We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you can get out for some fishing with the extra day off. The good news is the weather continues to be great for salmon fishing. That doesn’t mean warm dry weather. Good fall salmon weather means a mix of light to medium rainfall with the odd day of clear skies and cold nights to clear up the rivers. It looks like there will be more of this in the forecast for the weekend. For your weekly dose of Matt Madryga (best comment ever) – Matt has a detailed look at the weather and water levels this weekend in the Friday fishing report YouTube edition. The one liner is that there should be excellent conditions for Friday, Saturday and then we will see some rain Sunday and Monday with a possible storm mid next week.
We have updates on all the major rivers in the report today. Jordan was out on the Squamish and Alex has been hitting the Vedder so both have shared their intel below in their reports. We also have info on the Stave and Harrison. These systems are not on fire yet but it’s time to start looking at in the next two weeks.
Our team has expanded with new staff member Sterling Balzer on board and he’s got his first report in this week. He has a cabin in the interior and has been fishing that area for years. Long story short he has the interior lake fishing dialed. Though it is the end of the season if you can brave cooler weather this is still one of the best times to go lake fishing. Have a read of his report and come by the shop to say hi!
Saltwater fishing is slowing but we have had quite a few boats still out catching fish from the Cap Mouth and Sandheads. Jason has details in the saltwater section this week.
Lastly, aside from the report video we released a video last week on coho flies. It’s a video where we delve into in Matt’s coho fly box. He shares a bunch or great custom patterns from his guide days but also goes over how to strategies a box to cover different key coho water. If you are looking for some patterns or want to know when to fish what style of pattern and why, don’t miss this video!
For the Thanksgiving Long Weekend we’re open regular hours all weekend and closed on Monday for Thanksgiving. We’ll see you in the shop or on the water this weekend!
Thanksgiving Long Weekend Hours
Friday October 11 | 10AM – 7PM
Saturday October 12 | 10AM – 6PM
Sunday October 13 | 11AM – 5PM
Monday October 14 | Closed, Happy Thanksgiving
Last but certainly not least check out this week’s video edition of the Friday Fishing Report with Matt below.
CLASSES AND COURSES
Fly Fishing for Coho in Rivers
Catching a coho salmon on the fly in BC’s many coastal rivers is a bucket list item for any fly fisherman. Our course is designed to educate you on the very specific techniques used to catch coho salmon on the fly in the Lower Mainland. After your 3-hour evening seminar put your skills into practice – upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
This course is suitable for intermediate anglers.
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Oct 15 Guided:
Oct 19 Sold out or Oct 20 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
Fly Fishing For Salmon in Rivers
Fly fishing for salmon is one of the most exciting fisheries in the Lower Mainland. Let us teach you the techniques and the hot spots to catch salmon on the fly in our local rivers. In the 3hr evening seminar you will learn about rod, reel and line, sink tip, and fly selection. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water where you will learn how to read water and swing the fly!
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Seminar: Oct 23 Guided:
Oct 26, Oct 27, Nov 2 or Nov 3 (custom trip dates available) Custom Dates Available
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
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: Seminar Oct 22 & Casting Oct 27
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Lots of water again on the Vedder this week. We had another high water event and this is pushed a lot of new fish into the system and spreading out those that were already there. This is good as it is not as necessary to cram into the lower river holes to get a few bites nor is it necessary to be there at first light, although admittedly if you are looking to fill your quota your best chance is still first light and down low. Lots of chinook and coho are in the system now with a few chum in the mix and a few straggling pinks. Expect some water level fluctuations through this next week as we get some warmer weather and a fair amount of rainfall.
Roe is still (and will forever be) the winning ticket on this river, however lots of fish are now being caught on twitching jigs and spoons/spinners. With the right water conditions and the right spot, the fly can also produce nicely. Sparse flash flies, muddlers, and egg sucking leeches are all go to’s for coho while you can fish bigger streamers on a heavy sink tip for the chinook.
Again if you are looking for good fly options Matt’s video on what’s in his coho box covers how to round out a box and there are some great Vedder Coho Patterns in the Video.
This long weekend will be a busy one on the river but it is well worth your effort if you want to get in on the action. Just remember to be courteous to others and everyone will have fun.
See you out there!
Capilano River Fishing Report
Although the Cap has been fishing well, anglers have had to grind out fish over the past week. We’ve been hearing that spoons and twitching jigs have been producing the majority of fish, especially up in the cable pool. You will probably hate me for saying it, first light is essential for this system. The fish haven’t seen a lure yet and the low light conditions increase your chances at a hookup.
Remember this system is currently under a bait ban thru October 31st.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and its tributaries have been putting out some fish as of late, with a mix of coho, trout, and char being found through the whole system. Small egg imitations, spinners, spoons, and jigs have been good producers. Twitching jigs have also been producing fish as usual, so having an assortment of those is always a good idea as well. We have an epic selection in the shop right now of both twitching jigs and heads. Come down and we can get you sorted. You will also want to subscribe to the Pacific Angler TV YouTube Channel because Zach is coming out with a video early next week on how to tie one of his favorite twitching jig patterns and it’s a great one for the Squamish.
Clarity has improved with the cold weather, but can change quickly depending on daytime temperatures. You can expect it to only get better as temperatures drop. Weather looks good for the weekend but we might see a big storm next week so keep your eye on the weather.
Be careful when crossing side channels or streams as these may contain redds which are full of eggs and we ask that everyone tread carefully.
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison has seen some more coho trickle through as well as the first chum of the season. Anglers who have been getting out and scouting have been finding fish, but it hasn’t been on fire yet. Each day sees a few more fish roll through.
With this cool weather and lack of rain, most spots have been accessible, but still wade carefully. Small flash flies, sparse muddlers, and spinners/spoons all seem to be the usual suspects. Don’t be scared to scale back and go small with the spoons as well, as often times small presentations can be a key to success on this river.
Copper is one of our favourites for this system for both anglers casting spoons and spinners and the fly anglers. In Matt’s video on the flies in his coho fly box that we mentioned above on he covers some of our favorite fly patterns for this fishery. On the chum front pink and purple is king. we have a good selection in the shop right now so come down and we can help.
Stave River Fishing Report
There have been a few fish trickling into the Stave this week although it is still early and not quite worth the drive unless you want to do some reconnaissance and have some water to yourself or if the other river systems are blown out. The chum are just starting to make their way in and if you are lucky you may run into a couple, same with the coho. If you want to hit it when the river really starts to get bumping with fish, I would wait until 3rd or 4th week of October before really giving it a go. However this is a good time to stock up on your jigs, spoons, spinners, or flies for this fishery as we all know how difficult these will be to get once we get into the swing of things.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
While the salmon run is in full swing, it’s important to not forget that there’s some great angling opportunities for those hoping to catch that once in a lifetime monster rainbow. I made a short trip up north along Highway 24 and was rewarded with quite a few nice large fish. Fall is a personal favourite time of mine as I start to see a lot of big fish coming right into the shallows making it a lot easier to target a higher number of big rainbows.
These big fish typically move into the 6-12 ft depth in most of our interior lakes to feed primarily on shrimp. Saying that, some of the best opportunities to catch those coveted trophy trout come at the hands of micro leeches. Micro leeches are extremely effective when targeting these shallow feeding trout and can be fished excellently naked under a floating line or with an indicator. Another great tool to have in your arsenal would be an intermediate sinking line to help get that fly down just a bit quicker to searching trout.
When it comes to fly colour, each lake can be quite different and can vary by day, but typically the best place to start is your black, brown, and olive leeches. Don’t be afraid to dive into your box of dark blue and purple patterns if all else fails as they have been consistent patterns for me over the years. Also, be sure to have a number of heavy beaded, light beaded, pumpkin beaded, and non-beaded patterns depending on your line type. Be sure to check out the custom fly board near the front of the shop as Andre has handtied a number of terrific leech patterns that will fish well on any lake. Other great options, if you typically struggle with leech patterns, include pregnant shrimp patterns or a booby fly fished with a full sink line to provoke an aggressive take.
It should also be said that it’s not uncommon to actually be able to sight fish for these monster trout if the lake has great clarity so be sure to bring your best pair of polarized sunglasses to cut the glare off the water. We have a large selection of specialized polarized sunglasses so be sure to come in if you’re in need of a pair.
On the gear side of things, trolling a black speckled or frog style flat fish are always a killer option. Hildebrandt spoons work all year long as well. You can always add additional split shots if you feel the need to get to a deeper depth.
Finally, be sure to check the road conditions before you travel as temperatures start to plummet and winter tires become a necessity. I’ve heard reports that lakes on Highway 24 around 100 Mile House continue to fish well even though daily high temperatures are barely hovering around double digit weather with colder snaps at night. The Merritt stretch of lakes are seeing more mild temperatures with temperatures just dipping below zero at night. Lastly, a great place to start when looking for lakes to fish around these areas is to browse the stocking database on the BC fisheries website. There’s no lack of fantastic lakes to fish but I would highly recommend trying to fish smaller, well stocked lakes, especially if those lakes are stocked with triploid variants.
Be sure to come through the store if you have any questions about fly gear or general tackle questions!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
We had some trips at the Cap Mouth this week and fishing was pretty consistent. Sometimes the seals got the better of us, but we did manage to land some nice chinook despite their best efforts.
If you are looking for a quick fish, close to home, there are still some chinook at the Cap. We have caught fish as late as the last week of October, but I think it is fair to say the best days have been had. That being said, it is close to home and a nice way to spend a crisp October day and with the lack of rain, the chinook are still there.
If you want to travel down to the South Arm, there have been some decent days there as well. A few waves of chinook definitely pushed through earlier in the week, as did some coho. There have been some tougher days too, so this time of year you have to take the risk and just go for it! Don’t wait for the report, it’s late season and there just aren’t that many boats out there. I would sum it up by saying those who went down there found it well worth it and had opportunities for chinook and coho. The coho have been hitting white hootchies in the 30-60 zone on the riggers and the chinook have been on bait from 45 to 75 on the riggers.
A few of us have been poking around Howe Sound for winter chinook already and there has been a bit of bait and a fish here or there. It is still very early, so for now your best bet is still the Cap Mouth or the South Arm.
See you in the shop or on the water,