Well, we are in for another wet one this weekend but when rivers have settled between bouts of rain, we have been seeing good fishing so we expect that to be the case after this weekend’s storm.
The weather reports have been changing a lot over the last week but with heavy rain coming Sunday you will have to be on your toes and watching river levels carefully. Matt has a video report this week but as we are writing the report the numbers have changed since filming. Check out his video report below because there is still some good weather insight that will help you plan your trips.
Below in our Freshwater Report section we have info for the Squamish, Chilliwack, Capilano and Harrison rivers. On the saltwater front, we have also been hearing good winter chinook reports. Jason tunes in this week with a saltwater report and it is well worth getting out on the water this week.
On to the report
CLASSES AND COURSES
Our 2021 classes are wrapped up for the year! We thank all that attended our classes and we look forward to having you all in the classroom whether virtually or in person next year.
Keep an eye on your inboxes for the full listing of 2022 courses to be released soon.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
There is not a lot to report about in the Chilliwack/Vedder system at the moment. The coho run passed its peak almost a month ago, so there aren’t exactly a ton of fresh fish still pushing into the system. Of course, there will still be some coho showing up, but they’re far and few between, and the higher-than-normal water we’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks has been making tracking them down a challenge. You’ll want to cover water to find them instead of fence posting in one area in the hopes that some fish might show up. In this regard, late-season coho fishing can be much like Steelheading. There are also a few chum around, but they are closed to any targeted fishing efforts.
While the fishing may not be as consistent or productive as it was a few weeks ago, late season coho fishing still has its benefits- the most significant of which will be the lack of crowds. Most people have either packed it in for the season or have moved on to other systems, so the Vedder/Chilliwack is usually pretty quiet at this time of year.
As mentioned, this fishery has more in common with Steelheading than it does with Salmon fishing- so don’t go out there expecting to catch a bunch of fish. Cover water, and you’ll probably hook something, be it a coho, chum, or an egg-eater… there are decent numbers of whitefish, rainbow trout and bull trout around right now, especially in the upper sections of the river, so targeting them can also be an option.
Now that salmon season is almost over, there will be scores of salmon eggs incubating in the river, so please be mindful of where you wade. I’ve covered this topic a lot in the past so I’ll spare you from having to read it again, but it is an important issue that is almost always overlooked. If you’d like more info on how not to squish eggs, take a look at my Vedder/Chilliwack report from October 8th.
Capilano River Fishing Report
We are nearing the end of the fall salmon season for the Capilano. Most of the fish that would have pushed up would have already by now. Coho will definitely still be hanging around for the next few weeks but do not expect to find hordes of chrome fish.
At the time of writing, the river is at a high 3.2m and on the rise. We are expecting rain throughout the weekend and unfortunately the river will flood. Once the river drops, fishing can improve in the upper canyon pools. Anglers can catch coho in the canyon pools into December. While most fish are stale by then, it is still possible to entice them with flies.
Please be reminded that any steelhead caught in this system, regardless of presence of adipose fin, must be released with care.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This past week saw the Squamish and its tributaries drop into shape earlier in the week and then come up again today with last night’s rain.
When the water has been in shape there have been fresh fish encountered throughout the entire system, so anglers may want to explore to find new and fun water.
Char and trout fishing should continue to get better as the month goes on. Dropping water levels should start to concentrate the fish into egging seams and having a variety of egg representations will have you well covered.
Spinners and spoons continue to trick fish, along with twitching jigs, beads, and flies. Small and sparse stripping flies worked for us on the slow and tanky water, but bigger and larger flies with more profile were the key in water that moved with more pace.
The weather has changed quite a bit over the last week and we are expecting more rain this weekend which, may cause the rivers to blow out so, as always, keep an eye on the river levels!
Stay safe and be bear aware,
Harrison River Fishing Report
There really hasn’t been too much of a change from my report last week. The water level did drop from 7.75m to 7.65m over the last weekend but it has stayed steady at this level over the entire week. 7.65 m is really quite high meaning the coho have total freedom to move everywhere through the river system.
If you’re heading out, covering water is the best move since the bite can be quite unpredictable. You won’t always see coho stack up in big numbers during these high-water events so you’ll want to continually move if the bite goes stale.
Give it a go since fish will definitely be around. Just don’t expect it to be lights out like it was back in October.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Well, we are now into what many would call the traditional start of winter chinook fishing, and by that, I mean we are past Remembrance Day. There are certainly some decent numbers of fish around and those who have managed to push through the winds and rains have been rewarded with some nice fish.
Getting back to the timing of this fishery, I was recently in a Vancouver Sport Fishing Guides Association meeting, and I was chatting with some of the veterans of this fishery. I am talking about guides or anglers who have 40 years’ experience or more. I find it fascinating to listen to their stories of how this fishery has changed over the decades. From anchoring up and live mooching herring or mooching herring strip with decent numbers of fish around, to less fish around and the introduction of downriggers and modern trolling techniques, to our current winter chinook fishery.
This year, for whatever reason, there seems to be good numbers of fish around and they also showed up quite early, as in all of October was pretty good. Could it be an increase in WA hatchery chinook production in recent years in an effort to provide more chinook for SRKW? The number of herring and anchovies in our local waters? The stronger returns of chinook in many of the ECVI rivers in recent years? Or maybe a mix of all these factors. We may have some more insight into this as results come back from the DNA that has been handed in by Avid Anglers and from the hatchery heads that have been handed in as well.
Regardless, it is nice to see some consistent fishing and report on something good for a change when it comes to chinook!
As you can see from the picture above, there have been some good days lately, despite the unforgiving weather. If you would like to book a trip, now is probably a good time as the fish are here and we really don’t know how long this push will last.
If you are heading out on your own, we have been doing well on chartreuse flashers and spoons this past week. Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, and Chartreuse Herring Aide have all been good flasher choices. Equally bright spoons have been productive in G-Force 3.0 and 3.5, Kingfisher 3.0 and 3.5 and Skinny G. Some of our favorites are Irish Cream and Trailhead colours. We also recommend adding some scent to your spoons such as anchovy or herring gel. As usual for this fishery, keep your gear relatively close to the bottom.
See you in the shop or on the water,