If you haven’t looked out the window today there is a big weather system coming today and Saturday with 25 mm+ forecast up the valley and 50mm + forecast up Sea to Sky way and, unfortunately, we are expecting blowouts on our major river systems.
Fishing has been good for chinook and coho prior to this weather and we have details on the Harrison, Chilliwack, Capilano, and Squamish in this week’s report. We have details below but, overall, our advice is to watch river levels closely, as when they settle, fishing should be excellent.
We also have been watching chum numbers on the Albion Test Fishery closely. Numbers are not looking good. Though chum are open on the Harrison and Stave systems, as of the writing of this report, a fisheries notice was released late this afternoon noting you may not retain chum salmon in Fraser River Tributaries as of October 16 at 0:00. Please be sure to read the full notice which we’ve included for you below in the Industry and Events section below.
In this week’s video version of the fishing report, Matt has more details on the “State of the Chum” fishery as well as some interesting news on orcas and the amount of chinook in Canadian waters. Chinook shortages have been treated as a fact and cited as a reason to close sports fishing in many areas across BC. It turns out this “fact” is scientifically not true. This is something avid sports anglers have been scratching their heads about when politicians and special interest groups are talking about shortages and fishing restrictions to save the orcas when it seems there are lots of fish. Have a read of the article for more information and have a watch of this week’s Video Version of the Friday Fishing Report where Matt goes over it all!
INDUSTRY UPDATES AND EVENTS
Category(s): RECREATIONAL – Salmon
Subject: FN1102-RECREATIONAL – SALMON: Region 2 – Fraser River Chum – Allouette River, Chehalis River, Chilliwack River, Harrison River, Stave River, Nicomen Slough
Further to FN1097, the coast-wide returns of Chum salmon have been very poor and the current in-season estimate for the return to the Fraser River is 519,000 Chum. There is an 80% probability that the run is between 422,000 and 652,000, and it is almost certain that the return will not meet the escapement goal of 800,000.
Effective Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 00:01 hours until further notice, 2021, you may not retain Chum salmon in the following waters:
– Allouette River
– Chehalis River
– Chilliwack/Vedder River
– Harrison River
– Stave River
– Nicomen Slough
Variation Order: 2021-RFQ-577.
If you’re going fishing for salmon in non-tidal (fresh) waters, you need a Non-Tidal Angling Licence, issued by the Province of British Columbia. Visit the provincial website to buy your licence. Licences are available to B.C. residents and non-residents. Fees may vary and are listed online (www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/licences).
Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation? If so, please call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll-free Observe, Record, Report line at (800) 465-4336. For the 24 hours recorded opening and closure line, call toll-free at (866) 431-FISH.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Barbara Mueller (Barbara.email@example.com)
CLASSES AND COURSES
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.
Zoom only Seminar: Nov 17, 2021 SEMINAR ONLY STILL AVAILABLE
Guided Portion: Nov 20 or 21, 2021 SOLD OUT
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The most popular river in the Fraser Valley is still pumping out a bunch of fish as one would expect. At long last the pink numbers have sharply dropped off and that is making space for more coho and chinook. A few chum have been entering the system as well. Fishing has been steady throughout the river but the majority of the fresh bitey fish are down low.
Keep an eye on the water levels moving into the weekend. We are in for two separate weather systems that are bringing a lot of rain so, depending on how much actually materializes, it may make the river unfishable for a day or so.
Also, as per the regulations sent out this afternoon you may not retain chum salmon in Fraser River Tributaries (including the Chilliwack/Vedder) as of October 16 at 0:00. Please be sure to read the full notice which we’ve included for you above in the Industry and Events section.
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison system has been producing good numbers of coho and chum as of late. Water levels are still high enough to make accessing certain areas a challenge, but there’s still plenty of fishable water to be found. Having access to a boat opens up some of the best water, such as the Chehalis estuary or the mouth of the Harrison itself, but shore-bound anglers have still been finding plenty of fish, with the Kilby area being a fairly consistent producer. Now, much like the Vedder, fishing has been slightly spotty, with some days being incredible, and some days being very slow for no apparent reason… this is seeming to be a common issue across multiple systems this year.
The coho fishing has been spotty, as mentioned before, but the average size of this year’s fish is noticeably larger than last year, with a seemingly higher ratio of unclipped fish.
Casting spoons/spinners or twitching jigs are the most common and effective methods for anglers on boats or from shore, but bar fishing with spin-n’-glos or bait can also be productive. Those of you who have access to a boat can also consider trolling or anchoring up and pulling plugs, both of which can be remarkably productive.
The Harrison is tidal, so fishing is usually best on a flooding tide or an ebbing tide- low slack or high slack are usually not the most productive times. Also, keep in mind that the Harrison can get quite windy, which can make things less than enjoyable if you’re in a small boat. The Harrison is easily accessible from a canoe or kayak, but pay attention to weather forecasts and conditions- the wind can whip up “out of nowhere” very quickly, and you don’t really want to be paddling against it when it does.
The chum numbers are low this year. Numbers of chum being caught in the Albion test fishery thus far have been way below average. Matt has more details in the video version of the report. Just before hitting send on this report, we received the notice that you may not retain chum salmon in Fraser River Tributaries including the Harrison as of October 16 at 0:00. Please be sure to read the full notice which we’ve included for you above in the Industry and Events section.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano has been at a consistent 1.2m this past week and the fishing has plateaued since the water level came down. Most fish are rather stale and have been in the system for a while now and will continue to be until we get a noticeable bump in water levels. Follow this link to monitor the water levels in the Capilano River.
With slower flows in the canyon, where most fish are now centralized, hardware such as spoons, spinners, and twitching jigs shine best. Float fishing can prove to be more difficult to produce bites than hardware or flies. With that said, beads, blades, and float jigs have been still picking up fish in the right water.
Fly fishing has been probably the most effective way to pick up these shy and picky cohos and chinooks as of late. The Capilano has a unique fishery and technique that is slightly different than traditional salmon fly fishing. Similar to casting into shoals and drop-offs in the interior for rainbows, type 3 and type 6 full sink lines are used to get down deep in the canyon pools. Countdown to your desired depth and a quick/sharp strip tends to produce the most takes. Having a good selection of flies in Copper, Chartreuse, Olive, and Tan in the box will keep them interested. Come into the shop and have a chat with us if you want to know more about how to target Capilano canyon coho and chinook.
Please be reminded that the usage of bait is prohibited on this system until November 1st.
Hopefully, we will see some more rain to move things around and see some fresh fish move into the system.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The snow line is definitely starting to get lower and lower each day, which in turn should help start to clear things up on the main stem. The various tributaries are holding their shape with some of them getting lower and clearer with each dropping degree.
Though reports were good this week a major weather system is pushing in today, Friday. We are writing the report Thursday and the river has not moved yet but we expect a rise over Friday and Saturday. Matt is going to do the video report, so if you want more up-to-date info check that video out.
There are still some spawning pinks around making anglers wanting to be cautious of active redds and spawning grounds. This will continue through coho and chum season.
There are some great flood/incoming tides coming up as well, helping push fish into and throughout the systems.
This past week saw more fish enter, with anglers reporting great encounters on all systems across various methods of angling.
Egging on both gear and fly rods has been quite effective on all species currently in the system, with spinners and spoons making their appearance as well. Twitching jigs continue to be a popular choice for conventional anglers encountering slower, tankier water; while small to medium stripping flies are popular for those on fly rods.
As coho continue to enter the system, swinging spoons and flies in traveling lanes can produce some exciting grabs. Larger profile flies and oval spoons such as the P-Line Pro-Steel and Pixie Spoon from Blue Fox are great shapes for thumping and wobbling.
Remember that it is bear season and anglers should be aware and prepared.