s not likely I will make it out again this season, so if that was my last day of the year, it was a great way to end it.
Looking forward on the 14-day forecast, things are getting colder next week as we near the end of November. I see very low single digit temps in the day and freezing temps at night. If you are thinking of going, make sure to check the highway conditions as I did hit a little snow on the Coquihalla. There probably will be a few weather windows and potentially some good fishing, but you will need some luck on the weather, wind, and highway to make it happen.
I am already looking forward to hitting the bench this winter and getting ready for next spring. Lots of ideas for flies I want to tie and a few tweaks on old favourites. Stay tuned for some tying videos this winter.
See you in the shop or on the water,